Today a very exciting milestone occurred at the university I work at. In the early afternoon, the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Coaches Poll came out and revealed that the Coastal Carolina University football program had been voted the #1 team in the nation. Not only was this the first ever #1 ranking for the CCU football team, it marked the first ever #1 ranking for any team in the history of Chanticleer Athletics.
Immediately social media blew up. The tweet we sent out announcing the accomplishment received 147 retweets, earning the distinction as the most retweeted tweet in the history of our @CCUchanticleers account. Our other social media accounts posted big numbers as well. In no time our Facebook account generated 600 likes and 224 shares. The Instagram image created for the occasion garnered 286 likes, a new record. It was definitely a fun afternoon for #CCUSocialMedia.
Even though the response on social media was exuberant and powerful, the top spot ranking wasn’t a surprise. With back-to-back-to-back FCS champion North Dakota State suffering a rare defeat on Saturday, it paved the way for Coastal to grab the premiere spot. You might reason that NDSU deserved the respect of remaining #1 after 33 straight wins and three national championships but here is the thing: Coastal has cruised to a 10-0 record in impressive fashion this season. The team has obliterated opponents while doing most of its damage on the road. Playing only five home games this year, the Chants have already posted an undefeated 7-0 road record. The final two games on the schedule will take place in the friendly confines of Brooks Stadium.
Here is where the story turns a little personal. Coastal Carolina is the second school I have worked at where the football team has earned the #1 FCS ranking. When I worked at the University of Montana the Grizzlies owned the prestigious top spot for varying lengths of time during two different seasons that I worked there. I do wonder how many people can say that they have worked at two schools that reached the number one spot in the FCS during this young decade (2010-2019). While I feel more connected to the accomplishments of the football team at Montana simply because I worked in the athletic department, it is still a source of pride that my current university is now the top gridiron team in the FCS.
Big congrats to the student-athletes, the coaches, and the Chanticleer Athletics staff on this big accomplishment. The next two weeks the Chant football team will be playing for an undefeated season, the Big South crown, and a top playoff seed. I will get to watch it all play out from the sidelines. CINO! Don’t Blink.