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1. Mark Hudspeth is still the Cajun coach
I have to admit, I'm pleasantly surprised. When a Sun Belt school makes a good hire, the reward is typically the opportunity to make another good hire in about three years.
Arkansas State had Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn for one year each. Bryan Harsin, too. Former Sun Belter Western Kentucky got three years and a dramatic turnaround out of Willie Taggart, then got Bobby Petrino for one year.
Typically, if you get a good coach for a long period of time, he's either a veteran (like North Texas' Dan McCarney), or he's damaged goods (like Troy's Larry Blakeney for so many years), or he trails off a bit (like Todd Berry at UL-Monroe).
But against odds, Mark Hudspeth remains at UL-Lafayette for what will be his fifth season in charge. The Ragin' Cajuns won an average of 3.6 games per season in the 14 years before Hudspeth's arrival, peaking at 6-5 under Rickey Bustle. With Hud in charge, they have found themselves stuck in a pleasant version of Groundhog Day: 9-4 with a New Orleans Bowl win every year.
Hudspeth inherited a team with athleticism and nothing to show for it, and he figured out what to do with it. And through his recruiting, he's raised that athleticism. So why is Hud still in Lafayette?
Perhaps the right job hasn't come open yet. Thanks to his two years of coaching under Dan Mullen at Mississippi State, his name was tied to a potential MSU vacancy a couple of years ago before Mullen surged. His name was also tied (by me and only me, ahem) to any potential Missouri vacancy from a couple of years ago before Gary Pinkel surged.
Perhaps his regional résumé scares schools from outside. Hud is a Delta State graduate who has coached at Central Arkansas, Nicholls State, Delta State, North Alabama, Mississippi State, and UL. He spent one single season as Paul Johnson's offensive coordinator at Navy before taking the North Alabama head coaching job, and that's really the only time he's ever been north (relatively speaking).
Perhaps his success has been too steady. This is a massive flaw with coaching searches, but the coaches who experience sudden breakthroughs tend to generate more buzz. Turner Gill, for instance, moved from Buffalo to Kansas mainly because of his burst from 5-7 to 8-6 and a MAC title in 2008. Gary Anderson parlayed the Utah State job into the Wisconsin job when USU jumped from 7-6 to 11-2. Mike MacIntyre moved from San Jose State to Colorado when SJSU jumped from 5-7 to 11-2. Hud's timing was off -- his Cajuns erupted in his first year, from 3-9 to 9-4, but they haven't moved up or down since.
Perhaps he's missing that breakthrough win. Again, this is a silly reason, but coaches sometimes get attention because of a marquee victory -- Toledo's Pinkel whipping Penn State, for instance. But this is basically the only thing lacking from Hudspeth's Cajun résumé. He is 0-8 vs. power conference teams (average score: Opponent 46, Cajuns 23), and only two losses (2012 to Florida, 2011 to Arizona) were within 20 points. Of course, that means UL-Lafayette is 36-8 in its own weight class, which is awfully impressive.
Perhaps he just likes Lafayette. I assume he likes it a lot, actually. The fan support seems strong, and he's finding the resources he needs to win and win and win. Hudspeth stayed at North Alabama for seven years, so he seems to be a patient guy. And he's still only 46. Maybe that has made him much pickier.
Whatever the reason, this is great for the program. Even if he does jump, the longer he sustains success, the better the infrastructure will be for the next guy.
And while I thought 2014 was shaping up as a make-or-break season when it comes to gaudy win totals -- UL boasted a senior quarterback, senior running back, two seniors as leading receivers, three likely senior starters on the offensive line, and probably six senior starters on defense -- the combination of injuries and strong recruiting meant for a lot more underclassmen playing last fall. The transition from 2014 to 2015 seems like it might be far less painful than expected.
