The Sun Belt Opens The Season With An Opportunity It Can’t Possibly Screw Up (Right?)
Never overestimate the Sun Belt’s capacity for calamity
As I write this, the student news paper for the University of North Carolina has already declared the semester “a clusterfuck.” Meanwhile, Notre Dame is reporting a big spike in COVID-19 cases. The MAC canceled its fall season, and the Big 10 and Mountain West followed suit.
Yet, some college football conferences are heroically plowing forward. Among them, although from opposite ends of the FBS spectrum: the SEC and the Sun Belt. Why? America needs football, damnit! Who cares that Major League Baseball can’t field a weekend of games without creating a pandemic hotspot? Or that the NBA has only maintained its health by sealing itself inside the World’s Happiest Bubble? The Sun Belt and the SEC may be divided by
tens hundreds of millions of dollars, but they are united by life’s universally accepted coin – hardheadedness .
Whether it is wise to host a football season in this “time of uncertainly” is up for debate. However, what’s absolutely clear is that the Sun Belt has an opportunity.
By the time the SEC plays its first game (of an incestuous 10-game schedule), the Sun Belt will already be 3-weeks deep into its own schedule. The Sun Belt will have applied its molten heat on the likes of Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Memphis among others. That’s three weeks of owning the South with exclusive college football content. While SEC pundits are spitting out boring practice reports and cranky Saban quotes, the Sun Belt will be playing ACTUAL GAMES.
How does the Sun Belt handle this plum situation? The right answer is BALLSY, of course. But knowing the Sun Belt, and not knowing much about Sun Belt Commissioner Keith Gill (despite being on the job for more than a year and a half), the response will be prudent and cautious, and that’s just lame.
The Sun Belt should be negotiating a phat package with ESPN right now. Commissioner Gill must ride a white steed right up to College Gameday’s throne and demand they visit some place ridiculous, like Monroe. The SEC “Just Matters More?” For three weeks, they won’t even matter at all!
By the time the SEC gets out of bed on September 26, the AP Top 25 will be stacked with laser hot Sun Belt (and whoever else manages to survive)! After all, how can you possibly rank a winless team three weeks in the season? You can’t, right?
We have three weeks, Sun Belt. Let’s make the most of them.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post implied that the SEC was playing an 8-game schedule, and not a 10-game schedule. We regret this error so, so, so much!
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.