It should be an interesting Saturday in the world of sports.
# 10 Hope College plays # 3 Calvin University in the championship game of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The winner gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national tournament, which starts next weekend.
#2 Louisiana State plays #3 Alabama in college football. Donald Trump will be in Tuscaloosa for the game.
In the Big Ten, I am intrigued by the matchup between two undefeated teams as #4 Penn States goes to #17 Minnesota. I want to see if Minnesota is for real.
Finally, it will be a very interesting match-up between two very religious Division I college football teams when Liberty heads to Provo to play BYU. BYU is 4-4, but they are a dangerous and unpredictable team. They lost to Toledo, but beat Southern California and Boise State. Liberty has been beating-up on a lot of bad teams, but they lost to Charleston Southern, Syracuse, Rutgers, and Louisiana-Lafayette.
As we have noted here on several occasions, Liberty wants to be a school that takes its religious identity seriously and still maintains a strong football power. They aspire to be the an evangelical BYU (Mormon) or Notre Dame (Catholic).
Over at the KSL Sports blog, Mitch Harper explores this game from a religious perspective. Here is taste:
Saturday’s game in Provo might be one of the rare times BYU lines up against a program that has as strict of an honor code as the Cougars. Just a decade ago, Liberty required it’s students as part of their honor code to wear polos and slacks.
Students at both BYU and Liberty are prohibited from premarital sex, alcohol, and tobacco usage. So it makes for a unique matchup in terms of the backgrounds for both schools.
“I think there’s a lot of similarities. I know that they have an honor code as well. It’s going to be a fun game,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “I know they’re new to the Independent stage and this division. They’ve played some really tough teams. I think they played Syracuse and Rutgers right away … I think we’re going to have to be ready for this and our guys have to keep improving….”
“Not only does Liberty get a chance to expand its brand and put its name out there for Evangelical Christians but it also has an opportunity to become bowl eligible and get a chance to go to a bowl game for the first time in program history,” said Liberty beat writer Damien Sordelett of The News & Advance on KSL’s Cougar Tracks Podcast.
Read the entire piece here.