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Sun Belt wrap-up: What we learned

Posted by ESPN.com's Graham Watson
1.Troy is the favorite: After losing just one game in Sun Belt play last season and returning almost all of the weapons from a year ago, Troy is the hands-down favorite to repeat and take the only guaranteed bowl berth available to the Sun Belt. But it won't be easy. There are several teams in the Sun Belt that are loaded with talent this year.

2.Conference looks stronger: Seven of the league's nine teams have the personnel to compete for the league title. The Sun Belt is always a hotly contested conference, but this might be one of the few years where several teams -- Troy, Middle Tennessee, Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, FIU and Louisiana-Lafayette -- are stacked with high level talent. That makes this season one of the most anticipated in a long time.

3.Strong senior quarterbacking: The Sun Belt has some good quarterbacks, but the crop of senior returning quarterbacks is especially strong this season. Troy's Levi Brown, Florida Atlantic's Rusty Smith, and Arkansas State's Corey Leonard have the potential and the personnel to put up as good of statistics as any quarterback in the country.

4.Lots of new offenses: There's going to be an increase in scoring in the Sun Belt this season with a couple new offenses taking shape at Louisiana-Monroe and Middle Tennessee. The Blue Raiders are trying out Tony Franklin's spread offense that's been successful at Troy, and the Warhawks are going to run the hurry-up offense. The Warhawks also have switched to a 3-3-5 defense, which mean it will be hurry-up on both sides of the ball.

5.Great offseason hires: The Sun Belt went out and made some of the more impressive assistant coaching hires in the country. Middle Tennessee brought in Franklin, who was fired from Auburn, as its offensive coordinator. Florida Atlantic hired Jeff Brohm to coach quarterbacks after sending a couple to the NFL from Louisville. And Louisiana-Monroe hired Troy Reffet to teach the 3-3-5 scheme, which will be unique in the Sun Belt.