Appalachian State's seven title run in eight years has come to an end.-run of excellance that cannot be matched in 92 years of SoCon play the end to the era.
What predictions are in the cards for this team moving into the 2013 season? Not a one, just a realization that the Mountaineers football program begins it's exit in the SoCon and FCS play and into a brave new world of FBS competition.
ASU is in the midst of transformation, set to make their mark in the Sun Belt Conference next year, along with fellow SoCon rival power Georgia Southeren. The teams respectfully get 72 scholarships this season which is nine more than in the FCS with a limit of 63.
ASU and Georgia State will play a full on SoCon schedule this season, but will not be eligible for league title or play-off berths.
Big changes are occuring in Boone NC, where a 58-8 record over SoCon opponents over eight seasons is part of a run that has included play-off berths and three straight FCS national champoinships (2005-07). Jerry Moore the coach who was responsible for that success (215-87 in 24 seasons) was forced out last year, with former ASU assistant Scott Satterfield moving into the new slot.
Satterfield has commented that the "lame duck" status this season and next (when the team will be eligible for a bowl game) is a commitment to make this year's squad more determined to win every regular season game. The only focus for the team now is on the season and upcoming game with Montana on August 31st.
Focus will be tough with two key players being suspended, including last year's Southeren Conference freshman of the year, Sean Price. Price is out for undetermined number of games, for violating team rules. A gifted 6-5, 210 pound receiver who lead the team with 81 receptions for 1,196 yards and eight touchdowns,The school has also suspended backup junior quarterback, Kalik Barnes indefinitely from all team activities due to a violation of NCAA rules.
There are 10 offensive starters back this season from a 8-4 team that has one a share of the SoCon title with 6-2 mark. Leading the list is QB, Jamal Londry-Jackson. SoCon offensive player of the year, with 3,278 yards and 21 scores last season.
Defensively, the Mountaineers have six starters returning.This would include former Reynolds High standout Patrick Blalock, who has been converted from safety to linebacker. Patrick seems to have a nose for the ball, and they wanted to get him closer to line of scrimmage.
What's left on the field is a team stripped of postseason possiblilites for the next two seasons and will try to make the best of that fact. So the SoCon success, the FBS appearances, and national titles are all apart of the glorious past for this team. The hopes in fans and players alike is excited and a charge of uncertainity of the move up to the FBS is a year away. The start of the season is only a few short days away, and here in Boone, we are reeved up and ready to take on the challenges of what lies ahead, to a most successful season and future championships.