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Gauging how spoiled we’ve become

giggleFirst little mentioned fact – At 7-3 with one and playoffs to go, App State has matched its most losses in any campaign for the past six seasons.

Six.

Seasons.

That’s more than half a decade!

Since the dawn of Histor3, App State has never broken “4” in the loss column. It actually has an active four-year streak of three total losses.

To put that in perspective, we quote a recent commenter.

During this “down year” – let’s look at the three National Champs since our run ended in 2007:

2008 champ Richmond – 0-7 conf., 3-7 overall
2009 champ Villanova – 1-6 conf., 2-8 overall
2010 champ E. Wash – 4-3 conf., 5-5 overall

Yep, you read that right. That Spider program that regularly challenged App State late, and won a national title in ’08, has a goose egg in the CAA win column.

It hurts.

While I was leaving the University of Delaware last weekend, I was reminded that at one point this year, Richmond was ranked in the top five in the nation. After the team’s seventh straight loss, a loss that wasn’t as close as the 24-10 score indicated, it was easy to forget that fact.

That’s what a winless in-conference record and two close wins against inferior teams will do to you; it will cause you to forget how good this team could have been. Those early season good vibes were cut short by a combination of inexperience, injuries and more mental mistakes than someone who crammed for a calculus final.

The articles goes on with excuses and “what shoulda beens” for a once formidable program that’s 9-12 over the past two seasons.

We’ll end with a second little mentioned fact – App State also has an active streak of six consecutive seasons of double-digit wins. To keep it going, the Mountaineers will have to win Saturday and take two playoff games.

If they don’t, what will it say about whom?

27 Comments

  1. appstategrad2008

    November 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Wow… I had no idea those schools had fell into such an abyss. That (in a way) shows that sustaining our enormous success for the long term (decades) is a huge task. Basically, this amounts to more support for making the move to FBS while we have the chance.

  2. asu7

    November 17, 2011 at 9:16 am

    If play calling doesn't improve it doesn't matter what anyone else does.

  3. snaggy

    November 17, 2011 at 9:37 am

    It's an unfortunate reality that when you have enjoyed the type of success App has had over the past decade, the bar is set at a point that just plain and simple cannot be sustained. It's a shame that it we have become so used to dominating that so many people are calling for a changing of the guard after a season that, by most team's standards, would be viewed as a success. Hell, and some people on these boards were calling for that just a few games into the season! A calling card of the band wagon and fair weather fan.

    Every dynasty in history has come to an end. We are no exception. Our reign at the top of FCS may be drawing to a close but I don't think it's as doom and gloom as some folks on here have made it out to be. If we don't win 10 games this year so what? I think we have promise to still be a contender in the top tier of FCS for the remainder of the time we are still here. I for one, am proud of that!

    GO APP! BEAT ELON!!!

  4. appdreamin

    November 17, 2011 at 9:54 am

    The other way of looking at that (and I think the proper way) is that it doesn't matter one whit what other programs have experienced. Our bar has been raised, and expecting a decline because the odds favor such–or even merely accepting a decline if/when it happens–equates to lowering the bar again to the pre-NC success days. It equates to complacency, in other words.

    There's nothing band wagon about expecting a program to maintain its highest standards, odds and difficulty and other schools' failure to do so be damned. Our highest standard at present is to annually own the SoCon and compete for the FCS title. Richmond and Nova and EWU aren't App State or Montana, two schools with significant histories of football excellence. Neither App State nor Montana should accept what has happened at UR, no matter how many excuses there may be.

  5. AppWyo

    November 17, 2011 at 10:16 am

    When I first started following Appalachian as a freshman in '86 we always have had a great football program. I really don't see that changing. I think it is because we don't recruit the best players, we recruit the right players that fit the system. A lot of that is because of the character of our players. I thought last Saturday how many schools have three starting quarterbacks in their backfield at the same time and not have a quarteback controversy?

  6. MIDSOUTH

    November 17, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Last Saturday, I tried my best to watch with a critical eye.

    In my opinion, I think the play-calling has to do with the fact that App. does not have the players it used to have. It looked like to me that Jackson could not make a zone option read if his life depended on it. He was running when he should have been passing and vice versa.

    It appears that App. has recruited athletes and not players. Who honestly thinks there is a legitimate RB on the roster? OL?

    The coaches are limited to what they call b/c of the lack of talent. Even when they do call somethinga little more exciting, Jackson, Presley, etc. make the wrong reads.

    I think that the lack of recruiting is starting to show up now, which is on the coaches. Right now, I think the saying that it is not the Xs and Os but the Jimmys aand Joes applies.

