By Lenn Robbins
WHAT’S A CHANTICLEER? It’s a rooster. In the case of Coastal Carolina, one of six undefeated teams that have played more than four games, it’s a bad ass rooster. The No.9 Chanticleers (9-0) host No. 8 BYU (9-0) this evening (5:30 p.m., ESPNU) on the aqua blue turf of Brooks Stadium in Conway, South Carolina, a stone’s throw from the golfer’s paradise known as Hilton Head.
One-loss Liberty was originally on the schedule but the game got scrapped because of COVID concerns. It’s given us the most intriguing matchup of the season. Yes, the season.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that a pair of tickets to today’s Alabama-LSU will set you back $75.15. A pair for the Coastal Carolina-BYU game will bankrupt you to the tune of $1,314,35. That’s a lot of money to possibly contract COVID, but that’s another story.
This is Coastal’s fourth season as an FBS team. The university had been part of the South Carolina state system but decided to chase sports glory. The Chanticleers baseball team won the 2018 College World Series.
Not sure what the affection is for roosters in the Palmetto State but South Carolina has the Gamecocks and Coastal Carolina has the Chanticleers. This screams for a Rooster Bowl. Historical note: The Chanticleer was the Rutgers mascot before it was changed to Scarlet Knights.
BYU is the last school outside of the Power 5 schools to win the national championship, having done so in 1984 under the late, great LaVell Edwards. The Cougars went 13-0 and beat Michigan, 24-17, in the Holiday
The next time the NFL releases one if it’s self-serving promotions that it’s all about the fans, remind yourself of this week in pro football:
The NFL allowed the Broncos to play without a quarterback. They completed one pass. One. No, this wasn’t Army. This was an NFL team.
Did the Denver quarterbacks screw up by not being as diligent as they should have been when it comes to wearing masks? Absolutely. Should they have been fined and maybe lost a draft pick? Fine.
Instead they gave us the quarterback-less Broncos against the surging Saints, who for at least two weeks have continued to win without Drew Brees. The 31-3 final was written before kickoff. Awful.
Which only softened us up for Wednesday afternoon’s Steelers-Ravens game. As reader Ben Pinczewski wrote, “A new tradition, Wednesday Afternoon Football.” The game was so poorly played that when winning coach Mike Tomlin was asked why his offense struggled in a 19-14 win said, “Us sucking.”
Speaking of which. Jets coach Adam Gates admitted that he failed in the principle reason for which he was hired – to nurture Sam Darnold into a franchise quarterback.
“I came here to help him, help him develop his career, and we haven’t been able to do that,” said Gase. Two NFL coaches – Bill O’Brien and Matt Patricia – have been fired yet Jets ownership continues to disrespect its fans by sticking with Gase.
It has led to a season that is beyond embarrassment. It’s pathetic.
Gase has alienated players and been at odds with defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. It remains a mystery if Gase or offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains is calling plays. And now Gase has undermined any remaining support Darnold has on the team while also giving opposing defenses even more reason to lick their chops.
Jets fans, some of whom have become numb to their team’s dysfunction, are trying to assuage their despair with visions of Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence wearing the green and white next season. Although Lawrence appears to be the real deal, there’s never a guarantee that a college superstar will succeed in the NFL. See Jamarcus Russell, Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler.