WEEK 13 CONFERENCE NOTES
– The Sun Belt West Division champion and host of the Sun Belt Football Championship Game will be determined during the final weekend of the regular season.
No. 23/23 Coastal Carolina has won the Sun Belt East Division title while Troy and South Alabama continue to contend for the West Division crown. All three teams continue to compete to host the Sun Belt Football Championship.
Four other teams — App State, Georgia Southern, Louisiana and Southern Miss — will attempt to qualify for the Bowl in Week 13.
The three teams battling for the Sun Belt Football Championship – Coastal Carolina, South Alabama and Troy – are tied 26-4 in non-head-to-head matches. Two of those losses go to teams currently ranked in the CFP top 20 – No. 20 Ole Miss def. Troy, 28-10 on Sept. 3 and No. 18 UCLA defeated South Alabama, 32-31 on Sept. 17 — and one came in at the last second for 53 yards Ave Mary — App State surpassed Troy, 32-28 on Sept. 17.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
- COMES TO CONWAY — #23/23 Coastal Carolina visits James Madison at 11am CT on Saturday, November 26th on ESPNU. Having already won the Sun Belt East Division title and a berth in the Sun Belt Football Championship, the Chanticleers will be playing for the right to host the competition at Brooks Stadium in Conway. Coastal Carolina is 1 of 7 undefeated or losing teams remaining in the country heading into the final weekend of the regular season. The Chanticleers’ 31-4 record since the start of the 2020 season is behind only Alabama (35-4) and Georgia (33-3). After a second-half rally against Georgia State, James Madison will look to defend his home field, where he owns a 4-1 mark this year. The Dukes and Chanticleers split the previous two encounters, with the home team proving victorious in each case.
- HOW THE WEST WAS WON – The two-team race for the Sun Belt West Division title takes place on the final weekend of the regular season. South Alabama is hosting Old Dominion on Saturday, November 26 at 11 a.m. on ESPN+. The Jaguars need a win – and a loss to Troy – to represent the West Division at the Sun Belt Football Championship. Troy has his own destiny in his hands to advance to the championship game thanks to his 10-6 win in South Alabama on October 20th. If the Trojans are victorious Saturday, November 26 at 2:30 p.m. on ESPNU, Arkansas State, they will capture the West Division crown. Old Dominion (3-8, 2-5 SBC) and Arkansas State (3-8, 1-6 SBC) sit at the bottom of their respective divisions and enter the final week of the regular season. South Alabama and Troy continue to compete for the Sun Belt Football Championship.
- ON THE LINE – Georgia State intends to send off six-year senior offensive linemen Pat Bartlett and Malik Sumter — who have played 117 games and 105 starts combined — with a win in their first-ever trip to Marshall at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 26 on ESPN+ . Bartlett will set the Panthers’ career record for games played (61), while Sumter will set the program’s all-time high for consecutive games started (53) in the competition. Marshall, who became the fourth Sun Belt team to earn bowl eligibility a week ago, will be looking to continue their three-game winning streak.
- BOILED BOWL? – Visiting West Division opponents Saturday, November 26 at 4 p.m. on ESPN+ gives Southern Miss and Louisiana a chance to earn bowl eligibility with road wins. The Golden Eagles visit ULM while the Ragin’ Cajuns travel to the state of Texas. Southern Miss’ matchup with the Warhawks will be the first clash between the programs as Sun Belt Conference opponents, despite the Golden Eagles having a 4-2 all-time series advantage. The competition will feature two of the few selected head coaches in the country who still wear ties on the sidelines. Louisiana has never lost to Texas State in nine previous encounters — none being decided by less than 10 points.
- PLAY-IN GAME – The winner of the App State at Georgia Southern game at 5 p.m. Saturday, November 26 on ESPN+ will decide bowl eligibility. A bowl finish would be the eighth straight finish for the Mountaineers and fourth in five years for the Eagles. The Mountaineers lead the all-time series 21-15-1 and have won eight of the last eleven contests in the Deeper Than Hate rivalry. Also at stake is App State’s longest streak of seasons in the nation with a conference record of .500 or more. The Mountaineers’ streak goes back 37 seasons (8 Sun Belt, 29 SoCon) — 14 more than their nearest rivals in Boise State, Clemson and Oklahoma at 23 straight.
WHERE TO SEE
All times CT