You know you remember it. It was September 12, 2020. Louisiana made nationally ranked Iowa State look silly. Kansas State was a 13 point favorite at home, and the Red Wolves told the Wildcats to go eat Kibble. The final hatchet blow: Coastal Carolina leveled Kansas to signal the end of Les Miles. Sun Belt 3, Big XII 0.

What the NIL means for student athletes is that they can earn money on their talent and fame. (Fine by me.) What the NIL means for the state’s media is that it can crown any student a King Money Maker of its choosing. (Not fine by me). With most of Arkansas’ media in the pocket of [NWA SCHOOL], it’s hard to see how this doesn’t create another unfair advantage for an athletic program already given all the advantages.

In essence, we’ve exchanged proven commodities for assets with tantalizing promise. The entertainment value associated with “tantalizing promise” is the elixir of season ticket pitches and offseason content like this. But tantalizing promise is also the mana of transforming a good football team into something special. Thus far, new Red Wolves head football coach Butch Jones has sipped deeply from this chalice.

Remember what the great George Costanza tells us: It’s not a lie if you believe it. Everybody thinks Rowdy Roddy Piper was a great wrestler, but have you ever seen him win a wrestling match? Nope. Moxie was his greatness, and it can be the Sun Belt’s too.

For any reason you’d like to select, NFL Drafting isn’t a top skill in the Sun Belt toolbox – not historically, nor will it likely improve in 2021. In fact, I was a bit surprised to see how few viable Sun Belt draft prospects are in this class, given how well the conference performed on the gridiron. For health reasons, my expectations are reasonably lowered.