Sun Belt Media Day: Ragin’ Cajuns trade weight of preseason expectations for a hefty chip on their shoulders _lowres

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- UL-Lafayette football coach Mark Hudspeth at the 2015 Sun Belt Conference Media Day at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome July 20, 2015.

1. A CURE FOR YOUR ILLS?

The Sun Belt added its fourth bowl tie-in with the Cure Bowl, which will pit an SBC team against a team from the American Athletic Conference on Dec. 19 in Orlando, Florida. Though Appalachian State and Georgia Southern were not able to participate in postseason play last year, the SBC finished with just three bowls for six teams that would’ve otherwise been bowl-eligible.

2. ALL PART OF THE PLAN

When Georgia State coach Trent Miles, whose team is 1-23 in two years at the FBS level, told reporters that he has been there before, he meant it. Miles went 1-22 in his first two seasons at Indiana State before righting the ship and ripping off three straight winning seasons. Miles said the program has to be built from the ground up before it can be successful, but he remains optimistic.

3. WEIRD SEEING YOU HERE ...

For the first time in four years, Arkansas State will be coached by the same man who was there the previous year. Blake Anderson is about to embark on his second season leading the program, and he’ll be joined by his entire staff from last season. Anderson said the continuity will be a huge boon to his team, and he already has noticed the benefits on the recruiting trail.

4. EXTRA EYES

Steve Shaw, the SBC’s coordinator of officials, said the league will add an eighth official for games this season, specifically to manage the up-tempo offenses that have proliferated throughout college football. The official, called the center judge, Shaw said, will be positioned opposite of the referee in the offensive backfield and will be responsible for spotting the ball on each play.