Considering – “Eastern Kentucky University could be an NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision member as soon as 2016. Benson and athletic director Mark Sandy have said that the Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences would be the best fits for the Colonels, who are charter members of the Ohio Valley Conference.”
As they begin their final SoCon seasons, App State and Georgia Southern are a combined 4-10 so far.
And only one of those wins came against a D1.
The Mountaineers will put their hunt for a D1 win in limbo tonight as they welcome DII North Greenville into Jones Arena. Tipoff at 7.
This is the second of four non-D1 teams App State will host this season. Coincidentally, Georgia Southern is mimicking them tonight, playing Brewton Parker. It’s the Eagles third non-D1.
And like its contest against Lees-Mcrae, Appalachian will be playing a pseudo-game with North Greenville. The Crusaders are counting it as an exhibition.
It’s been a rough season so far. Tonight’s one last chance to tinker before a big rivalry game Sunday – UNC Charlotte in Boone.
A new report is online today. It will be noticed.
An online, interactive database comparing spending on athletics vs. spending on academics in public Division I institutions is being released Wednesday by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, as concern grows over the imbalance of the two core activities at many universities.
The report looks at spending from 2005 to 2011. In App State’s case, it starts with Histor3 and ends with the big FBS announcement.
We haven’t had much time to really dig into the numbers, but the App State snapshot is pretty self-explanatory.
From 2005-2011, at App State:
- Academic spending per FTE student increased 21% to $11,925
- Athletic spending per athlete increased 90% to $33,451
- Institutional funding for athletics per athlete increased 80% to $19,235
- Annual debt service on athletic facilities increased 414%, to $3.52 million
FCS medians in that time span:
- Academic spending per FTE student increased 24% to $11,945
- Athletic spending per athlete increased 47% to $36,055
- Institutional funding for athletics per athlete increased 51% to $25,814
- Annual debt service on athletic facilities increased 1,188%, to $200,427
The App State variance isn’t too surprising. Back around 2005, when App State announced its athletics facility enhancement campaign, the chancellor made a point to repeatedly say it was “atheltics’ time.” The project included not just new softball and soccer fields, but the who knows how many millions expansion of Kidd Brewer Stadium, both in seating and luxuries. The great majority of it was(?)/is being(?) paid with student fees, as are some athletic scholarships.
According to the report, App State athletic spending per athlete rose from $17,750 in 2005 to $33,451. Other FCS schools will similar high growth included Alabama A&M (96%), Austin Peay State (100%), Georgia State* (116%), James Madison (109%), NC A&T (94%), Arkansas at Pine Bluff (155%), and North Dakota State (88%).
For comparison’s sake, here’s fellow future Sun Belter Georgia Southern:
- Academic spending up 28% to $10,250
- Athletic spending per athletes up 31% to $32,220
- Institutional funding for athletics per athlete up 36% to $23,494
- Annual debt service on athletic facilities increased 2,033%, to $331,904
Note – “Comparisons between institutions are possible, but some institutions interpret the NCAA financial reporting rules slightly differently despite efforts by the NCAA staff working with the National Association of College and University Business Officers to standardize the definitions and reporting.”
BTW. The reported $3.52M in annual debt service on App State’s athletic facilities reminded us of a question never answered.
ACTUALLY. Digging deeper, in 2011 App State reported total outstanding debt on athletic facilities to be $49.4 million, an oh so slight decrease from the peak $50.6 million in 2010.
* Georgia State was in process of adding football, which it did in 2010.
Bowl season is slowing taking shape, with teams being slotted into the 70 spots available among the 35 postseason games.
There are 125 FBS teams from which to choose, meaning roughly 56% of all big boys get a postseason game on their schedule.
Great odds … unless you play in the Sun Belt.
App State’s future neighborhood currently has two contractually obligated bowl spots for its two top teams – the GoDaddy and New Orleans bowls. Those slots have been filled. That leaves at least three bowl eligible Sun Belters hoping somebody somewhere wants to see them play.
