Last week we recapped two of the smaller teams around the state of Alabama. The final team that plays at the FBS level hails from Mobile, Alabama. The South Alabama Jaguars, like Troy, call the Sun Belt home. It has been a rough two years for the Jaguars. South Alabama is trying to establish a new foundation under current head coach Steve Campbell. Year one under Campbell, the Jaguars finished 3-9. Year number two did not provide much improvement. As the Jaguars continue to rebuild, let us look at their 2019 season.
South Alabama Jaguars (2019 Recap)
South Alabama began the 2019 season with a road loss at Nebraska. After starting 0-1, the Jaguars rebounded with a 37-14 win over Jackson State. Following the week two victory, South Alabama would lose their next nine games. They lost to Memphis, Georgia Southern, Appalachian State, and Louisiana at home. While the Jaguars lost to Georgia Southern and Louisiana, the games were highly contested. During their losing streak, South Alabama lost to UAB, ULM, Troy, Texas State, and Georgia State on the road.
To reiterate, even with a road loss to Texas State, South Alabama could have won that game. The final game of the season was against conference opponent Arkansas State. South Alabama had one last chance to send their seniors out with a win. The Jaguars defended their home field with a 34-30 win. South Alabama concluded the 2019 season 2-10. Despite their record, if a couple of bounces went in their favor, the Jaguars could have been a bowl team this past year.
With the momentum of a final week win, South Alabama hopes the 2020 season will bring success to Mobile. The Jaguars have not been to a bowl game since 2016. In its program history, South Alabama has only been to two bowl games. They lost to Bowling Green in 2014 and Air Force in 2016. Furthermore, South Alabama has only been playing in the Sun Belt since 2012. They have accumulated six wins in three of their eight seasons.
The 2020 schedule begins with a road game against Southern Miss. The Jaguars then play Grambling State at home before heading to Gainesville to take on Florida. South Alabama wraps up the non-conference season with a home rematch against fellow Alabama team UAB. The Jaguars then play home conference games against Texas State, ULM, Troy, and Georgia State. The road conference schedule sees South Alabama traveling to Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Arkansas State, and Louisiana.
South Alabama Jaguars (2020 Outlook)
The 2020 season provides opportunities for South Alabama to continue to improve. While the non-conference schedule may only produce a 1-3 record, the conference slate could be where the Jaguars earn their stripes. Historically, Texas State and Coastal Carolina have not been good, which takes care of two wins. Additionally, with a win over ULM, that brings the win total to four. Therefore, the Jaguars need two wins over the rest of the season. Furthermore, if South Alabama can defend home field against Troy and Georgia State, that would give the Jaguars the coveted sixth win. However, if they lose a home game, the pressure is on to win on the road.
To predict the 2020 season, South Alabama finishes 6-6. Give the Jaguars wins over Grambling State, Texas State, Coastal Carolina, ULM, Troy, and Arkansas State. Moreover, South Alabama could beat both Georgia schools too, which would bring the record to 8-4. Anything is possible throughout the year. We see upsets happen all the time, and the Jaguars hope the 2020 season is full of upsets. Even though we have written out a prediction, some of those wins could result in losses and vice versa. Ultimately what does the 2020 season forecast for the South Alabama Jaguars? Check them out when the season begins in August to see how much improvement has been made.
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