2014 Schedule & Results
|Record: 9-4 | Adj. Record: 9-4 | Final F/+ Rk: 72|
|Date||Opponent||Opp. F/+ Rk||Score||W-L||Percentile
|13-Sep||at Ole Miss||5||15-56||L||5%||-38.3||0%|
|20-Sep||at Boise State||21||9-34||L||10%||-29.4||0%|
|14-Oct||at Texas State||95||34-10||W||89%||28.1||100%|
|8-Nov||at New Mexico State||124||44-16||W||73%||14.3||100%|
|Points Per Game||29.5||61||26.0||58|
2. Dreadful, then lovely
Things start over after this year. Broadway and a lot of play-makers are seniors, and this might be the year that a major-conference team finally comes calling for Hudspeth (if he's interested). Another 8-4 regular season would feel disappointing. But while last year gives me slight pause, I will go ahead and say that this team should be the class of the conference, an easy favorite with a good schedule and the athleticism for which other conference mates yearn. Maybe we'll see the Year of the Ragin' Cajun after all.
Needless to say, the Cajuns did not meet my expectations in September. It wasn't that they started 1-3, it's that they performed terribly in losses to Louisiana Tech, Ole Miss, and Boise State by a combined 138-44. Be it because Hudspeth teams don't know how to perform when they don't have an athletic advantage, or be it simply because they weren't ready to play well, there were some terrible duds.
Following a nearly disastrous game against Georgia State -- the offense was fine, but the defense allowed 425 yards to a bad GSU offense, and the Cajuns trailed by three until a late Jamal Robinson touchdown -- the ship began to right itself.
- Average Percentile Performance, first 4 games: 27% (record: 1-3)
- Average Percentile Performance, last 9 games: 63% (record: 8-1)
The defense shut down a solid Texas State offense, then the offense rocked Arkansas State. UL won eight of its final nine games, and though a disappointing home game against Appalachian State prevented sharing the Sun Belt title with Georgia Southern, finishing 9-4 again doesn't feel quite as disappointing when you start 1-3. And the defense looked fantastic in shutting down Nevada to end the season. That probably helped with the general positivity level.
|FIVE FACTORS -- OFFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||46.9%||19||Succ. Rt. +||111.0||33|
|FIELD POSITION||Def. Avg. FP||26.6||6||Def. FP+||104.9||24|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Trip in 40||4.5||54||Redzone S&P+||109.3||42|
|Q1 Rk||50||1st Down Rk||48|
|Q2 Rk||74||2nd Down Rk||64|
|Q3 Rk||55||3rd Down Rk||79|
Note: players in bold below are 2015 returnees. Players in italics are questionable with injury/suspension.
|Brooks Haack||6'1, 219||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8410||20||23||179||2||0||87.0%||1||4.2%||7.0|
|Jalen Nixon (2013)||6'2, 226||Jr.||NR||0.7900||6||12||108||1||1||50.0%||2||14.3%||6.9|
|Jordan Davis||6'3, 185||RSFr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7819|
|Dion Ray||6'0, 194||Fr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8640|
3. Upside and a favorite
Terrance Broadway's UL career finished on a solid note, with another bowl win and another nine-win campaign. He will go down as one of the most alluring athletes in the program's history; in three years as the Cajuns' starting quarterback, Broadway threw for 7,556 yards, rushed for 1,877 (including sacks), threw for 49 touchdowns, and rushed for another 20.
He also got banged up from time to time. That didn't help the Cajuns in the present tense, but it gave us some looks at his backup, Brooks Haack. And Haack passed most of the tests he was given. He struggled in a late-2013 loss to South Alabama, but he has still completed 41 of 58 passes in his career (71 percent) for 403 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. (Take out that USA game, and he's 36 for 44, 82 percent.)
This is a tiny sample size, but one has to be optimistic about the position because of the options. If Haack can't hack it (sorry) with a chance at the full-time gig, the Cajuns might be able to turn to Jalen Nixon (a run-first backup in 2013 who was suspended for part of 2014), redshirt freshman Jordan Davis, or exciting three-star freshman Dion Ray.
