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  #21  
Old 15.02.2017, 03:23 PM
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Day 10: Troy Trojans



Location: Troy, Alabama

Introduction: Troy's first season came in 1909, however they have only continuously fielded a team since 1946. They have been members of the NAIA, NCAA Division 2, FCS before moving up to the FBS in 2001. They played 3 seasons as an FBS independent, joining the Sun Belt in 2004.

Biggest achievement: Winning 5 consecutive Sun Belt conference champions (3 shared) between 2006 and 2010, compiling a 33-5 record in conference play (they would however go 8-18 OOC), during which time they would go to 4 bowl games, with a 2-2 record over those 4 games (victories over Rice and Ohio, defeats to Southern Mississippi and Central Michigan).

Being ranked for the first time in school history during the 2016 season, they became ranked at #25, and would immediately lose 35-3 to Arkansas State, but considering they went 21-39 between the end of their 2006-2010 dominance and 2015 it was still a major step up in results. They would finish the season 10-3, with a narrow bowl win, 28-23 over Ohio.

Biggest failure: The 5 seasons immediately following their Sun Belt dominance, during which time they went 21-39, and achieved zero winning seasons.

Rivals: South Alabama, a relatively young rival, with South Alabama only starting a football program in 2009, and the two teams meeting for the first time in 2012. However it is a rivalry with conference ties, so the two will meet for the foreseeable future. Troy leads 3-2, having won the 2016 meeting.

Name: Up until the early 1970s Troy was called The Red Wave (a take on Alabama's Crimson Tide) however it was decided by student vote that they'd go by the far more logical and epic Trojans.

Traditions: Trojan Warrior, before every game, and after every TD a student would gallop down field on horse back. The tradition stopped after the team switched from real to artificial turf.

Head coach: From 1991 to 2014 their HC was Larry Blakeney, he oversaw the move up from Division 2 to the FCS, and again to FBS. He was named twice Sun Belt HC of the year, named the Sun Belt's 10th anniversary most outstanding coach, and named to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. He had an all time record of 178–113–1 (69-66 at the FBS level). He retired at the end of 2014, at the age of 67, after 4 seasons without a winning record.

Neal Brown was named his replacement, to start the 2015 season at the age of 34. The former Kentucky and UMass WR got his start in coaching at UMass as the TEs and assistant OL coach shortly after his playing career was over. He continued Troy's sub par run going 4-8 in 2015, but was able to turn it around in 2016, leading Troy to their first 10 win season, and their first time being ranked in team history.

Notable current players: Brandon Silvers, 2016 first team All Sun Belt QB.

Jordan Chunn, 2016 first team All Sun Belt RB, went for 1,288 rushing yards and 16 TDs in 2016.

Emanuel Thompson, 2016 first team All Sun Belt WR.

Notable former players: Rashad Dillard, DL, 2016 Sun Belt defensive player of the year.

Antonio Garcia, 2016 first team All Sun Belt, projected day 2 selection by CBS.

DeMarcus Ware, 2 time All Sun Belt, 2003 Sun Belt defensive player of the year, 2005 1st round draft pick, 4 time first team All Pro, 2000s NFL all decade team.

Osi Umenyiora, first team All Southland, Troy University Hall of Fame, 2003 2nd round draft pick, first team All Pro, New York Giants Ring of Honor.

Windham Rotunda (aka Bray Wyatt), played 2 seasons for Troy, current WWE Champion, eater of worlds.

Stadium: Veterans Memorial Stadium, opened 1950, last expanded 2017, 30,500 capacity

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  #22  
Old 16.02.2017, 10:01 PM
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Day 11: Arkansas State Red Wolves



Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas

Introduction: Started play in 1911, from 1937 to 1953 they played in the National Junior College Athletic Association, in 1953 they joined the NCAA, playing in division II. they made the step up to Division I in 1974, they moved down to the FCS in 1982, before moving back up to FBS in 1990, where they've played as an independent and a member of the Big West. They finally joined their current conference in 2001.

Biggest achievement: Completing a perfect season (11-0) as members of the Southland Conference in 1975.

5 Sun Belt conference championships (2 shared) in 6 seasons since 2011, with a 35-4 combined conference record (10-16 OOC), under coaches Hugh Freeze (currently Ole Miss HC), Gus Malzahn (current Auburn HC), Bryan Harsin (current Boise State HC) and current Arkansas State HC Blake Anderson. They would go 3-2 in bowl games during the period.

Biggest failure: The 15 years following the step up from FCS to FBS (1990-2004), during which time they went 54-121-2 with 1 winning season.

Name: Were known as the Arkansas State Indians until the 2008 season.

Head coach: For a few years Arkansas State was seen as a proving ground for HCs wanting to make the big time, with Freeze, Malzahn and Harsin all spending one year at the school. The current HC Blake Anderson has been there 3 years, winning 2 Sun Belt championships (one shared), compiling a 24-15 record. Anderson played as a QB and WR at both Baylor and Sam Houston State. He would get his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Eastern New Mexico.

Notable current players: Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, DL, 2016 All Sun Belt and player of the year.

Notable former players: Ryan Carrethers, 2013 All Sun Belt, last player drafted from Arkansas State (5th round, 2014).

