The Sun Belt majestically emerges from COVID-19 like a Greek god from a giant seashell.

If we’re to be completely honest with ourselves, playing college football during a pandemic with which a highly contagious virus raged mostly unchecked was a completely reckless and irresponsible thing to do. And yet, it’s the best thing that’s happened to the Sun Belt, ever. This dopey season of COVID-19 ends with:

  • two SBC teams pegged in the Top 25
  • a newly anointed media darling in Coastal Carolina
  • a bevy of nationally recognized coaching names
  • a pile of wins over Privileged Five programs
  • a visit from ESPN College Gameday,
  • five bowl victories, and
  • one bowl loss that will likely be considered among the most entertaining post-season games of the year

No a bad season of work.

Suddenly, the Sun Belt is a hot commodity. We’re cheerfully rejecting SEC coaching gigs and gaining only slightly patronizing words-of-praise from national personalities. Even ULM is pitching in, luring Terry Bowden out of cryosleep to work his strange sorcery in Monroe. We’ve become 2010 Mountain West, but without a Boise State to boss us around. He doesn’t want a piece of Sun Belt Heat?

Red Wolves fans may be grumbling about missing out on many of the opportunities that the coronavirus afforded, but we’re the beneficiaries, my hairy friends. We managed to part ways with Blake Anderson in the most amicable way possible, and parlayed it into a celebrity splash hire that will stimulate all the right atoms in Jonesboro. We’re a member of the 2020 Big 12 Massacre Club. We’re the launching point for Jonathan Adams’ NFL career. A-State won four games in 2020, but the brand maintains its luster. How?

Because we’re SBC, baby. Stronger the CUSA. Better than the MAC. More relevant than the Mountain West. Less pompous than the American. And masters of the Big 12. We have Chris Vannini , Nicole Auerbach, and The Athletic singing our praises. The Sun Belt has never pulsed brighter. Sure, the fame will get to Georgia State’s head (of all people), but I can take a little ridiculous “we belong in the AAC!” talk if you can.

Bathe in the warm glow of Sun Belt Heat, citizens. We earned it.