Going over some college football statistics, I was looking over what matchups were played the most. Especially when it was conference versus conference. For example, the Big Ten and the PAC 12 have clashed against each other 546 times over the duration of history. Well, the team the Sun Belt Conference has faced the most is the SEC. The Sun Belt started sponsoring football at the beginning of the millennium in 2021.
While they have some catching up to do, the Sun Belt is night and day difference from when they first started. When a Sun Belt team plays a P5 team it’s not a gimme anymore. SEC teams have been notorious for scheduling Sun Belt teams, as the two share a geographical footprint.
The Sun Belt teams obviously use these as money games, but they have been picking up some upsets as well against the SEC. The 2007 Louisiana Monroe vs Alabama game is always used as an anecdotal point to calm the nerves of fanbases. When a first-year head coach loses a bad game, many point to Nick Saban losing to Louisiana Monroe in his first season.
The most recent upset came this past season when Appalachian State traveled to College Station and started a downfall for Texas A&M in 2022.
Since the two conferences have been playing over the past twenty years they have met on the gridiron 175 total times. The Sun Belt has won 12 of those games, but I have a feeling that number will increase rapidly as we push into the future.
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Sun Belt Wins versus the SEC
2022 Appalachian State 17 Texas A&M 14
2019 Appalachian State 20 South Carolina 15
2019 Georgia State 38 Tennessee 30
2017 Troy 24 LSU 21
2016 South Alabama 21 Mississippi State 20
2013 Western Kentucky 35 Kentucky 26
2012 Western Kentucky 32 Kentucky 31 OT
2012 Louisiana Monroe 34 Arkansas 31 OT
2007 Lousiana Monroe 21 Alabama 14
2005 Middle Tennessee State 17 Vanderbilt 15
2002 Middle Tennessee State 21 Vanderbilt 20
2001 Middle Tennessee State 37 Vanderbilt 28