BOONE, NC (KATC) – Saturday will be a historic afternoon for the Sun Belt conference.
Louisiana and Appalachian State will play in the conference’s inaugural Sun Belt Championship Saturday. The Mountaineers are a 17-point favorite and have never lost to Louisiana going 5-0. App State beat Louisiana 27-17 in October. Even the Cajuns’ coach Billy Napier was on the wrong side of history in Boone during his playing days.
But Saturday’s game is much more than about who goes to the New Orleans and Cure Bowls. (For the record the winner goes to New Orleans, the loser goes to Orlando.) Saturday’s game will be played in front of a nationally televised audience following college football’s most popular pregame show. That’s a big deal.
The 11:00 a.m. CST kickoff puts the Cajuns in the first college football slot of the day. While the Oklahoma and Texas game played on ABC will draw the bigger audience, it doesn’t have the better lead-in. Lead-ins mean a lot in television ratings. Saturday’s game could be the most watched Ragin’ Cajuns game in years. It’ll certainly be the most watched game non-bowl game. The game presents itself an opportunity for the Cajuns to recruit players and fans.
“People are going to be watching (College) Gameday and its going to roll right over. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, the cULture (#cULture is a brand of Ragin’ Cajuns football) and UL, everything we’re about. There will be millions watching and I think it’s a tremendous opportunity for everyone involved.”
Ten conference championships will be played Saturday. Few have the slot the Sun Belt has and it’s an opportunity for the conference to grow a brand. It’s important for the Sun Belt to show a top-notched product.