We are closing in on Halloween and all four of our Division one football teams are still relevant.
Ten months ago, Gus Malzahn gave ASU fans something they were seeking since making the jump to Division One. He gave Red Wolf nation hope. He talked of a future that included bowl games, top 25 appearances and an ultimate goal of turning ASU into the next Boise St. That same day, Gus also talked about possible growing pains.
For the first seven weeks of Gus' first season, the Gus bus wasn't hitting on all cylinders. Ryan Aplin didn't look like the best player in the Sun Belt Conference, and Gus didn't look like the offensive mastermind who has given defensive coordinators all over the country fits. What went wrong ? You can probably start with a very young offensive line. In Ryan Aplin's defense, he's playing for his third offensive coordinator in three years. New coaches mean new systems. You also have to remember that Gus is still adjusting to his first season as a college head coach.
Tuesday night, Gus gave ASU fans something more than hope, he gave them a glimpse of what is possible. The offense, defense, and special teams each fired on all cylinders. Ryan Aplin ran this new offense to perfection and put up 50 points, the ball hawking defense stymied Louisana-Lafayette throughtout the game, and Brian Davis kicked five field goals as ASU crushed a Sun Belt rival. ASU is now 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the Sun Belt. They are still very relevant in the race for the Sun Belt title.
The goal for the Hogs is a winning season. They stand at 3 and 4 heading into their "must win" matchup Saturday with Ole Miss. Get wins over Ole Miss and Tulsa and the Hogs will be one upset away from something that didn't look possible following that shellacking in College Station, a bowl game. Their status may change sometime Saturday afternoon, but tonight they are still relevant.
Thanks to two heartstopping comeback wins, UCA is just a win away from playing for at least a share of a Southland Conference title. If the Bears win this week at Southeastern Louisiana, next Saturday will be championship Saturday in Conway. The Bears have been " Winning with Wynrick ". Junior Quarterback , Wynrick Smothers, has been nothing short of spectacular for UCA. They are very relevant.
This is also a good time to be a Golden Lion fan. UAPB opened some eyes around the SWAC when they beat Southern 50-21 in what was supposed to an old fashioned West division showdown. With four league games to go, Monte Coleman's lions lead their division by 2 games. If Coach Coleman has it his way, this will be the first of many seasons that UAPB contends for a SWAC title. Relevant ? Yes, Sir ...
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