And whoever wins will be able to lean on his running back a bit.
|Elijah McGuire||RB||5'11, 198||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8789||166||1264||14||7.6||7.9||47.6%||1||0|
|Effrem Reed||RB||5'8, 193||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||N/A||28||138||1||4.9||3.3||39.3%||0||0|
|Torrey Pierce||RB||5'9, 170||Sr.||NR||N/A||11||43||0||3.9||2.7||27.3%||0||0|
|Brooks Haack||QB||6'1, 219||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8410||6||21||0||3.5||1.0||50.0%||0||0|
|Darius Hoggins||WR||5'7, 165||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7793||5||21||1||4.2||2.5||20.0%||0||0|
|Ja'Marcus Bradley||RB||6'1, 180||Fr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.8133|
|Jordan Wright||RB||5'11, 207||Fr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.8074|
4. Get to know Elijah McGuire
Broadway had plenty of shining moments in 2014, and he shouldered a decent load: about 28 pass attempts and 10 rushes per game. But he also had the luxury of handing the ball to Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire 26 times per game.
And while Harris did a lot of the dirty work between the tackles -- using flexbone parlance (since Hudspeth did spend a year with Paul Johnson), Harris was used more as a fullback, while McGuire was used more as a slot back, right down to his "No. 2 receiver" status -- McGuire was the star. In 223 intended touches (carries and targets), the sophomore generated 1,767 yards and scored Sun Belt Player of the Year honors. He fumbled only once in those 223 attempts.
McGuire's role could change. Either he shoulders more of the rushing load, or Hudspeth and offensive coordinator Jay Johnson find him a new backfield mate; senior Effrem Reed looked decent in limited opportunities, and per the Composite, the Cajuns did sign two three-star freshmen in Ja'Marcus Bradley and Jordan Wright. But only Wright is bigger than McGuire, so McGuire might be doing more of the power running this year. That would make him more valuable and hurt his per-touch averages.
Regardless, McGuire is potentially the most high-ceiling player in the conference, and he's a weapon every new quarterback should have.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||Targets||Catches||Yards||Catch Rate||Target
|Elijah McGuire||RB||5'11, 198||Jr.||3 stars (5.7)||0.8789||57||45||503||78.9%||16.8%||57.9%||8.8||-22||8.8||60.1|
|Al Riles||WR-H||5'10, 209||Jr.||NR||N/A||48||34||319||70.8%||14.2%||56.3%||6.6||-85||6.6||38.2|
|Gabe Fuselier||WR-H||5'11, 175||So.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7752||34||30||264||88.2%||10.0%||55.9%||7.8||-80||7.8||31.5|
|C.J. Bates||WR-X||6'1, 200||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||19||12||167||63.2%||5.6%||42.1%||8.8||21||9.1||20.0|
|Jared Johnson||WR-Z||6'5, 215||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000||17||10||96||58.8%||5.0%||64.7%||5.6||-27||5.6||11.5|
|Torrey Pierce||RB||5'9, 170||Sr.||NR||N/A||10||9||60||90.0%||2.9%||40.0%||6.0||-43||5.9||7.2|
|Devin Scott||WR-X||5'11, 180||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7993||9||4||79||44.4%||2.7%||33.3%||8.8||27||6.3||9.4|
|Nick Byrne||TE||6'3, 228||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.7967||8||5||29||62.5%||2.4%||87.5%||3.6||-32||4.1||3.5|
|Matthew Barnes||TE||6'3, 229||So.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7833||4||1||4||25.0%||1.2%||50.0%||1.0||-12||1.2||0.5|
|Anthony Jones||TE||6'6, 260||RSFr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8560|
|Keenan Barnes||WR||6'3, 200||Fr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8457|
|Gary Haynes||WR||5'9, 175||Fr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8389|
|Carlos Robinson||TE||6'3, 213||Fr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.8240|
|Michael Jacquet||WR||6'2, 180||Fr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.8088|
|Jarrod Jackson||WR||6'0, 185||Fr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7980|
|Rivals||247 Comp.||Career Starts||Honors/Notes|
|Daniel Quave||RG||52||2014 1st All-Sun Belt|
|Mykhael Quave||LT||6'5, 295||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7701||39||2014 2nd All-Sun Belt|
|Octravian Anderson||RT||6'4, 295||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||N/A||26|
|Donovan Williams||LG||6'3, 315||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||N/A||13|
|Greg Siener||RG||6'4, 280||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7333||0|
|Eddie Gordon||C||6'1, 320||Sr.||NR||N/A||0|
|Grant Horst||RT||6'5, 260||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7759||0|
|Ian Bjuro||OL||6'3, 270||So.||2 stars||0.7300||0|
|D'Aquin Withrow||LT||6'6, 275||So.||NR||N/A||0|
|Kevin Dotson||OL||6'4, 311||Fr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7859|
5. Injuries? No thanks
UL-Lafayette finished last season with exactly five offensive linemen with starting experience. This speaks to both consistency on the part of these starters (i.e., none of them was replaced), and it speaks to a little bit of injuries luck.
