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Sun Belt 2014: Most popular App season ever?

PACK THE ROCK!In its 2013/FCS/SoCon finale, App State attracted an announced crowd of 27,115, the second largest at home this season.

On that same day, there were three games in the Sun Belt. None of them were anywhere near as popular as Boone on a cold Saturday afternoon.

Georgia St. at Arkansas St. – 18,512
Western Kentucky at Texas St. – 17,051
UL Monroe at S. Alabama – 13,891

That got us to thinking of average crowd size. For the year App State attracted right at 24,894 to the Rock. As of today, the top five average home crowds in the Sun Belt belong to:

UL-Lafayette – 26,142
Arkansas State – 24,913
Troy – 20,364
Western Kentucky – 19,314
Texas State – 18,062

An amusing irony of App State’s debut Sun Belt schedule – three of the four conference road games will be at those programs atop that attendance list: UL-Lafayette, Arkansas State and Troy.

The fourth road league game will be at Georgia Southern, which has packed its house with 20,000-plus for its last three games against App State.

The other two 2014 road games – at Michigan and Southern Miss – are currently averaging 111,272 and 22,752 fans a game, respectively.

If App State maintains its average attendance next season, the Mountaineers are in for a historic campaign, one in which all 12 games will be played before crowds of more than 20,000 fans.

It’s never happened before, and may not happen again. Looking at the 2015 road schedule for the Sun Belt, App State will be playing before four programs now averaging between 14,000 to 18,000 a game. (One of them, Georgia State, is notoriously overcounting its home crowds).

That hypothetical 2015 slate is dependent upon the Sun Belt not adding a 12th member. If that were to occur in the interim, it is expected the league would split into divisions and possibly re-write those games.

Regardless, next year could be App States’ fans one chance to be a part of history. No matter what happens on the field, it could be the most popular Mountaineer football season ever.

See you at …. /Sean Connery voiceTHE ROCK!

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