The Sun Belt is Winning the ESPN Football Game
When presented with a national TV opportunity, as the Sun Belt has this year with an abundance of slots on ESPN, the pressure to entertain is a very real thing. After all, college programs are also television programs. Bad ratings will get you canceled quicker than the last season of ALF. Your choices are 1) amuse the masses, or 2) stagger through the Phantom Zone of ESPN Plus.
This stupid COVID season, the Sun Belt has delivered the goods, starting will national televised gridiron dramas against Kansas State, Kansas and Iowa State, and continuing with this week’s mid-season offering of in-conference donnybrooks.
Wednesday’s battle on ESPN2 between undefeated Coastal Carolina and #21 Louisiana lived up to its billing – two top tier Sun Belt teams throwing hands! The result? An excellent, well-played 30-27 football game won on a last-second field goal from the conference’s exciting up-and-comer, Chanticleers.
If you enjoy football, you should check out the last 12 minutes of Coastal Carolina vs. CAJUNS on ESPN. Just a really fun sports match going on here
— Alex Kirshner (@alex_kirshner) October 15, 2020
The next night, ESPN aired Arkansas State vs. Georgia State, a pair of programs that piles on points. Again, ESPN audiences were treated to a spectacle – a hootenanny of offense that pushed ESPN into the realm of delivering fake news.
— David Saltzman (@DavidSaltzman) October 16, 2020
Though not even the final score – 59-52 – was a Sun Belt record for highest scoring game, it was still some damn fine TV, culminating in a classic Blake Anderson trick play to seal the winning score for Arkansas State.
The point is, Sun Belt football is a brand whose stock is rising. While COVID-19 has disrupted our lives – with shockingly deadly consequences – the Sun Belt has made the most of an awful situation by providing quality content for a nation starving for quality content.
Except for ULM, that is. What the hell, Warhawks?
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.