But -- damn, did you notice that all five starters' totals are divisible by 13? And that UL-Lafayette plays 13 games each year? Daniel Quave started every game of the Hudspeth era to date. Mykhael Quave has not missed a game in his three years of starting. Terry Johnson and Octravian Anderson finished up their second full seasons as starters last year, and Donovan Williams started all 13 games in 2014.
It is conceivable that UL's weight training program is the best in the Sun Belt and that the Cajuns are therefore more equipped to handle injuries. But there's at least a little bit of luck here. Alabama and LSU don't avoid line injuries, so barring some sort of voodoo, the Cajuns are probably due. Three of last year's five starters are back, and there will be some upperclassmen in the mix, but if you never suffer injuries, you never test the second string, and it's hard to say what the others on the depth chart have to offer.
Line health could be important to the Cajuns' quest for another big win total. McGuire's great, and the passing game should be competent with five of last year's top seven wideouts (most of whom were efficiency guys) returning. But unless another big-play threat emerges, the Cajuns will have to score on eight-play drives instead of four-play drives, which opens the door to trouble if the line is suffering breakdowns.
|FIVE FACTORS -- DEFENSE|
|Raw Category||Rk||Opp. Adj. Category||Rk|
|EFFICIENCY||Succ. Rt.||39.9%||50||Succ. Rt. +||98.7||72|
|FIELD POSITION||Off. Avg. FP||31.1||40||Off. FP+||97.0||99|
|FINISHING DRIVES||Pts. Per Trip in 40||4.4||71||Redzone S&P+||109.6||32|
|Q1 Rk||98||1st Down Rk||113|
|Q2 Rk||93||2nd Down Rk||91|
|Q3 Rk||57||3rd Down Rk||84|
6. New blood
From a physical standpoint, UL-Lafayette easily had one of the most impressive defensive fronts in the mid-major universe. The Cajuns' line stats were phenomenal, and anybody who watched the New Orleans Bowl saw what players like Christian Ringo and Justin Hamilton were capable of against mid-major lines.
Ringo and Hamilton are gone. So are linebackers Trae Johnson and Boris Anyama. And both starting cornerbacks. And safety Sean Thomas. And as of last week, defensive coordinator James Willis.
