Troy is good. There's no reason to skirt around things at this point. The Trojans host their biggest rivals in South Alabama — arguably the best two teams in the G5's top conference, the Sun Belt. Troy also hosts a dangerous team in FBS upstart James Madison, on only its second year at this level of FBS. A P5 cash road trip at Kansas State isn't exactly out of the realm of possibility either on Sept. 9. In general? Sun Belt schedule rotation has been very kind to Dothan's favorite college team.
TROY 2023 PREVIEW
THE CONF.: Sun Belt Conference (West Division)
2022 RECORD: 12-2 (beat UTSA in Cure Bowl)
CONF. FINISH: 7-1 (tied rival South Alabama for West Division title - won Sun Belt Conference over Coastal Carolina)
HEAD COACH: Jon Sumrall (12-2 at school/overall)
ALL-STAR CANDIDATES: Kimani Vidal, Jr./RB (1,132 rushing yards, 10 TDs); T.J. Jackson, Jr./DT (14.5 TFLs, 8 sacks); Javon Solomon, Jr./DE (83 career tackles); Richard Jibunor, Sr./LB (11 TFLs, 7.5 sacks); Reddy Steward, Sr./CB (12 PBUs, 3 INTs); Dell Pettus, Sr./S (66 tackles).
THE NEWCOMER: Reggie Bracy, Soph./LB (Iowa transfer - projected starter)
Troy is the defending Sun Belt Champion. Considering this is the best conference in the Group of Five, does that resonate? It should. On top of that? The Gods who dictate Sun Belt schedule rotation were very kind, and no — it's not rigged. Troy doesn't face most of the top half of the conference, BUT ... it does travel to Mobile to play in-state rival South Alabama (an in conference monster) and plays host to an underestimated SBC opponent, James Madison. But overall? The Trojans are a potential G5 monster.
THE KEY GAME AND WHY
That's easy: The Battle for the Belt. South Alabama is badass this year, as is Troy. USA is in Mobile, Troy is in Dothan. It's not a long trip. This Thursday night game on Nov. 2 is beyond ridiculous for a midweek game on ESPN2 is a monster G5 game. Tune in.
THE TOUGHEST GAME AND WHY
It's easy to default to the trip to Kansas State, and no — that won't be easy. But again, that game with south Alabama rival South Alabama (redundant?) is a biggie.
THE CHANCES OF MAKING CONF. TITLE GAME
Very, very good. And they face the most important competitor in the west, so the Trojans control their own path.
There are a lot of winnable games on the schedule. It seems his is a 9 or 10-win kind of regular season for Troy, and when you add in a potential Sun Belt conference title game and a bowl game, obviously you can take that another notch above. Troy is loaded — especially on defense.
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