Basically the entire Sun Belt East (no really)
Georgia State at Old Dominion, 1:00 PM CT on ESPN+
James Madison at Coastal Carolina, 2:30 PM CT on ESPN2
Georgia Southern at App State, 2:30 PM CT on ESPNU
We might as well dive all the way in for rivalry weekend and acknowledge all the games of intrigue. And going into the final week of the regular season, we still have three teams that can win the Sun Belt East division. Right now the standings are as such…
App State 5-2
If you’ve kept up with the national news in the sport (or if you’ve read this series throughout the season), then you know that JMU is ineligible for postseason play, including conference championship game appearances, due to archaic NCAA rules for programs making an upward transition. The Dukes are in their second season since making the move up from the FCS ranks, and despite an appeal of the NCAA ruling and extremely vocal support from the nation, their season will end Saturday.
That leaves App, Coastal, and ODU. Coastal beat App earlier this year, so if they beat JMU, they’ll play for the title. But JMU has far and away been the league’s best team this season, and beating them will be a tall task for the Chanticleers. If Coastal loses to JMU, which seems likely, and App can take down their biggest rivals in Georgia Southern, the Mountaineers will reach the title game in a season where HC Shawn Clark was on the hotseat. But thanks to league tiebreakers, if both App and Coastal lose while Old Dominion wins, the Monarchs end up representing the division in the championship.
That’s quite a divisional race. It’s not nearly as intriguing in the Sun Belt West, as Troy has already locked up that side of the league. But we’ll have three games taking place simultaneously to determine a division in one of the best and most exciting G5 conferences. Give the Fun Belt some love Saturday afternoon.