If the offensive line holds up, it's not hard to see the offense playing at a similar level. But the offense might need to improve to offset defensive regression. Hudspeth has recruited well, and there's depth because the second string returns mostly intact. But those seven above combined for 49.5 tackles for loss, 19 sacks, three interceptions, 12 pass break-ups, four forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. That's a lot to replace, especially while learning from a new DC.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Taboris Lee||DT||6'2, 277||So.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7585||9||14.5||2.0%||3.0||1.0||0||0||1||0|
|Marquis White||NT||6'5, 315||Sr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000||7||14.0||2.0%||1.5||1.5||0||2||0||0|
|Jacoby Briscoe||DE||6'3, 325||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8703||7||14.0||2.0%||2.5||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Chris Prater||DE||6'5, 246||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7333||7||9.5||1.3%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Rodrick Stephens||DL||6'0, 305||So.||2 stars (5.4)||N/A||5||5.0||0.7%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Remaine Douglas||DL||6'3, 287||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7544||5||4.0||0.6%||1.0||0.0||0||1||0||0|
|Darrien Batiste||DL||6'2, 244||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7000||2||1.5||0.2%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Mario Osborne||DE||6'4, 250||Fr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.8550|
7. Size is not an issue
Christian Ringo was remarkably disruptive, and replacing Hamilton will be a tall task. But at least we know the replacements will pass the eyeball test. The top six returning linemen have an average size of 6'3, 293, and that includes 246-pound Chris Prater and 6'0 Rodrick Stephens. Junior Jacoby Briscoe is both a former star recruit and an oak tree, and another star recruit, Mario Osborne, might have the size to make an early contribution.
So UL should be tough to push around up front. That's a consolation even if there's a drop in overall ability.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Dominique Tovell||WLB||6'2, 248||Sr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7333||13||54.5||7.6%||9.0||2.5||0||0||0||0|
|T.J. Worthy||SLB||6'2, 195||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8472||10||31.5||4.4%||0.0||0.0||1||3||0||0|
|Kevin Fouquier||MLB||6'4, 235||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7700||8||30.5||4.3%||1.0||1.0||0||0||0||0|
|Tre'maine Lightfoot||MLB||6'0, 232||Jr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7908||7||22.5||3.1%||1.5||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|T.J. Posey||MLB||6'0, 235||So.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8482||10||21.5||3.0%||2.5||0.0||0||1||0||0|
|Darzil Washington||BUCK||6'3, 215||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||9||19.0||2.7%||6.0||5.0||0||0||1||0|
|Tyren Alexander||SLB||6'0, 208||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.7800||7||9.5||1.3%||0.0||0.0||0||0||0||0|
|Otha Peters (Arkansas)||LB||6'2, 230||Jr.||4 stars (5.8)||0.9000|
8. Playmakers at linebacker
Seven Ragin' Cajuns finished with at least 4.5 tackles for loss, and only two return in 2015. But in leading returning tackler Dominique Tovell and pass-rush specialist Darzil Washington (combined: 15 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks), the new coordinator will have at least a couple of exciting pieces. Plus, three-star sophomore T.J. Posey could be ready for a larger role, and former four-star Arkansas signee Otha Peters joins the mix as well. There might -- might -- be enough to offset the losses up front.
Meanwhile, it's hard to read the secondary. That three of four starters are gone isn't a good thing, but five other players with experience -- including three former three-star recruits -- do return, and four of the five are either juniors or seniors. Three-star JUCO transfer Jeryl Brazil joins, as does three-star freshman Terik Miller. It seems like the depth might be pretty good, though Corey Trim (six TFLs, seven passes defensed) was a special playmaker to replace at cornerback.