Good luck with that.
However, there is a big difference between bowl eligible and a bowl-game invitation.
Last season five Sun Belt teams were bowl eligible but only Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and WKU went to bowl games. One of the teams left out was Middle Tennessee, which finished 8-4 overall and 6-2 in league play before moving to Conference USA.
WKU is the hottest team in the Sun Belt with a four-game winning streak. Following WKU’s last-second 34-31 victory over Arkansas State on Saturday, Petrino was asked if he expected to see the Hilltoppers in a bowl game.
“I would hope so because our players deserve it,” he said.
The commish is on it.
In addition to that we are very, very active in talking to additional bowls for the bowl-eligible teams in the Sun Belt. Once again, the second year in a row five bowl-eligible teams for the Sun Belt. We’re actively pursuing open spots.
“For those of you that follow the bowl landscape and the number of at-large teams versus the number of open spots, there are potentially 13 bowl eligible teams that will be in the at-large field, headed up by Notre Dame along with 12 other at-large teams including at least four from the Sun Belt, if not five should South Alabama win on Saturday.
“We are going to be surrounded by competition for the open slots.
Sidenote, with one game left on the league schedule, only two programs in the eight-team league are below .500 – South Alabama (5-6) and Georgia State (0-12). And South Alabama has a chance to even its record if it beats LA-Lafayette Saturday.
Regarding the big change announced Wednesday, Deadspin has an opinion.
At gunpoint, I’d say the guy on the left was a sea captain, or maybe the Gorton’s Fisherman. With Appalachian State moving up to the FBS next season, they needed something a little more evocative of “mountaineer.” So they’re switching to the guy on the right, presumably after an intense design competition featuring many magic markers and cocktail napkins.
The Yoseformation is now attracting chatter on other sports sites, and on the twitters.
One highlight of the NFL day, a NFC West rematch between the Rams (Quick) and 49ers (Kilgore). San Fran won round 1, 35-11, in St Louis. Kilgore’s crew is 7-4, and would have a wild card spot if the playoffs started today. With five games to play, other squads with Mountaineers looking to lock in postseason sports are the Saints, Lions and Colts. Games today, Jaguars (McCray) at Browns and Titans at Colts (Lynch). Monday Night Football is Saints (Cadet) at Seahawks.
The once 3-5 Paladins beat SC State in the first round of the DI football playoffs Saturday, 30-20. They next take on North Dakota State, the No. 1 overall seed and two-time defending champion looking to match App State’s historic run of three in a row. Meanwhile, Samford was crushed by Jacksonville State, 55-14. The Bulldogs were down 38-0 at the half.
Round 2 – “Appalachian State has lost to N.C. State (98-77), Campbell (73-66), Cincinnati (77-49) and North Carolina Central (76-70) and defeated Lee-McRae (91-63). Georgia opened the season with a 72-52 victory over Wofford, but has since lost to Georgia Tech (80-71), Davidson (94-82), Temple (83-81) and Nebraska (73-65).” Game will be on ESPN3.
Three NFL games set for this holiday, and the first two should have some Mountaineer appearances.
First up, the day’s traditional host, Detroit, welcomes Green Bay to its home for dinner. Serving up some punch will be Sam Martin, the most profiled kicker in the league.
“It’s crazy, man,” said Martin, a former soccer standout who became a first-team Football Championship Series All-American as a senior. “When we’re in stretch lines in practice sometimes, I have those moments where I’m like, ‘Wow.’ If I don’t really think about it, I don’t realize it.”
As a rookie, Martin is fourth in the NFL, averaging 48.4 yards, and fifth in net punting at 41.7 yards.
“He’s not by any means a finished product, and he’ll be the first one to tell you that,” special teams coordinator John Bonamego said.