    Again, this is my opinion.

  7. Big Dave

    November 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I'll be on the grassy bank at Elon with a few of my friends ( like 30 at my tailgate)!

  8. John C

    November 17, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Everyone:

    This is a great article. If memory serves me correctly, Richmond changed coaches two years ago. So when you start beating the tom-toms for a coaching change you may want to keep them in mind. As far as recruiting….let's face it, we were fortunate to get guys like Armanti and Richardson. I took out the DVD of the Michigan win the other night and am still amazed at the fact that were the best players on the field that day. But with all that said….it all goes back to the offensive line. I realized in watching that same Michigan DVD that our line then was outstanding….and it was their play that let Satterfield and company dip into their bag of tricks. Bottom line….let's all be realists here….with the inexperience we have on the offensive line we'll be fortunate to be 8-3, and fortunate to be in the play-offs. It is what it is….so sit back and enjoy….we might just catch a break and go farther than you think.

  9. The rock

    November 17, 2011 at 10:51 am

    I think Miller is a legitimate RB. He doesn't get the playing time that he should, IMO, but he has speed and power, even if he is a little undersized.

  10. AppWyo

    November 17, 2011 at 10:52 am

    Remember Richardson was a walk-on.

  11. appdreamin

    November 17, 2011 at 11:04 am

    John C, who is responsible for our inexperience on OL? A few injuries aside, a program like ours should always have depth and experience on the lines, if nowhere else.

  12. Nick

    November 17, 2011 at 11:17 am

    This point has been mentioned before – wish I could take credit; This is a perfect example of how strong our entire Community has been. If you look at the top attendance records App, Montana & Jacksonville State they simply have left everyone behind. Villanova & Richmond are lucky if the cheerleaders show up…. That lack of support makes it impossible to build any franchise… You could even make the argument that Nova & Richmond should consider a move to Division II…

    Here's to the APP FAMILY!!!! GO MOUNTAINEERS!!!!

    @AppWyo – I miss K Rich every season…I hope that guy has a whole bunch of kids who all play RB for APP!!!!!!

  13. App Band

    November 17, 2011 at 11:31 am

    I love K Rich, too! We're still in touch. He actually does have a little boy so….MAYBE???? 😉

  14. Yogi86

    November 17, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Recruiting is what its all about. We need to get a RB out of SC named Vinny Miller. 6'1 200# has over 2100 yards and 32 touchdowns this year. Beast of a runner that just punishes tacklers. Already runs out of the same spread offense and we could get him. Other SOCON schools and GT are looking at him, but he'd play at the Rock if he got a chance. Speir needs to see this kid play.

  15. GRIZZZLY

    November 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Go Mountaineers – Go Griz !!! Let's have two huge wins this weekend…

  16. Today?

    November 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Appfan,

    I didn't expect to log in today and see my earlier post up on the front page. I posted that a few days ago to try to calm down those that wanted to dismantle the coaching staff, rip up the turf, change the school colors, etc.

    The truth is that we're SO fortunate to have what we have – to be dissapointed in a second place finish. Hell, walk into our stadium now and just look around for a second.

    I saw a friend of mine at the game last week – he hadn't been to a game in ten years. He said it literally took his breath away as he came up Stadium Drive. Now – he has become a very fat fella since his playing days ended but I don't think his lack of breath was related to the amount of pressure the seams of his clothing felt.

    Seriously folks, stay calm, stay behind your team and remember what I said in the aforementioned post…would anyone have guessed what was ahead of us at the end of 2004?

  17. Gwaltineer

    November 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    I think that appdreamin is right in that we should expect a lot each year. We should expect to compete for a SoCon title, make the playoffs and get a W or two, and not embarras ourselves against whatever FBS team we play. However, we also have to recongize how few teams at any level in any sport have had our conistency. It does not happen often…for anyone…at any level. It's reasonable to expect a lot based on who we are and what we've been. But it's just rediculous to not recongnize the work and effort that it takes to maintain the level we have been at for so many years under Jerry Moore, especially these last 7.

    Unless you want to grow up and be like Yosef82…or his wife…who I think is actually Midwest.

  18. snaggy

    November 17, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    As a point of clarification, I definitely didn't mean for my post to come across as we shouldn't have high expectations. I APPsolutely think we should. Though after reading it again I can see how that might have been misconstrued. It was meant more as a jab to those who think the ship is going down and that the captain should go with it. App has built something special that, like Gwaltineer said, is such a rarity in any sport at any level. And one "down" year isn't a reason to panic or get down on the team or the coaching staff.

