Thursday Night Bites: Sun Belt and ACC football on tap
A full, uninterrupted week of glorious football continues with a Thursday night Sun Belt showdown and a cross-division ACC clash. We’re sure you have so many questions.
Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State
• What information do I, the discerning consumer, require in order to consume this game? The Warhawks and Red Wolves are scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. ET. in Jonesboro's Liberty Bank Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPNU and streamed on WatchESPN.
• What's at stake here? A WHOLE LOT. Arkansas State and Louisiana-Monroe currently top the Sun Belt standings, sharing a 4-1 conference record and 6-3 overall record with Middle Tennessee State, which has already lost to the Warhawks and plays the Red Wolves to close out the regular season. A-State leads the series, 19-14, and has an 11-5 record when playing ULM at home.
• Who gets hired away to a more high-profile head coaching position first, Todd Berry or Gus Malzahn? You spelled "Ron Prince" wrong.
No. 8 Florida State at Virginia Tech
• What information do I, the discerning consumer, require in order to consume this game? The Seminoles and Hokies are scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET. at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg. The game will be televised on ESPN and streamed on WatchESPN.
• What's at stake here? More for State than Tech, although Tech's needs are more dire, if that makes any sense. The 'Noles are tied with Clemson at 5-1 in conference play atop the Atlantic Division and own the head-to-head advantage over the Tigers. If FSU wins out, it's in the ACC championship game, and the only remaining league obstacles are these Hokies and Maryland. The Hokies, on the other hand, need to win two of their last three games to even become bowl-eligible. Tonight's odds obviously don't look great, but if they lose tonight and beat Boston College, only Virginia will stand between Tech and a postseason bid. (The Cavaliers, by the way, are 3-6 and would need to win all three of their remaining games to go bowling. Thanksgiving week in Blacksburg could be barn-burnier than usual this year.)
• What even is a Hokie? Virginia Tech has one of our favorite mascot origin stories of all time. A choice excerpt: "Fred Meade, a local resident chosen by the student body to serve as the school's mascot, had a large turkey pull him in a cart at a football game in 1913. The school's president halted the cart pulling after one game because he thought it was cruel to the turkey. Meade continued to parade his mascot, which he had trained to gobble on command, up and down the sidelines--and did so until another "turkey trainer" took over in 1924 to continue the tradition." • Where can I read more about tonight's impending football contest? Right this way.