After years of the Sun Belt not being any time to shine, ESPN College GameDay is making its first ever pilgrimage to a Sun Belt campus.
It only took an NCAA baseball champion to get ESPN College GameDay to visit a Sun Belt campus.
This Saturday, the universally loved and over-produced college football carnival sets up tents at Coastal Carolina, where the undefeated Chanticleers take on Lib…uh, the BYU Cougars, who are also undefeated and monolithed* into the schedule thanks to COVID-19. As one columnist observed, this is the ULTIMATE 2020 college football game.
Perhaps to the chagrin of Troy, Appalachian State and Louisiana – all recent AP Top 25 Sun Belt Programs – #16 Coastal Carolina receives the blessing of the world’s leading sports network, bringing its upstart brand of suddenly very good football to a global audience. While that may make many in the Sun Belt orbit burn with teeth-gritting envy, the value Coastal is bringing to the conference is pure bitcoin.
The Sun Belt needs this juice, and the timing couldn’t be better. After all, once the mighty College Football Playoff Committee weighs in, anybody not in the Top 6 may as well spend their time polishing their Tinder profiles. On Saturday, College GameDay won’t be in Tuscaloosa or Clemson or Columbus – it’sConway, baby. You want an in-depth analysis of Ohio State’s scheduling situation? TOO BAD, YOU GOT COASTAL. Looking for a status report on Nick Saban’s health? PROGNOSIS UNKNOWN, SUCKER, YOU GOT COASTAL. How about a look at whatever Oregon is wearing? EAT IT! YOU GOT COASTAL!
Fortunately for America, Coastal Carolina plays an entertaining brand of football, well rounded on all facets of the game. By Sunday, freshman sensation quarterback Grayson McCall is going to be a household name. On the opposing sideline, BYU has already murdered Troy and Texas State, so the Chants have an obligation to avenge the Sun Belt. Chances of this game being a dud is small, giving Game Day incentive to visit the Sun Belt again.
Who’s going to win? Who knows? The Cougars are big and fast. But they haven’t played a team like Coastal Carolina, a school with a recent national championship and beach access. I give the edge to the Chants.
* To “monolith” is to appear suddenly and mysteriously
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.