  19. sideline

    November 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    Just to clarify. I do not blame the O line problem on the players. Nuf said

  20. carbine

    November 18, 2011 at 5:44 am

    Interesting that some folks see our long record of success at the FCS level as an indication that we should/must move up to FBS. I wonder if those folk have ever heard of the Peter principle?

    One could just as easily look at our record as proof that FCS is exactly where this program belongs.

  21. appdreamin

    November 18, 2011 at 8:15 am

    The argument is not that we should ever overlook the hard work and diligence involved in achieving and maintaining the level of success we enjoyed 2005 – 2009 and, to some extent, in 2010. We absolutely should not. Rather, the argument is that—having witnessed what we can be and do during the five years through 2009—we shouldn't ever be satisfied with a five- or six-year run and then accept that a down year like 2011 is inevitable, to be expected, and therefore okay. We shouldn’t ever be in the position of having to employ “Wait ‘til next year!” phraseology.

    Statistically speaking, a decline now and then is highly probable. But it isn't inevitable, and we shouldn't accept that it is, no matter what the reason(s) is (are) behind the decline. Just because maintaining excellence is difficult is no reason to allow regression. Unless we beat Elon and win at least two post-season games, this season represents significant regression. Given the shortcomings of our program that have been so brightly exposed this season—lack of depth and experience at key positions, players leaving and/or being dismissed for a variety of issues, seemingly mindlessly predictable play calling on offense, at least one key assistant coach who reportedly has little if any rapport with players, etc.—I would argue that there’s been significant regression even if we somehow manage to win a fourth NC this season. We won’t have to debate that point, however, as our chances of winning the NC are even less than the Broncos’ chances of winning this year’s Super Bowl.

    There are several schools that, in football alone, enjoy year-in and year-out success equivalent to competing for a conference title and winning a decent bowl game; throw in other sports and the list is probably longer than we may think. App State should always—always, not just most of the time or some of the time or in years when most of the breaks fall our way—be on that list, no matter how long or short the list may actually be.

  22. Dan72

    November 18, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Was at ASU during the early-mid 70's. Looked through some old pictures from that time and was impressed by how small and outdated our facilities were compared to where we are now. The football team has experienced a similar upgrade, as have our expectations. Sometimes I think we're getting ahead of ourselves with expectations that ASU will compete every year for national championships without experiencing the occasional down season. The good thing, even if this is a down season we'll still finish in the top three of the conference.

  23. appdreamin

    November 18, 2011 at 9:15 am

    Top three of nine is good? At the low end, that's the 67th percentile. Even on a ten-point grading scale, that's a D.

    Nothing less than an A- should be considered acceptable. Possible, likely on occasion, maybe even unavoidable from time to time if absolutely everthing goes wrong–but not acceptable.

    To be clear, my definition of A- would be winning SoCon plus two games in playoffs OR finish second (preferably alone) in SoCon and advance to the NC game (assuming a first-round bye, maybe just to the semis if no bye).

  24. sideline

    November 18, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Do you think that Coach K thinks a down year is inevitable? Do you think that a conference championship is enough for him? Do you think NOT winning a conference championship gets in his way to working to a National Championship? Your goal becomes what you accept when done over time. If you accept 5 wins over time that becomes your goal.

  25. AppInExile

    November 19, 2011 at 5:50 am

    OK, now for another shotglass full of reality:

    Go back and count how many times App State has put up winning seasons since the early 80's.

    Now think about how many D-1 programs would die for that kind of success? We've had a great run, we should enjoy it. Living through that success (and many 1st Round playoff exits) made the 3 NC's that much sweeter.

    Nothing worthwhile comes easy. Stop whining about 3-loss seasons, folks. We should be thankful.

  26. appdreamin

    November 19, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Exile, re-read (or read, maybe) sideline's comment immediately preceding yours. Accepting and/or rationalizing three losses (or, this year, almost certainly at least four, whether we lose to Elon today or in the playoffs) becomes the standard. A three- or four-loss standard is completely unacceptable in my view.

    The experience of other programs–what they would like to have that we've had–is commpletely irrelevant; it doesn't matter at all. Our own past only matters in that it reflects what is possible for App State. Accepting less is lowering the bar, and that eventually leads to accepting a return to the also-ran status common to our own program until 2005. Standards must remain high, very high.

  27. appdreamin

    November 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

    For the sake of clarity, (1) I mean whether we lose to Elon today or to SOME OTHER TEAM in the playoffs–I'm not predicting Elon makes the playoffs; and (2) I actually do know how to spell completely, despite appearances to the contrary based on the preceding post.

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