Category: South Alabama Jaguars

Deon Anthony, Romelle Jones

Troy and South Alabama introduce rivalry belt

1 Comment

Here’s something that needs addressing in both the upcoming Republican and Democratic debates: the growing epidemic of rivalry trophies in college football.

Despite playing almost annually since 1929, Baylor and Texas Tech just now created a trophy.

Bob Diaco created a trophy game out of thin air, and it’s hard to be too mad at him because Jim Delany has done the same thing for years.

If every game is sacred, then no game is sacred. Doesn’t anyone understand this?

While both sides of the aisle enthusiastically agree the rivalry industry desperately needs governmental oversight, we can equally agree the new rivalry belt created for the Troy-South Alabama series is great.

They’re both Sun Belt programs in southern Alabama, so the rivalry checks out on both fronts there. And they’ve met only three times previously, not until 2012, so we don’t have a Texas Tech-Baylor situation on our hands, either.

Add in the unique trophy item, and this is a trophy that receives a seal of approval from both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump alike.

South Alabama and Troy usher in new trophy game in Battle for the Belt

O'Reilly Challenge
Leave a comment

A new title belt will be on the line this week when South Alabama and Troy battle for a championship-style belt this Saturday. The trophy is fitting considering South Alabama and Troy each play in the Sun Belt Conference.

“In the hearts of students, Troy has always been our biggest rival.  The ‘Battle for the Belt’ is the culmination of those passions,” said South Alabama Student Government Association President Ravi Rajendra.  “The introduction of the trophy to the rivalry will offer a new way for Jag Nation to connect with our football program. The concept behind the Belt stemmed from our student body and was accompanied by insight from our football team; the football team really liked the concept of a wrestling belt, and the Belt also plays off of the Sun Belt Conference of which both Troy and USA are members.”

At l;east this rivalry trophy was mutually agreed to by both sides, unlike UConn’s made-up rivalry with UCF.

“The reason behind this upcoming week is not to tear two group’s leaders apart, but to solidify our separate yet unified University spirits and drive towards excellence,” added Heath Barton, President of the Troy Student Government Association.  “We encourage everyone at these two schools who have launched some of Alabama’s greatest individuals to enjoy coming together, as one, to partake in one of the state’s greatest rivalries.”

Troy leads the all-time series 2-1, and South Alabama won last year’s meeting. Saturday will mark the Sun Belt opener for each school.

There is no word on whether UAB will crash the game with the Money in the Bank suitcase, but it sure would be fun to see.

Early-week car wreck likely to sideline Aztec starting LB Jake Fely

San Diego State v Washington
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Myriad on-field injuries led to Jake Fely getting a sixth season of eligibility from the NCAA in July of last year.  Now, it’s an off-field incident that will cost him some playing time this year.

Earlier this week, the San Diego State linebacker rear-ended a vehicle that stopped suddenly in front of him.  The San Diego Union-Tribune writes that “[a]lthough the air bag in Fely’s car deployed, the senior hit his head on the windshield.”

Fely was subsequently diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms, which will, in all likelihood, prevent the senior from playing this Saturday against South Alabama. The fact that Penn State is on tap the following week, followed by the Mountain West opener against Fresno State the next, could allow SDSU to err on the side of caution when it comes to Fely’s availability this weekend.

Austin Wyatt-Thayer, a JUCO transfer, is listed behind Fely on the most recent depth chart.

In 2010, Fely suffered a lacerated liver that cost him all but three games of his true freshman season but led him to his first medical hardship waiver.  In the fourth game of the 2013 season, Fely suffered a broken foot that cost him the remainder of that year and led to the sixth season of eligibility.

In between the injuries, Fely has started 32 games during his time with the Aztecs.

Sun Belt confirms Coastal Carolina’s addition in 2017


Yesterday’s report has officially become today’s come-to-fruition news.

In a press release, the Sun Belt announced that Coastal Carolina has accepted an invitation to join the conference.  The Chanticleers will join the league for football in 2017, while they move all of their other varsity sports in a year earlier for the 2016-17 season.

Currently playing at the FCS level, CCU will begin a transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision with its first year of full FBS status coming in 2018. While they will be eligible to compete for an SBC title in 2017, they won’t be eligible for a bowl game until 2018.

“On behalf of all of us at Coastal Carolina University, I’m honored to accept the invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference,” CCU president David A. DeCenzo said in a statement. “I am grateful to Sun Belt Commissioner, Mr. Karl Benson, for his steadfast support of CCU, and to the Sun Belt presidents and chancellors, who honored CCU by selecting their 12th member school.”

The official addition of CCU will give the SBC 12 members beginning in 2017, triggering a conference championship game. The conference will be split geographically into two divisions.

Further, the addition makes for a natural geographic split between East and West to allow for certain sports to compete in a divisional format. The six members that are located in the eastern half of the Sun Belt are: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, South Alabama, and Troy. The six members in the western half are: Arkansas State, Little Rock, UL Lafayette, UL Monroe, UT Arlington, and Texas State. Idaho and New Mexico State compete in the Sun Belt Conference as football only members. CCU’s location makes for a natural geographical fit to the Sun Belt as it borders both North Carolina, home of Appalachian State, and Georgia, home to both Georgia State and Georgia Southern.

“This is a great day for the Sun Belt Conference as we are very proud to have Coastal Carolina University join our membership,” the commissioner said in his statement. “The Sun Belt is a growing conference with a bright future and Coastal Carolina makes a perfect fit as it too has seen a tremendous amount of growth and has all the tools necessary to move forward at the highest level of collegiate athletics. Under the leadership of President David A. DeCenzo and Athletics Director Matt Hogue, I expect the Chanticleers to be competitive in all Sun Belt sports and to represent the conference in a first-class manner on and off the field.”

(Graphic credit: Sun Belt Conference)

Reports: Coastal Carolina to join Sun Belt in 2017


The Great Wheel of Conference Realignment may have just taken its last spin. For now.

According to a report from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and USA Today‘s Dan Wolken, Coastal Carolina is set to join the Sun Belt as the league’s 12th and final member. The Chanticleers were finalists alongside Eastern Kentucky for the conference’s last remaining spot.


Eastern Kentucky is said to be further along than Coastal Carolina in terms of department-wide infrastructure, but the Myrtle Beach, S.C., school has two things the Colonels do not that are paramount in this particular game of thrones: recent football success and access to large sums of money, and not necessarily in that order. Coastal has both of those things thanks to Joe Moglia, the billionaire former banking executive that is now the Chanticleers’ head football coach; Moglia is 32-10 in three seasons as Coastal Carolina’s head coach, leading the club to the FCS quarterfinals in each of the past two seasons.

Coastal Carolina’s addition would allow the Sun Belt to split into two divisions and stage a football championship game. (Nevermind the fact that the NCAA will likely deregulate championship games before Coastal’s arrival.) Coastal Carolina would figure to fit into an East division alongside Appalachian State, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Troy and South Alabama. Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State, Texas State, New Mexico State and Idaho figure to form a West division.

A formal announcement is expected Tuesday, where the school could stadium upgrades necessary for FBS admittance. Brooks Stadium holds 9,214; FBS teams are required to average at least 15,000 paid attendance over a rolling two-year period.