|Rivals||247 Comp.||GP||Tackles||% of Team||TFL||Sacks||Int||PBU||FF||FR|
|Tracy Walker||SS||6'2, 180||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7000||12||39.0||5.4%||0||0||2||3||1||0|
|Travis Crawford||FS||5'11, 185||So.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7726||8||26.5||3.7%||1||0||0||2||1||0|
|Jevante Watson||CB||5'10, 175||Sr.||3 stars (5.6)||N/A||9||16.0||2.2%||0||0||1||3||0||0|
|Dominick Jones||CB||5'11, 174||Jr.||2 stars (5.2)||0.7700||5||12.5||1.7%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Troy McCollum||DB||6'0, 170||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8377||3||8.5||1.2%||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Simeon Thomas (2013)||CB||6'3, 180||Jr.||3 stars (5.5)||0.8385||3||8.0||1.2%||0||0||0||2||0||0|
|Zachary DeGrange||S||5'10, 193||Sr.||NR||N/A||4||4.5||0.6%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Reginald Miles, Jr||DB||5'8, 168||So.||NR||N/A||3||4.0||0.6%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Montrel Carter||DB||5'10, 195||Sr.||2 stars (5.4)||0.7667||13||1.5||0.2%||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Christian Goodlett||DB||5'11, 175||Jr.||2 stars (5.4)||N/A|
|Jeryl Brazil||CB||6'0, 180||Jr.||3 stars (5.6)||0.8591|
|Terik Miller||S||6'0, 220||Fr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.8324|
|Ethan Rose||DB||5'10, 180||Fr.||2 stars (5.3)||0.7985|
|Montrel Carter||KR||5'10, 195||Sr.||25||20.6||0|
|Torrey Pierce||KR||5'9, 170||Sr.||3||24.0||0|
|Elijah McGuire||PR||5'11, 198||Jr.||15||7.7||0|
|C.J. Bates||PR||6'1, 200||Jr.||2||0.0||0|
|Special Teams F/+||54|
|Field Goal Efficiency||27|
|Punt Return Efficiency||36|
|Kick Return Efficiency||89|
|Opponents' Field Goal Efficiency||34|
9. A Les move
As with potential line injuries, losses in special teams are a potential -- but not definite -- red flag. Hunter Stover was a strong kicker and kickoffs guy, and while the coverage unit let him down at times, Daniel Cadona was a solid punter. They're both gone, which could spell danger, but might not.
In a wonderfully Louisiana move, Hudpseth signed an Australian kicker, Steven Coutts, in this class. If he in any way lives up to the standard set by those brought in by Les Miles at LSU, then legs might not be a problem.
2015 Schedule & Projection Factors
|3-Oct||at Louisiana Tech||35|
|?||New Mexico State||124|
|?||at Appalachian State||104|
|?||at Arkansas State||66|
|?||at Georgia State||122|
|?||at South Alabama||89|
|Five-Year F/+ Rk||-13.7% (86)|
|2- and 5-Year Recruiting Rk||103 / 93|
|2014 TO Margin/Adj. TO Margin*||3 / 2.5|
|2014 TO Luck/Game||+0.2|
|Approx. Ret. Starters (Off. / Def.)||10 (6, 4)|
|2014 Second-order wins (difference)||8.6 (0.4)|
10. A minor drop-off, perhaps
I am less certain about UL-Lafayette. There are options at quarterback, but there's a high standard. Elijah McGuire's back, but he doesn't have a known, bruising partner in the backfield. The offensive line is just begging to get hit by injuries at some point. The defense must replace seven disruptive starters. And there will be a new kicker and punter. For a team that didn't grade out as well as I anticipated last year, this is all reason for concern.
Still, if anybody in the Sun Belt has the depth to compensate, it's Hudspeth's. For nearly every position to fill on the depth chart, the Cajuns have a choice between veteran backups and three-star youngsters. Throw three intriguing players at one vacancy, and the odds are good one will stick. Haack has all sorts of potential at quarterback. Size remains a strength. The linebacking corps overflows with athleticism. The defensive backfield might, too.
When a team has the same season for four years in a row, it's easy to assume a similar season will unfold in the fifth. But while the Cajuns will have a chance at another nine-win campaign -- the non-conference schedule lightens up, with Kentucky replacing Ole Miss and Akron replacing Boise State, and there's no Georgia Southern -- I'm going to assume the product regresses.
After ranking 83rd, 66th, 83rd, and 72nd in F/+ in Hudspeth's four seasons, respectively, maybe the Cajuns fall to the No. 85-90 range. Win at Appalachian State or Arkansas State, and the Sun Belt title might still be within reach, but the quality will suffer at least a bit.
Still, that's an impressive sustained level for a Sun Belt team, and if Hudspeth is still in Lafayette for a sixth year in 2016, he'll have a ridiculously experienced squad at his disposal.