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Sun Belt Home Games vs. Power Five in 2017

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Three Sun Belt teams will host opponents from power five conferences this fall, showcases that will help expand the brand of the respective programs and the league nationwide.

Three Sun Belt teams will host opponents from power five conferences this fall, showcases that will help expand the brand of the respective programs and the league nationwide. All three contests will feature pairings of bowl representatives from a season ago. 

Appalachian State vs Wake Forest, September 23rd
Expectations are high in Boone as the Mountaineers return standouts like quarterback Taylor Lamb, running back Jalin Moore, linebacker Eric Boggs and cornerback Clifton Duck. Appalachian State hasn't met the Demon Deacons since 1981; three of the four all-time meetings have been decided by three points or less. Wake Forest will play the Mountaineers the week before consecutive games against Florida State and Clemson.

Arkansas State vs Miami, September 9th
The Red Wolves won nine of ten to finish last year, a 31-13 Cure Bowl win over Central Florida included. An early non-conference victory would do wonders for Arkansas State as the Red Wolves started 0-4 in 2016 and 1-3 in 2015. Week two will stand as the first road start ever for the Hurricanes' new starting quarterback. Miami thrived in a Sun Belt road test a season ago, topping Appalachian State 45-10. 

South Alabama vs Oklahoma State, September 9th
Last year was a bad time to play the Jaguars as a favorite; South Alabama upended Mississippi State in Starkville and defeated nationally-ranked San Diego State in Mobile. The Cowboys won ten games this past year and will likely be slotted highly in the pre-season polls, resulting in another showcase game for South Alabama. 

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Matt Osborne and Kevin Thomas on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network and is the sports director for multiple ESPN Radio affiliates based throughout southeast Georgia. @BJBennettSports