The College Football News 2021 Sun Belt preseason rankings along with a quick take on every team.
This is NOT a ranking of where the teams are going to finish. This is based on how good we think the Sun Belt teams are going into the 2021 season.
2021 CFN Sun Belt Preseason Rankings: East
1. Appalachian State Mountaineers
Quick Take: Sort of lost in the fun of Coastal Carolina and Louisiana last season was how Appalachian State didn’t fall off – at least, it didn’t drop all that much. This year’s team should be back to its dominant, Sun Belt-championship-level self as long as the quarterback play is solid.
ASU Preview | Schedule
2. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
Quick Take: There’s no reason to expect any semblance of a drop-off with QB Grayson McCall leading another loaded offense to go along with a defensive side that should be special in the back seven.
Coastal Carolina Preview | Schedule
3. Georgia Southern Eagles
Quick Take: Can the quarterback situation settle itself fast? Shai Werts left for Louisville, but the ground game will be still be dominant and the defense could be the best it’s been in several years. If the Eagles don’t have the Sun Belt’s best secondary, they won’t be far off.
Georgia Southern Preview | Schedule
4. Georgia State Panthers
Quick Take: There’s only one major issue with the 2021 Panthers – the schedule. It’s going to be a fight to get to six wins and bowl eligibility, but the team has the offensive chops to hang around with just about anyone.
Georgia State Preview | Schedule
5. Troy Trojans
Quick Take: Welcome to your possible Sun Belt sleeper. Troy wasn’t bad last season, and now it should be a whole lot stronger with a great defensive back seven and enough good skill parts to be a problem for all the hot conference teams on the slate.
Troy Preview | Schedule
NEXT: 2021 CFN Sun Belt Preseason Rankings: West
2021 CFN Sun Belt Preseason Rankings: West
1. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Quick Take: Demand nothing short of an appearance in the Sun Belt Championship, and set the bar at winning it this time around. The key running backs are gone, but the lines are the best in the conference and QB Levi Lewis is back for what seems like his 13th year at the helm.
Louisiana Preview | Schedule
2. Arkansas State Red Wolves
Quick Take: Butch Jones was a fantastic hire for a program that went from steadily great to just okay. The passing game should still be terrific, but the schedule is tricky and the defense could use a whole lot of tweaking.
Arkansas State Preview | Schedule
3. Texas State Bobcats
Quick Take: If nothing else, the Bobcats are going to be a blast. Expect a whole lot of shootouts, a whole lot of wild games, and a whole lot of issues for the rest of the league trying to keep up the pace if the offensive side gets going like it’s supposed to.
Texas State Preview | Schedule
4. South Alabama Jaguars
Quick Take: It’s going to be an interesting team that might just rise up and be the Sun Belt’s big surprise. There might not be the talent level of the big boys in the league, but the passing game should rise up and be a problem.
South Alabama Preview | Schedule
5. ULM Warhawks
Quick Take: Give Terry Bowden a year or so to turn this back around. After a brutal 2020 when nothing worked, the Warhawks have to rely on a decent passing attack and decent group of safeties to work around.
ULM Preview | Schedule