– When I worked in the athletic department at the University of Montana, our football team played a college I had never heard of called Coastal Carolina University during the 2013 FCS Playoffs. I thought they were a team like many of the others that would play the Griz in an early postseason game and then fade into obscurity.
– As fate would have it, I started working for that college I had never heard of not too long after they eliminated the Grizzlies from the playoffs. As I started to watch the CCU football team make a name for itself on a normal grass field in the FCS, I didn’t really think they would compete beyond the level formerly known as Division I-AA.
– Working the press conference in which CCU announced it would make the jump to the FBS, I thought it would take several seasons to become respectable in the Sun Belt Conference.
– While observing the Chanticleers struggle on the “Surf Turf” during their first couple seasons as full-fledged FBS members, I thought I might have finally made a correct prediction about CCU football.
– Now back on the opposite side of the country, I watched as the CCU football team posted convincing victory after convincing victory on the ESPN networks. As Coastal’s undefeated record stayed intact as the weeks rolled by and the fanbase started to mention a certain college football pregame show on social media, I thought no way.
Yesterday, this happened…
Tonight I want to congratulate the Chanticleer football program for attracting the most prestigious sports pregame show to its campus while proving all the doubters (including myself) wrong. Most programs will never receive a visit from College Gameday—CCU is doing it in only its third season as a bowl eligible FBS school. Well done to the student-athletes and coaches…truly amazing work.
I also want to congratulate Coastal Carolina University in general. Unfortunately, the institution has experienced some tough times as of late but the success story of the football team is a boost that CCU needs and deserves. It couldn’t have happened at a better time. I know my former colleagues are loving this ride right now!
It will be exciting to see College Gameday set up shop on the campus I spent almost six years on. I look forward to the broadcast and to seeing social media posts from my CCU friends. Just like with its College World Series victory in 2016, I know #TEALnation will savor this moment in the national spotlight. Don’t Blink.