The Sunbelt Conference began league play on September 3, with South Alabama winning over Southern Miss. Throughout the next 15 weeks, teams shuffled schedules, dealt with quarantines, and did whatever they could to get in the season.

In the end, the Sunbelt was the only Group of Five Conference to play double digit games for all conference members, a notable achievement during a difficult and unpredictable pandemic.

Coastal Carolina was easily the surprise story of the season. The Chanticleers were picked in the preseason to finish last in the tough Sunbelt East by sports writers. Given the Chanticleers had not posted a winning record since moving to FBS in 2017 and were starting a redshirt freshman quarterback, it seemed like a logical bet.

It seems no one told the Chanticleers this as they completed the first undefeated regular season for a Sunbelt team. A win over #21 Louisiana in their fourth game of the year moved Coastal into the AP top 25 and they never looked back, rising all the way to number 9 in the final regular season rankings. Included in their eleven game streak was a thrilling win over Brigham Young, sealed by a stop on the 1 yard line on the final play of the game.

Louisiana, after losing on a last second FG to Coastal, for three weeks but re-entered after beating Arkansas State to move to 6-1 on the year. The Rajin’ Cajuns didn’t stop there and finished the year with the lone loss to Coastal as the only blemish on their schedule. The Cajuns didn’t get a chance at revenge in the Sunbelt Championship as the game was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues at Coastal.

App State missed their first Sunbelt conference championship game appearance, but posted another 9 win season after winning their bowl game. In doing this, they joined Alabama, Clemson, and Oklahoma as the only FBS member to win at least 9 games every year since 2015 (their first year in FBS).

The Sunbelt placed five teams in the abbreviated 2020 bowl season. Georgia Southern, Georgia State, App State, and Louisiana all won over CUSA foes. Coastal dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to Liberty when a FG attempt in overtime was blocked. In all, it was the Sunbelt’s best showing in history with two teams in the final top 25 and one just outside the final rankings.

2020 Sunbelt Final Standings
2020 Final Standings SBC
Division/TeamConferenceAll Games
EastWLPctPointsAgainstWLPctPointsAgainst
Coastal Carolina801.0003091451110.917446243
Appalachian State620.750256154930.750406240
Georgia State440.500245267640.600333317
Georgia Southern440.500201210850.615354270
Troy340.429199172560.455301283
WestWLPctPointsAgainstWLPctPointsAgainst
Louisiana710.8752841841010.909370242
South Alabama350.375153210470.364219300
Texas State260.2502253002100.167332458
Arkansas State260.250253314470.364362409
Louisiana Monroe070.0001433120100.000163420
2020 Sunbelt Conference Season Awards
PlayerTeamAward
Grayson McCallCoastal CarolinaPlayer of the Year
Jonathan AdamsArkansas StateOffensive Player of the Year
Tarron JacksonCoastal CarolinaDefensive Player of the Year
Grayson McCallCoastal CarolinaFreshman of the Year
D’Jordan StrongCoastal CarolinaNewcomer of the Year
Jamey ChadwellCoastal CarolinaCoach of the Year
2020 Sunbelt Conference Team Statistical Leaders
Click to Scroll. G5 Leader is highlighted in green.
StatisticTeamMetric
Team Scoring Offense and Defense
Points Scored Per Game-TotalCoastal Carolina37.2
Average Game Margin-TotalCoastal Carolina16.9
Points Scored Per Game-ConfCoastal Carolina38.6
Average Game Margin – ConfCoastal Carolina20.5
Passing Offense
Pass Attempts Per GameArkansas State42.1
Pass Completions Per GameTroy27.2
Completion PercentageCoastal Carolina66.6%
Passing Yards Per GameArkansas State364.4
Passing TDs Per GameArkansas State3.5
Rushing Offense
Rushing Attempts Per GameGeorgia Southern49.2
Rushing Yards Per GameGeorgia Southern267
Average Yards Per CarryApp State5.8
Rushing TDs Per GameCoastal Carolina2.5
Total Offense
Plays Per GameArkansas State77.2
Total Yards Per GameArkansas State489.7
Average Yards Per PlayCoastal Carolina6.7
Penalties
Penalties Per Game (Fewest)Coastal Carolina3.7
Penalty Yards Per Game (Fewest)Georgia Southern33.8
Offense Turnovers
Fumbles Per Game (Fewest)Texas State0.3
Interceptions Per Game (Fewest)Coastal Carolina0.4
Total Turnovers Per Game (Fewest)Coastal Carolina1.0
Team Scoring Defense
Points Allowed Per Game-TotalApp State20.1
Points Allowed Per Game-ConfCoastal Carolina18.1
Passing Defense
Completions Allowed Per GameLouisiana Monroe12.6
Passing Yards Allowed Per GameLouisiana170.6
Passing Completion % Per GameApp State47.9%
Passing TDs Allowed Per GameCoastal Car, Louisiana0.9
Rushing Defense
Rushing Yards Allowed Per GameGeorgia Southern112.2
Rushing Yards Per Carry AllowedGeorgia Southern3.5
Rushing TDs Allowed Per GameGeorgia Southern1.1
Total Defense
Yards Allowed Per GameGeorgia Southern325.7
Total Yards Allowed Per PlayLouisiana4.9
Turnovers
Interceptions Per Game (Most)Louisiana1.5
Fumbles Recovered Per Game (Most)Georgia State0.9
Total turnovers Forced Per GameGaSt, Coastal, Louisiana2.1
2020 Sunbelt Conference Individual Statistical Leaders
Click to scroll. G5 Leader is highlighted in green.
StatisticPlayerTeamMetric
Passing
CompletionsGunnar WatsonTroy211
Completion %Gunnar WatsonTroy70.1%
Passing YardsGrayson McCallCoastal Carolina2,488
Passing Yards Per AttLayne HatcherArkansas State10.6
Passing TDsGrayson McCallCoastal Carolina26
Passer EfficiencyGrayson McCallCoastal Carolina184.3
Rushing
Rushing AttemptsCamerun Peoples, Torrance MarableApp State, Coastal Carolina169
Rushing YardageCamerun PeoplesApp State1,126
Rush Yards Per AttCamerun PeoplesApp State6.7
Rushing TDsCamerun Peoples, Torrance MarableApp State, Coastal Carolina12
Receiving
ReceptionsJonathan Adams, JrArkansas State79
Receiving YardsJonathan Adams, JrArkansas State1,111
Yards Per ReceptionIsaiah LikelyCoastal Carolina20.0
Receiving TDsJonathan Adams, JrArkansas State12
Total Offense
Yards From ScrimmageCamerun PeoplesApp State1,140
Total YardsGrayson McCallCoastal Carolina3,057
Total Yards Per PlayGrayson McCallCoastal Carolina8.5
TouchdownsTorrance MarableCoastal Carolina19
TDs Responsible ForGrayson McCallCoastal Carolina33
Kicking
Extra Points MadeChandler StatonApp State51
Field Goals MadeAlex RaynorGeorgia Southern18
Field Goal PctMassimo BiscardiCoastal Carolina84.6%
Avg. Punt YardsDaniel SparksLouisiana Monroe44.6
Defense
Solo TacklesKeith GallmonSouth Alabama59
Total TacklesCarlton MartialTroy114
Tackles for LossJustin RiceArkansas State19
SacksJordan StrachanGeorgia State9.5
InterceptionsD’Jordan StrongCoastal Carolina5
Passes DefendedShemar Jean-CharlesApp State16
Fumbles ForcedJeffrey GunterCoastal Carolina6