Two teams decided at the last minute to play this week when the No. 8 BYU Cougars agreed to go to Conway, South Carolina and take on No. 14 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, and it paid off for the underdog home team, as a 22-17 victory for the Chants puts them clearly in the conversation for a New Years’ Six bowl.
Coastal entered as 10.5 point underdogs at DraftKings Sportsbook, but combine this with their 30-27 win over No. 25 Louisiana earlier this season, and the Cincinnati Bearcats might need to start to worry about their spot as the Group of Five representative in the NY6. From the non-contract conferences, only one conference champion is guaranteed a spot in the biggest possible bowl games, and now you can argue the best two wins belong to the Sun Belt Group B Champions.
On the last play of the game, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson threw a strike over the middle to wide receiver Dax Milne, but he was tackled a yard short of the end zone to start the celebration in Brooks Stadium.
Coastal will need to beat Louisiana once again in the Sun Belt Championship Game to even be eligible for the consideration of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee, but if they do they’ll have three ranked wins during the 2020 college football season. And Cincinnati will have just one if they can beat No. 22 Tulsa next weekend in their last regular season matchup.
The Golden Hurricane will also be their opponent in the American Conference Championship Game on December 19th, so it’s likely UC will need to now win both games to have a chance to play on New Year’s Day.
But the laurels today go to the Chanticleers, who took a chance and have put themselves in the conversation for the highest echelons of the college football postseason, as well as the financial windfall that goes with it.