It’s time for one of our favorite weekly features on the blog — the DFW/Sun Belt stock report, where we give our take on who is taking off and who is tanking when it comes to UNT’s peers:
UNT – The Mean Green had to have a win over Florida Atlantic to keep any realistic hope alive of making a run at a .500 season and a bowl game. UNT got it done in a 20-14 win. UNT didn’t exactly stick the landing, but it’s not like the Mean Green is in position as it rebuilds to worry about style points.
TCU – The 15th-ranked Frogs faced cross-town rival SMU and took care of business, winning 24-16 to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 12 games. The Frogs are cruising into the Big 12 season.
SMU – The Mustangs hung close with TCU, but lost and have now dropped three tough non-conference games to Texas A&M and Baylor in addition to the Frogs. The June Jones haters are getting restless. Question: Do those people realize what Jones has done for that program?
UNT – See above
Middle Tennessee – Didn’t the Blue Raiders lose to McNeese State? Seems like a long time ago now, but it was only a couple of weeks ago that we were dancing on MTSU’s grave. Well, the Blue Raiders whacked Georgia Tech 49-28 and is in the national spotlight. At 3-1, MTSU is in the hunt for a bowl berth.
Louisiana-Monroe – Granted, Tulane is terrible. But ULM hammered the Green Wave 63-10 to improve to 2-2 with its losses coming against Auburn in overtime and Baylor. The Warhawks are on course to get to a bowl.
Western Kentucky – The Hilltoppers could have easily folded after falling behind 13-0 and losing starting quarterback Kawaun Jakes to injury in a game against Arkansas State. WKU came back instead and posted a 26-13 win over the Red Wolves. WKU is 4-1 and has won its last eight conference games.
Louisiana-Lafayette – The Ragin’ Cajuns also lost their starting quarterback. Blaine Gautier was lost early in a game against Florida International. Meh. ULL rolled out Terrance Broadway, who took over and led the Ragin’ Cajuns (3-1, 2-0) to a 48-20 win over Florida International.
Troy – The Trojans absolutely had to beat South Alabama, which is setting up shop in its backyard and did just that, rolling to a 31-10 win. At 3-2 and 2-1 in league play, Troy is still very much in play in the league title chase.
Florida International – What the heck happened to FIU? The Golden Panthers were supposed to be the favorite to win the league, but struggled in nonconference play and are now 1-4 after losing its league opener to ULL. The Ragin’ Cajuns might be the best team in the league, but FIU is in need of a huge turnaround to make a run at six wins.
Arkansas State – The Red Wolves seemingly had WKU on the ropes and couldn’t finish the deal. At 2-3 and 0-1 in league play, ASU needs to turn it around quickly.
Florida Atlantic – Opportunities to win games are going to be few and far between for FAU this year. The Owls squandered one against UNT in a 20-14 loss. FAU turned the ball over twice deep in UNT’s end and failed to take advantage of two opportunities to drive for a go-ahead touchdown late. That win over Wagner might be all FAU gets this year.
South Alabama – No one outside of Mobile thought USA would be good this year. The Jaguars aren’t, but being whacked by Troy was a tough blow.