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Old 18.02.2017, 01:36 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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