Bill Bergey, 1969 2nd round draft pick, 2 time All Pro, only All Pro in Arkansas State history.

Stadium: Centennial Bank Stadium, 30,400 capacity, opened 1974, last expanded 2015.

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  #23  
Old 17.02.2017, 02:18 PM
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enjoying these...cant wait for the new season already #hottytoddy
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  #24  
Old 18.02.2017, 02:36 PM
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Lets finish the Sun Belt

Day 12: Appalachian State Mountaineers




Location: Boone, North Carolina

Introduction: Started play in 1928, joined the NAIA in 1931, eventually found themselves as part of NCAA Division 1, as members of the Southern Conference, experienced a short period of dominance of the FCS in the early 2000s, before making the step up to FBS as members of the Sun Belt in 2014.

Biggest achievement: Became the first team to win 3 consecutive FCS National Championships from 2005-2007. Although their achievement would soon be overshadowed by North Dakota State's 5 consecutive national championships, during the same period they recorded what is likely the largest upset in the history of football. Walking into Michigan Stadium to face a Michigan team coming off a top 10 finish the previous year, with a #5 pre-season ranking they were able to pull off the upset, 34-32 with a last second FG block. Michigan would finish the season ranked 18th in the AP poll, and Appalachian State would prompt the AP to change their rules to allow FCS schools to receive votes in their poll (NDSU would receive 74 in 2016, good for 27th in the country (highest an FCS team has climbed) after their defeat of Iowa).

After a slight transition period in stepping up to the FBS, they would go 1-5 in their first 6 games, with only a win over FCS Campbell, and defeats including Michigan in their first meeting since the 2007 upset, and to FCS Liberty, they would find a way to adjust to the increased competition, going 6-0 to finish the season, and 21-5 in the following 2 seasons (3 of those defeats coming vs ranked opponents).

They would narrowly miss out on a Sun Belt title in 2015, finishing 7-1 with their only defeat coming to conference champions Arkansas State. They would clinch their first FBS level conference championship (shared) in 2016.

Biggest failure: That 6 game transition period, especially the Liberty defeat has to be looked upon with regret, although it's understandable.

Rivals: Georgia Southern "Deeper than Hate", the two teams first meet in 1932, however it wouldn't become a regular rivalry until 1993, when Georgia Southern joined the Southern Conference, the two schools were invited to join the Sun Belt at the same time, meaning the rivalry could continue uninterrupted. ASU lead the series 18-13-1, having won the last 2.

Head coach: Scott Satterfield, the former Appalachian State QB, started coaching 2 years after his college playing career ended as WR coach at Appalachian State, became the OC/Head coach in waiting in 2012, and the HC in 2013, overseeing the final season in FCS, and the step up to FBS in 2014.

Notable current players: Jalin Moore, RB 2016 Sun Belt offensive player of the year. Colby Gossett, OL, 2016 All Sun Belt. Clifton Duck, DB, 2016 All Sun Belt, 2016 Sun Belt freshman of the year.

Notable former players: Ronald Blair, 2015 Sun Belt defensive player of the year. Highest draft pick from the Sun Belt in 2016 (142nd, SF)

Brian Quick, 2 time FCS All American, highest Appalachian State selection in history (33rd, 2012).

Stadium: Kidd Brewer Stadium, 24,050 capacity, opened 1962, last expanded 2012.

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  #25  
Old 18.02.2017, 02:42 PM
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So I've figured out that you can post a link, as a picture, so if you want to actually see any of the stadiums from here on out, just click the tiny thumbnail at the bottom of each post.
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  #26  
Old 18.02.2017, 06:38 PM
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I love stadiums with a view App State definitely fits into this category
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  #27  
Old 18.02.2017, 06:46 PM
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Don't know why, but whenever I hear/read about Appalachian State, I always think of fairly obscure former Kansas City LB Dino Hackett...
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  #28  
Old 18.02.2017, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu_T View Post
I love stadiums with a view App State definitely fits into this category
Good to see you following Stu . Yeah, part of the reason I became a fan of college sports was seeing a picture of Colorado's stadium on here, can't remember who posted it, but something about the idea of playing sport in such a picturesque location captured my interest.
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  #29  
Old 18.02.2017, 07:43 PM
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This is a great thread. I take it that you are chronicling each team depending on how strong or weak a particular conference is, at least on paper.
I will keep reviewing this thread right from the start, irrespective of how many pages should I have to trawl through, in the coming weeks. It's about time there was such an item, I've been waiting years for this, and I'm looking forward to the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 entries.
Oh, and don't forget the indies as well...
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  #30  
Old 18.02.2017, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBPacker View Post
This is a great thread. I take it that you are chronicling each team depending on how strong or weak a particular conference is, at least on paper.
I will keep reviewing this thread right from the start, irrespective of how many pages should I have to trawl through, in the coming weeks. It's about time there was such an item, I've been waiting years for this, and I'm looking forward to the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 entries.
Oh, and don't forget the indies as well...
I started with Sun Belt based upon Costal Carolina being the newest team, I'll go to Conference USA next, based upon UAB being the "newest" team next. After that it's pretty much a coin toss, but I'll cover all G5 before P5, and Notre Dame will come along with the rest of the independents, who I'll count as G5.
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