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Is it time to respect the Sun Belt’s best?

Posted: 5:37 PM, Oct 11, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-11 18:40:17-04

LAFAYETTE (KATC) — Coach Billy Napier said Wednesday night that he would place both Appalachian State and Troy inside the college football top 25. It’s an easy statement to say coming from someone who wants to see the Sun Belt succeed.

But this week Appalachian State  received 11 votes in the Associated Press’s Top 25 Poll. Both Troy and App State received votes in the coaches poll as well.

Both the Trojans (5-1) and Mountaineers (4-1) have the kind of top 25 resumes you get out of group of five schools. App State’s lone loss came in overtime in week one at Penn State, a top 10 program. After giving up 45 to the Nittany Lions they’ve allowed just 32 points since.

“I got back late the other night and I’m watching Penn State and Ohio State go down to the wire. App State went into Penn State and went down to the wire. I’ve watched them on tape, they have good players and are well coached,” said Louisiana head coach Billy Napier. “I think they feel good about any match-up and hopefully we get our program to that one day.”

While Troy’s resume lacks a an overtime thriller against a top 10 team, the Trojans have history with beating power five schools. Last year the Trojans beat LSU in Baton Rouge, and this year Troy went on the road and beat Nebraska. Troy is the only Sun Belt team to ever appear in the AP Top 25. They spent one week there in 2016.

Louisiana plays both teams on the road this season facing Appalachian State October 20, and Troy November 3.