Entropic No More: Sun Belt Lessons from Week 10

NEW ORLEANS - JULY 26: Photos of th 2022 Sun Belt Conference Football Media Days at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel on July 26, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Suddenly, one can step back and see the SBC Championship picture in its entirety

Half of Coastal Carolina’s victories have been decided by a single score. The majority were not decided until the fourth quarter. Somehow, the 8-1 Chanticleers have managed to juggle an insane number of chainsaws without losing too many limbs, and Jamey Chadwell’s Mullet Mates have all but sealed the 2022 SBC East.

Thursday night’s victory over Appalachian State was a perfect diorama representing the Chant’s season, with Grayson McCall pushing his team to an early (but seemingly not insurmountable) lead, followed by the defense slowly squeezing the life out of the opposition.

The Chanticleer’s “rope-a-dope” style of play may not have been especially convincing, considering how so many outside of Conway believed that Coastal Carolina had lost too much to ultimately win the SBC East. However, there is no questioning the results. Barring an epic Coastal collapse to Southern Miss and James Madison (the latter played on the road), the Chanticleers are your Sun Belt East Champs.

SBC WestConf RecordSBC EastConf Record
South Bama4-1Georgia State3-2
Southern Miss3-2JMU3-2
ULM2-3Georgia Southern2-3
Texas St.1-4Appalachian St2-3
Arkansas St1-5Old Dominion2-3

Troy and South Alabama Proved They Have Championship Chops

It didn’t look good for either the Trojans or the Jaguars, both down at halftime with Troy held scoreless by Louisiana and South Alabama’s vaunted defense allowing 21 first quarter points to Georgia Southern. Rather than fold like a camp chair (as South Alabama was known to do last season), both programs readjusted in the second half, with the Jags outscoring the Eagles 21-7 in the second half, and the Trojans outscoring the Cajuns 23-7 (officially bounding the Cajuns from Western contention). With neither team backing down, the Sun Belt West is set to deliver the conference’s most fascinating finish.

Georgia State is Late to the Party as Usual

After opening the season by losing four straight games, the Panthers have won four of five after absolutely pounding pseudo-contender Southern Miss 42-14 and retaining a sliver of relevance in the mostly decided Sun Belt East. Lament the usual slow start by the Panthers all you’d like – Shawn Elliot’s squad finds themselves in bowl contention and in better shape than Appalachian State and Georgia Southern, which isn’t a conference title but is a fine consolation prize.

Texas State Is Staring Blankly Into Space

The scores for the Bobcats’ last three games, all losses: 17-14, 20-14, 31-30. Texas State opened the game against ULM by scoring three consecutive touchdowns, then watched the Warhawks methodically chip away at the Bobcats defense before Texas State missed a a 36-yard game winning field goal to ice the contest. Coach Jake Spavital coaches upon the thinnest ice in the Sun Belt, and he won’t be the only coach released for failing to close escrow on close games.

Curt Cignetti Continues to Keep It Real Even in Defeat

Since defeating Arkansas State and entering the AP Top 25, James Madison has dropped three straight, including Saturday night’s disappointing game with Louisville. Dukes head coach Curt Cignetti, who gives zero fucks, delivered some perspective after the game (courtesy of Noah Fleischman):