Ragin’ Cajuns Favored To Win Sun Belt West
BetOnline has posted betting odds on all of the college football division races – both power conference and now – and we’re going to start by taking a look at the Sun Belt. The West Division looks like a two-team race but is there value with one of the underdogs? Let’s take a closer look.
LOUISIANA RAGIN’ CAJUNS
The Ragin’ Cajuns, sometimes referred to as Louisiana-Lafayette, are not only the favorite to win the West Division; they are the favorite to win the Sun Belt Conference championship this season. Coach Billy Napier has consistently recruited well in the league and has built this program to the point where this season is expected to provide great riches. Louisiana won the West last year but was beaten by East Division champion Appalachian State in the Sun Belt Championship Game. Appalachian State lost a number of starters from its 2019 roster, while Louisiana is reloading. The Cajuns bring back their starting quarterback and running backs from last season. They return roughly 75 percent of the two-deep on the depth chart pertaining to their defense. A strong majority of the players who were given the most responsibilities on their defense – the starters and the primary backups – will come back to anchor this team. Louisiana has won the West the last two seasons. It will be hard for ULL to be bumped off in 2020 as well.
ARKANSAS STATE RED WOLVES
The Red Wolves have been very consistent under head coach Blake Anderson, never winning fewer than at least seven games in each of Anderson’s seasons in Jonesboro, Ark. Arkansas State can be counted on to be good. The question is if ASU can be great enough to topple Louisiana. The Red Wolves bring back four starting offensive linemen, their quarterback, and most of their skill players. They return key performers in the secondary, at linebacker, and on the defensive line. They have the experience needed to contend with Louisiana. They might not have as much depth, however.
SOUTH ALABAMA JAGUARS
The Jaguars have won a total of five games in the past two seasons. Improvement is likely this season, but there is far too much ground to cover for the Jaguars. They might be able to finish third in a reasonable scenario, second if everything breaks perfectly for them. Winning the division is too much to ask for this team, which is still trying to find its bearings at the moment. There is a reason only two teams are considered serious contenders for the division.
The Warhawks lose their starting quarterback, their two best receivers, and four starting offensive linemen from last year’s team… a team which went 5-7. They are going to be worse than they were in 2019, and they weren’t even very good in 2019. Monroe is headed for a very difficult season with a very low ceiling and a floor which could drop more and more as the year progresses.
TEXAS STATE BOBCATS
The Bobcats have existed at the bottom of this division and at the bottom of college football in recent years. This is still a program in the middle of a rebuilding effort under young coach Jake Spavital. A young coach, a retooled roster, and a history of struggle all point to another sub-.500 season for Texas State. There is not yet a sense this program is beginning to turn the corner. Merely being able to see the corner in the distance would make this season a forward step for the Bobcats.