There are some marquee conference championships this weekend, including the SEC, Big 12, and Pac-12, but I’m bypassing those, and looking at the Sun Belt Championship game. With my One Bet, $100 I like Appalachian State, and giving away 6.5 points to Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Sun Belt Championship will be played in Boone, North Carolina, at Kidd Brewer Stadium, the home field of Appalachian State. That is just one of several advantages the Mountaineers have over the Ragin’ Cajuns.
One Bet, $100
This Week’s Pick Last Week’s Result Season Total
Appalachian State -6.5 Lost Oklahoma State 8-5, Up $250
This would be a nice way to cap the regular season for me. I got clobbered last week for doubting Oklahoma. I took the 13 points and Oklahoma State, yet the Sooners cruised to a 34-16 victory.
This week, though, there are enough intangibles in play to give me confidence in my bet.
One-Sided 2018 Sun Belt Championship Game
As improved as Louisiana-Lafayette has been under Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year, Billy Napier, there is one team that haven’t had much success against: Appalachian State.
In last year’s Sun Belt Championship game, the Ragin’ Cajuns were pounded 30-19. That came in the first week of December, just six weeks after the Mountaineers defeated Louisiana-Lafayette, 27-17 in the regular season.
If you are looking for a trend, this is a good one. Napier is 0-3 against the Mountaineers. He lost 17-7 on Oct. 9 at home. The team was an undefeated 5-0 against the spread up until this game. The Ragin’ Cajuns were laying 2.5 points, but ended up getting beaten outright.
Napier told reporters on Monday that the rematch on the road isn’t a disadvantage for his players.
“I don’t necessarily, you know, it’s not like we’re going to play at Lambeau Field here, we’ve been here and we know what we’re getting into,” Napier said. “It’s a terrific environment and I think we embrace that, it’s a great place to play football, I’ve played there as a player, certainly our players have been there twice last year, our veteran players. It’ll be a great venue.”
Losing Streak not the Only Distraction for Napier
Napier’s resume is impressive, and the former assistant coach for Alabama’s Nick Saban has garnered a lot of attention. The 40-year-old has been mentioned as a candidate for several college football coaching vacancies, including Arkansas and Florida State.
The school that apparently wants him badly is Ole Miss. The SEC school, which fired Matt Luke last Sunday, has reportedly centered its search around Napier.
With all the interest surrounding him, the question becomes, how effective can Napier be in the Sun Belt Championship if he’s distracted? Conversely, will he give the game his full attention to try and impress any future bosses?
We’ll have to watch and see.
Why Appalachian State will Cover
Appalachian State is the more talented football program, as they have proven it the last three matchups between these squads. There’s nothing I can see that will make this Sun Belt Championship any different from last year’s contest.
The Mountaineers have also won their last three games by 22 or more points. They appear to have both momentum and history on their side, and should easily cover the 6.5 points.