This article was originally published on Forgotten5.com on July 17, 2018.
JONESBORO — Arkansas State will enter the 2018 football season as the favorites to represent the West division in the inaugural Sun Belt Championship Game this December.
The Red Wolves will be returning seven starters on offense, notably including reigning Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year Justice Hansen, and five on defense.
There are some very noticeable losses, such as Sun Belt Player of the Year (and the 2nd all-time NCAA sack leader) Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, All-Sun Belt First Team TE Blake Mack and longtime DB and return man Blaise Taylor, but the Red Wolves are still in a great position to compete for a Sun Belt title this season.
After only two conference losses last year by a total of 12 points, the Red Wolves are on a revenge tour to get back to the top of the totem pole. Four of their five losses last season came by a margin of seven or fewer points.
A-State may have the most favorable schedule in the Sun Belt this season, hosting Appalachian State and avoiding Troy altogether. Their non-conference schedule includes home games against SEMO and UNLV and a road game at Tulsa. The (literal) elephant in the room in a trip to Tuscaloosa to face defending National Champion UCF. Oh, I mean Alabama. Apologies. Outside of that game, it seems the Red Wolves could be favorites across the board.
Perhaps we should break it down.
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