2024 Sun Belt Season Predictions: Can James Madison, Texas State, or Appalachian State Put Their Stamp on the Conference?

    With significant changes to multiple leading programs across the conference, the Sun Belt season predictions signal an end to the reign of Troy.

    They don’t call the Sun Belt Conference “Fun Belt” for no reason. Rammed full of talented teams, it produces excitement and entertainment every week, and the 2024 edition is set to be no different. The Sun Belt season predictions cast some light on how head coach changes, transfer portal turnover, and top-tier returning players could shape the conference this fall.

    Sun Belt Season Predictions for 2024

    It’s never too early to preview the season ahead, and FanDuel has posted the current odds for projected regular-season wins from each Sun Belt team. A program has appeared in consecutive title matchups since the conference adopted a championship game in 2018. Could that run come to an end?

    Sun Belt Season Predictions – Regular-Season Win Totals

    • James Madison: 8.5 wins
    • Texas State: 8.5 wins
    • Appalachian State: 7.5 wins
    • Louisiana: 7.5 wins
    • Arkansas State: 6.5 wins
    • Coastal Carolina: 6.5 wins
    • Marshall: 6.5 wins
    • South Alabama: 6.5 wins
    • Troy: 6.5 wins
    • Georgia Southern: 5.5 wins
    • Georgia State: 4.5 wins
    • Old Dominion: 4.5 wins
    • Southern Miss: 4.5 wins
    • Louisiana-Monroe: 1.5 wins

    The James Madison Dukes have been a college football sensation since transitioning from the FCS ahead of the 2021 campaign. They lost head coach Curt Cignetti to Indiana this offseason, along with a large chunk of their successful 2023 team. Still, the capture of Bob Chesney and several high-profile portal additions should keep the Dukes competitive in the Sun Belt this fall.

    They’re eligible for the title game for the first time, but they’ll face a stern fight to get there. The Texas State Bobcats earned a first-ever bowl win in program history a year ago, and their offense will be led by former JMU QB and Sun Belt Player of the Year, Jordan McCloud. Head coach G.J. Kinne has mastered the portal, adding multiple Power Five playmakers to his roster.

    The Sun Belt season predictions pit the Bobcats and the Dukes against one another in the title game. However, don’t rule out the Appalachian State Mountaineers for the third time in four years. Shawn Clark is as fine of a coach as any in the conference, and in Joey Aguilar the program boasts a legitimate NFL-caliber signal-caller. Nate Johnson leads a potentially suffocating defense.

    The Mountaineers have an extremely favorable conference schedule but are not the only ones. The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns have the second-easiest strength of schedule in the conference this fall, propelling the program up the Sun Belt season predictions. The program hasn’t won more than six games under Michael Desormeaux. Will it be third time lucky this fall?

    KEEP READING: 2024 Strength of Schedule for All 134 FBS Teams

    There are some notable absences from the top of the Sun Belt predictions, including the reigning champion Troy Trojans. Expectations have been tempered after losing head coach Jon Sumrall to the Tulane Green Wave. The program also lost a substantial number of starters from both sides of the ball, including star RB Kimani Vidal and sack leader Javon Solomon.

    The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers and the South Alabama Jaguars have been contenders near the top of the conference in recent years. However, multiple question marks hang over both programs with the departure of QB Grayson McCall and head coach Kane Wommack, respectively.

    College Football Network has you covered with the latest news and analysis, rankings, transfer portal information, top 10 returning players, the 2024 college football season schedule, and much more!

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