Magic Weeks: The Sun Belt’s Most Scrumptious OOC Games
Like it or not, the first four weeks sets the tone for the Sun Belt season.
I’ve been thinking about Blair Underwood lately. He just pops in and out of my life, starting with his explosive stretch on L.A. Law and then – POOF! – a decade later he’s an astronaut in Deep Impact. A few years after Deep Impact premiered, I was browsing through a bookstore and discovered that Blair Underwood, twice nominated for a Golden Globe, is also a prolific romance novelist. One of his novels is titled In the Night of the Heat, I kid you not.
Yesterday, I spotted him at the gym, on an overhead TV, playing a politician in some movie VH1 was airing. Dude is 55 years old and, I got to tell you, he still brings Night of the Heat-level heat. How is Blair Underwood not the new Blade?
I’ll tell you why: after L.A. Law, Blair Underwood just evaporated. He didn’t learn karate. He didn’t produce an R&B album. He failed to make a buddy-cop movie. All he did was sit in front of his Brother word processor and crank out romance manuscripts.
Sun Belt Football, please do not be Blair Underwood in 2019. You must strike while the heat is hot. That means taking advantage of the Magic Four Weeks during which the nation pays us the most attention – the OOC weeks when Sun Belt teams are pitted against better financed rivals.
I pulled out a big win for every Sun Belt program. Sadly, it’s not enough anymore to give a P5 opponent or a flavor-of-the-month G5 “a good show.” These games must be won, in stunning fashion, so that we might see millionaire coaching staffs driven before us and hear the lamentations of Greg McElroy.
Texas State Bobcats at Texas A&M Aggies – August 29
The SEC loves them some Sun Belt. A recharged Bobcats could spoil the romance.
Georgia State Panthers at Tennessee Volunteers – August 31
The Vols were nearly Stone Cold stunned by Appalachian State a few years ago. Doubt if anyone in Knoxville learned the lesson while prepping for the Panthers.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (in New Orleans) – August 31
Cajun head coach Billy Napier is bringing a 2010 Hummer-full of swagger to the Super Dome. Mississippi State just bringing cow bells.
Coastal Carolina Chanticleers vs Kansas
Seems like every Sun Belt team in the universe is playing their FCS punching bag in Week 2. Not the Chants!
Southern Miss Golden Eagles vs Troy Trojans – September 14
Troy’s dustup with Missouri happens in Week 5, after Magic Weeks. Beating the Golden Eagles won’t be the nicest feather in Troy’s cap, but a loss would suck.
Georgia Southern Eagles at Minnesota Gophers – September 14
The only scenario I can imagine where this game gets scheduled is that both ADs happened to run into each other at the same O’Charley’s.
Arkansas State Red Wolves at Georgia Bulldogs – September 14
“Dog-on-dog violence” is probably not the best marketing take to go with here.
Memphis Tigers vs South Alabama Jaguars – September 14
Jags make it a habit to embarrass top-tier Group of Five teams.
Appalachian State Mountaineers at North Carolina Tar Heels – September 21
This criminally overlooked in-state rivalry that could cement the Mountaineers in the Top 25.
ULM Warhawks at Iowa State Cyclones – September 21
Warhawks have an entire bye-week to suck the wind out of the Clones.
A former notary public, Jeremy Harper is a professional writer and Chief Instigator for Storm the Castle Creative. He spends much of his free time staring blankly into space.