An unbeaten record ... a national ranking ... a major challenge against a favored foe today.
Yes, the Charleston Southern University Buccaneers are on a remarkable roll.
OK, so Clemson and Newberry are also unbeaten and are nationally ranked college football teams from our state going into showdowns today and tonight. No. 3 Clemson will be at home in Death Valley for its collision with No. 5 Florida State, televised in prime time on ABC. Newberry, ranked No. 23 in Division II, will visit Lenoir-Rhyne.
However, the CSU Bucs, ranked No. 24 nationally in the Football Championship Subdivision, will go all the way to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to take on the Pac-12’s Colorado Buffaloes. That game wasn’t scheduled until late last month. After severe flooding in Boulder forced the cancellation of the Buffaloes’ Sept. 14 game against Fresno State, Colorado was looking to replace that home game with another one on its Oct. 19 open date.
Yet if Colorado was looking for an easy victory, it should have looked elsewhere: CSU is 7-0 in its first season with Jamey Chadwell as head coach.
That’s extraordinary for a program that was 0-11 in 2011 and 6-5 last season — and was never ranked before this season.
Four weeks ago, Coach Chadwell told Post and Courier sports columnist Gene Sapakoff: “From the first time I got here, all we tried to do was work on the chemistry — playing for each other and being positive. I felt like there was just a negative mentality, and I’m more of a positive guy.”
Certainly the on-field results have been positive. The Bucs, after falling behind 16-0 in the opener at The Citadel, rallied for a 32-29 victory over the Bulldogs. Four weeks later, CSU pulled out another road-warrior thriller, 27-24 at Appalachian State.
So hurrah for the Tigers and Wolves.
Go Gamecocks, too, and Bulldogs of both The Citadel and S.C. State variety.
But if you want to root for a Palmetto State team that could shock the college football world today, pull for those amazing Charleston Southern Bucs.