The foundation of college football culture is constructed on small campus towns that swell to ten times their size on gamedays. Locations like Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Norman, Oklahoma attract most of the spotlight. But, more impressive are the dots on the map that are typically less hyped, but emit the same passion and pageantry as universities that are consistent gridiron thoroughbreds. Hattiesburg, Mississippi qualifies as one of these special campuses. Located one hour from both the Louisiana and Alabama borders, the University of Southern Mississippi is an underrated hot spot in college football that deserves more of that spotlight.


Game 315: FIU @ Southern Miss

Neither the Golden Eagles or the Panthers experienced the seasons they had imagined. Southern Miss lost three quarterbacks to injury, and in their most recent game, they rotated four quarterbacks that weren’t even listed at that position on the depth chart. Florida International entered this contest with one win and disgruntled head coach, Butch Davis, coaching in his final game while carrying accusations of a complacent and non-supportive athletic department. The game certainly did not garner national interest, but the passion was palpable as each team filed in to play their final battle of the season.

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Located in Mobile, South Alabama is one of the youngest college football programs in the FBS. Established in 2009, the Jaguars were tenants of Ladd-Peebles Stadium for its first ten years of existence. Now the proud residents of the sparkling new Hancock Whitney Stadium, South Alabama is rapidly establishing the gameday traditions that make college football so special.


Game 314: Coastal Carolina @ South Alabama

Coastal Carolina – the darlings of 2020. The Chanticleers launched their program to relevancy with an undefeated regular season and finish in the nation’s top 15. They emerged in 2021 as a favorite to win the Sun Belt and rode the 2020 wave deep into the season. Losses to Appalachian State and Georgia Southern upended their run, but a ten-win season was still on the line as they ventured into Mobile to face South Alabama. The Jaguars lay waiting, eager to upset the Chanticleers and become bowl eligible.

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Game 293: Marshall @ FAU

In the postgame press conference, Coach Lane Kiffin remarked that he would refrain from commenting on what he perceived as poor officiating in the game. You could tell he really wanted to. He did speak hyperbolically in mentioning that it took the refs ‘5 hours’ to discuss calls. He said he didn’t think he could get fined for that. In the end, his frustration with the loss robbed the best of him, and he tweeted a photo the next day of referees with blind canes and guide dogs. He was fined $5000.

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