Sun Belt Could Not Ask for a Better Scenario
When outgoing Sun Belt Commissioner Karl Benson announced the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Football Championship, this is exactly what he foresaw.
With two weeks left in the regular season, nothing has been decided. And that has fans of the schools still in the hunt looking forward to what lies ahead of them.
It was recently announced the championship game would be televised by ESPN Saturday, Dec. 1 at 11:00 am (CST)...right after College Gameday.
The East Division has had the upper hand over the West this year, but when the two winners meet on December 1, none of it will matter. It will be one game for the championship at the home of the East champion.
And, the way the schedule has fallen, the final weekend of the regular season will decide it all, barring a major upset.
Troy (8-2, 6-0) eliminated Georgia Southern from championship contention with their 35-21 win in Statesboro on Saturday. They host 3-7 Texas State Saturday. Appalachian State (7-2, 6-1) is also at home, taking on a Georgia State team that has lost five straight. If the two teams take care of their business, they'll be on a collision course on November 24th in Boone, NC with the winner claiming the East. The game will kick off at 1:30.
There are three teams still in contention and two head to head games are still to be played. ULM (6-4, 4-2) is bowl eligible and boasts a one game lead over the other two contenders. But they still must play both. The Warhawks are at Arkansas State (6-4 3-3) this Saturday in what is a de facto elimination game. The only way ULM stays in contention with a loss would involve Arkansas State losing to Texas State on the final weekend. Should Arkansas State lose, they would be eliminated regardless. Game time at Centennial Bank Stadium is 2:00 Saturday.
Then there's Louisiana (5-5, 3-3). The Ragin' Cajuns still control their own destiny in the West. First things first. The Cajuns must beat South Alabama (2-8, 1-5) Saturday in their home finale at Cajun Field. (4:00 pm) Louisiana will be a double digit favorite in the game. A win would not only make the Cajuns bowl eligible, it would set them up to clinch the West the following weekend in Monroe. If ULM beats Arkansas State Saturday (they are a 9 1/2 point underdog in the early betting line), it becomes a winner-take-all game. (2:00, November 24).
Pardon the Commissioner if he has a big smile on his face right now. That grin will only get bigger on the final weekend.