HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) James Madison knew when it made the jump to the Bowl Subdivision this season that conference championships would not be available right away because of NCAA transition rules.
So the Dukes turned their final game of the year into a bowl game and came away with no doubt about who the Sun Belt Conference's East Division champion is, routing No. 23 Coastal Carolina 47-7 on Saturday.
"You know, we're champions. Everybody knows we're champions of the East. I mean, come on. Across the country. You know, this was a major statement across the country," JMU coach Curt Gignetti said "This was an exclamation point. ... Going to a bowl game would have been nice, but this was our bowl game."