One of the best stories of the 2018 college football season keeps getting better.
In December of 2014, UAB announced that it would be disbanding its football program. Six months later, the university announced that the shuttered program would return to the playing field at some point; a month after that, it was announced that some point would be in 2017.
That season, the Blazers qualified for a bowl their first year back. This season, they did the postseason one better as, on the strength of a 26-23 win over Southern Miss in overtime Saturday night, UAB laid claim to the Conference USA West title and a spot in the league championship game Dec. 1.
Not only that, but, if UAB (7-0) beats Middle Tennessee State (6-1) in the regular-season finale, they will play host to the Conference USA title game that first day of December.
Regardless of where the game is played, the opponent will be either MTSU or Florida International (5-1). FIU holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over MTSU and has a pair of conference games remaining — at Charlotte, vs. Marshall. Both UAB and MTSU have one league game remaining.
The division-clinching matchup for UAB was personified by a trio of runs, with Southern Miss jumping out to a 13-0 lead… only to see UAB score 20 straight to grab a 20-13 lead… only to see the Golden Eagles score 10 in a row, including a field goal in overtime, to take a three-point lead. The Blazers’ first, and ultimately only drive of overtime ended with Spencer Brown‘s 17-yard touchdown run to give UAB its 26-23 win.
The Blazers have nine wins overall in 2018, breaking the school’s single-season record of eight set last season. In three seasons (2014, 2017-18) under Bill Clark, the Blazers have won 23 games; in the seven years (2007-13) prior to his arrival, the program won a combined 23 games.