A 17-15 victory over Marshall only solidified in the minds of Troy that the Trojans are on the verge of something big.
It's potential pay days instead of likely wins that dominate the Sun Belt's September schedule.
The Sun Belt took a step forward, as teams like Troy and Middle Tennesee scored impressive victories.
With Jamario Thomas and Patrick Cobbs back, North Texas will be almost impossible to stop next season.
The rest of the Sun Belt will not miss Idaho, New Mexico State or Utah State.
North Texas is the cream of the Sun Belt, having won 22 straight conference games.
North Texas freshman running back Jamario Thomas is the nation's leading rusher, with 166.2 yards a game.
The Vandals' turnaround might hinge on junior quarterback Michael Harrington, the younger brother of Detroit Lions QB Joey Harrington.
Wins against the MAC, Mountain West and Big 12 are all signs that the Sun Belt is improving.
Sun Belt teams have averaged 13.25 points a game in 16 games (15 losses) against BCS schools.
Last week was full of tears and hugs for the University of Idaho. It was a struggle to think about football.
Florida Atlantic isn't eligible to win the Sun Belt crown, but the Owls have a lot to say about who does.
Troy's confidence belies their status as Alabama's fourth football-playing university.