For Sun Belt Conference teams, September whippings aren't a choice but an obligation. It's how a squad responds that shapes the rest of its season.
Take Troy, for example. Since opening the season with a 20-point loss at Arkansas and a 28-point setback at Florida, the Trojans have flattened everything in their path. First they flogged an Oklahoma State team that now has wins against Texas Tech, Kansas State and Nebraska. Troy then began punishing its Sun Belt brethren, winning four consecutive games by 17 points or more.
The defending league champions, led by reigning league Player of the Year Omar Haugabook, are surging toward a return trip to the New Orleans Bowl. They got their first-ever AP Poll vote last week and received three more this week.