What Are The Chances Now That UL Football Goes Bowling?
What are the chances that the Louisiana Ragin' Cajun football team wins on Saturday?
Louisiana closes out their regular season schedule in Boone, North Carolina against the Appalachian St. Mountaineers.
The Cajuns need a win to finish the season at 6-6 and become bowl eligible for the 6th time in the last 7 years, while Appalachian St. needs a win to garner a share of the regular season Sun Belt Conference title.
Look, I'm the guy that's been predicting UL to go to a bowl game all year.
After a 21-16 Louisiana win over Idaho in early October, I told you they would win six and go to a bowl.
In that prediction, I had every game picked correctly, following the Idaho game, until last Saturday.
The Cajuns, with an opportunity to secure bowl eligibility in their final home game, fell to Georgia Southern, a team who entered with only one win, 34-24.
Make no mistake; that was a tough loss to handle. To me, a complete kick in the gut.
Now they have the tough task of going on the road, to Boone, North Carolina, in December, to face a tough team.
I have to amend my prediction now.
My pick on Saturday, unfortunately, is Appalachian St.
That doesn't mean it's a guarantee.
I told you last week that a win over Georgia Southern wasn't a guarantee.
Truthfully though, I felt better about this game three weeks ago than I do now.
I have a ton of respect for Appalachian St. I mean, come on; they have only lost one conference game, and have been extremely successful over the past couple of years.
But I wasn't buying into them being this Super Team some had made them out to be. I never thought this would be an unwinnable game, and that looked like reasonable thinking nine weeks into the season. It wasn't like Appalachian St. was playing poorly, they just weren't playing great.
The Mountaineers, through 9 games, were 5-4, with a loss to ULM, and a couple of unimpressive victories, including a 23-20 win over Idaho.
Over the last two weeks however, Appalachian St. has played their best football, with a 27-6 win over Georgia Southern, followed by a convincing 31-10 win over Georgia St. last week.
They've all of a sudden become the team many thought they would be all year.
The Mountaineers have an outstanding quarterback in Taylor Lamb, who has thrown for 2,364 yards ad 23 touchdowns, while rushing for another 452 yards and 4 scores.
Running back Jaylin Moore may be the toughest guy for the Cajuns to stop, however. When healthy, Moore is as good as they come in the conference, as evidenced by his 239 rushing yards last week, against a solid Georgia St. defense.
Moore also racked up 241 yards against New Mexico St. earlier in the season.
So, do I like Louisiana's chances? Honestly, no. But I still think they have a chance.
Seriously, say what you want about the Cajuns over the last couple of seasons. They've been far from perfect. but you can't question their heart and desire.
Last season, after a 23-13 homecoming loss to Idaho, they were 3-5, and most had counted them out.
The Cajuns won thee of their last four, defeating Georgia Southern, Arkansas St., and ULM, to get to 6 wins.
This season, after a 56-50 double-overtime defeat to ULM, UL was 1-3, and again, many counted them out.
They went on to win three of their next four, before a loss to Ole Miss dropped them to 4-5.
The Cajuns rebounded however, with a nice 47-34 win over New Mexico St.
To show you I freely admit when I'm wrong; even though I picked Arkansas St. to defeat the Cajuns back in October, I did get caught up in the excitement and picked UL to beat ASU the week of their game.
That was not a good pick, as Arkansas St. won, 47-3.
Still, that's kind of my point; the Cajuns bounced back from that bad loss, winning two of their last three.
This is a resilient bunch.
Again, all due respect to the Mountaineers, as they are 6-1 in league play, and tied atop the conference standings, but they're not unbeatable.
Appalachian St. has won three of their five league games by 8 points or less, and have suffered defeats to ULM and UMass, two teams with losing records.
Again, my pick is Appalachian St., as they're playing their best football of the year. But don't make the mistake of counting out the Cajuns, like many have done over the past couple of years.