Following the appetizer, Oakland rambles in to Dallas. App State great turned Raider Jason Hunter is likely out due to injury (he was inactive last Sunday and hasn’t practiced all week).
But since the Cowboys are at home, expect more than one great shot of Carisa Rose working the sidelines.
About 14 years ago App State decided to update its image.
Today it announced that look has been abandoned.
Officially introduced as a novelty, the “old school” Yosef is the new head logo. It shall henceforth be called “Victory Yosef.”
“Yosef Head” is going six feet deep.
And there was much rejoycing.
The old new look was never embraced. It was supposed to be Rushmore-ian, invoking the image of a Yosef sculpted from a broad mountain side. Instead it looked like a fishstick salesman. Or, later, a pirate villain.
It was supposed to be a new look for a new century. No more corncob pipes, stovetop hats or anything remotely considered … /holds nose … mountain.
That new logo also came with a new mascot. He disappeared after just one appearance, a CSI case everyone agreed to leave unexplored, if not celebrated.
Since fishstick was ignored, the supposedly abandoned Block A remained the go-to look. Then, a few years ago, someone had the brilliant idea to bring back the classic. /bygones
Since reintroduced by App State as a novelty, the old school Yosef has slowly been plastered on more and more merchandise. And it seems to sell as fast as it can be produced.
Ya gotta go with the hot, uh, head, so out with the new and in with the old.
Pipe’in ain’t easy. LONG LIVE THE PIPE!
With some Luck.
His first game with his new team will be against his old team. Geez … we hope this isn’t a one off for quick competitive advantage.
The last time App State had a 4-win season (1994), it responded two years later with the only undefeated regular season in school history.
The last time App State had a 4-win SoCon season (2004), it responded the very next year with the first of three national championships.
In 2013 App State matched both those low water marks. And its upcoming regeneration will see challenges previous generations have not.
Plus, the program is losing some key links to its past. As departing senior Tony Washington suggests, 2014 represents a changing of the guard.
“Guys like me, (Andrew) Peacock and Jamal saw the last of those (national-) championship guys leave and we heard how they did it and picked up on a lot of things from those guys,” Washington said during the season. “But these guys coming now don’t have that background. They’ll have to create their own.”
As we indicated, it’s been done before.
The 1995 squad was comprised primarily of guys who never won more than 8 game in a season. They won 9, then notched 12 in 1995.
The 2005 team had one playoff win in its previous four seasons. They started a streak of 13 straight.
The 2014 squad will be stacked both with game-tested Mountaineers and a deep pool of redshirted talent. Cause, yeah, App State pretty much sandbagged the 2013 season by delaying the introduction of a lot of recruits.
Some names among players that redshirted this year that are expected to be factors next season include receivers Dante Jones and Jaquil Capel, quarterback Taylor Lamb, running back Terrence Upshaw, linebacker Lee Wright and defensive back T.J. Watkins and offensive lineman Beau Nunn.
The Mountaineers will recruit about 30 players to reach the 85 scholarship total next season. There are already 18 commitments.
Obviously, unlike previous campaigns, the next one will be against a higher level of competition. It features a new division, new league, and new expectations.
All that pressure will be on the backs of about 100 young men returning to suit up for the first FBS season in school history. That’s how many underclassmen could return (91 were on the roster for the ‘Western game), along with a deep bench of redshirts we’ve yet to see.
Next year all but one game is against FBSers, both established and green. Almost all feature new environments against new schemes, and weekly competitions against players faster, stronger and more experienced than any Mountaineer squad has faced before.
2013 was a year of transition. And 2014 will very much be more of the same. Surpassing four wins is actually a pretty high bar, but that’s just timber to feed some competitive fires.
Historically App State valleys have been followed by monumental heights. And we can’t wait to see how high the next squad of Mountaineers can go. Just gotta wait a looooooong 276 days for that next climb to begin.
One season is over. But preparation for the next should already be underway.
GIVE ‘EM HELL!