Category: Appalachian State Mountaineers

PASADENA, CA - SEPTEMBER 06:  Head coach Justin Fuente of the Memphis Tigers leaves the game after a 42-35 loss to the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl on September 6, 2014 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Memphis, Temple exit Week 5 unbeaten, still eyeing New Year’s Six prize


For one it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t pretty for the other, but both Memphis and Temple kept pace Friday night with the best the Group of Five has to offer — and kept their hopes for that group’s lone New Year’s Six bid very much alive in the process.

In rain-soaked Charlotte, drenched thanks to the outer edges of Hurricane Joaquin, the Owls overcame a choppy, weather-related start to pull away from the home-standing 49ers 37-3.  Down in South Florida, the Tigers overcame an early 10-0 hole to post a hard-fought and extremely defensive 24-17 win over the Bulls.

The win moves Memphis to 5-0 on the season, and 2-0 in the AAC West.  It was also the U of M’s 12th straight win dating back to last season, matching TCU’s current streak for the second-longest in the nation and behind only Ohio State’s 17 straight.

Temple, meanwhile, has won four straight to start the season and, at 2-0, is the only team in the AAC East that even has a conference win in 2015.

In the very early stages of Week 5, Memphis and Temple are currently two of five undefeated Group of Five teams — and four of those teams come from the AAC, with the other two teams from that conference being Navy and Houston at 3-0.  The only other undefeated G5 is the MAC’s Toledo at 3-0.

Given the four AAC members in this unbeaten group, the undefeated ranks will have no choice but to thin in the coming weeks.  In a span of three straight weeks from Nov. 7-21, Memphis will play, in order, Navy, Houston and Temple, with the latter two coming on the road — and that’s not even mentioning their Oct. 17 road trip to Oxford to face third-ranked Ole Miss.  Houston and Navy both play each other as well as fellow West foe Memphis, while Temple catches a break in that they only face Memphis, at home, of that West threesome.

Eight other G5s have just one loss entering Week 5: Tulsa (2-1) of the AAC; Marshall and Western Kentucky (each 3-1) of Conference USA; Ohio (3-1) of the MAC; Air Force (2-1) and Boise State (3-1) of the Mountain West; and Appalachian State (2-1) and Georgia Southern (3-1) of the Sun Belt.

None of those teams mentioned above are ranked in either the Associated Press or coaches’ Top 25 polls.  Toledo, though, is the first team in the AP’s “others receiving votes” category, while Boise State is three spots behind UT in that same category.  Houston, Temple, Memphis and Navy also received AP votes in the most recent Top 25.

All of those teams also received votes in the coaches’ poll, although Boise at an unofficial No. 31 is currently the highest of the G5s.

Of course, the picture for the Group of Five will remain murky and muddled until the first release of the College Football Playoff rankings Nov. 3.  And, even then, there will still be five more weeks of jostling for positions and the right to claim a spot in a lucrative New Year’s Six bowl.

Sun Belt confirms Coastal Carolina’s addition in 2017


Yesterday’s report has officially become today’s come-to-fruition news.

In a press release, the Sun Belt announced that Coastal Carolina has accepted an invitation to join the conference.  The Chanticleers will join the league for football in 2017, while they move all of their other varsity sports in a year earlier for the 2016-17 season.

Currently playing at the FCS level, CCU will begin a transition to the Football Bowl Subdivision with its first year of full FBS status coming in 2018. While they will be eligible to compete for an SBC title in 2017, they won’t be eligible for a bowl game until 2018.

“On behalf of all of us at Coastal Carolina University, I’m honored to accept the invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference,” CCU president David A. DeCenzo said in a statement. “I am grateful to Sun Belt Commissioner, Mr. Karl Benson, for his steadfast support of CCU, and to the Sun Belt presidents and chancellors, who honored CCU by selecting their 12th member school.”

The official addition of CCU will give the SBC 12 members beginning in 2017, triggering a conference championship game. The conference will be split geographically into two divisions.

Further, the addition makes for a natural geographic split between East and West to allow for certain sports to compete in a divisional format. The six members that are located in the eastern half of the Sun Belt are: Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, South Alabama, and Troy. The six members in the western half are: Arkansas State, Little Rock, UL Lafayette, UL Monroe, UT Arlington, and Texas State. Idaho and New Mexico State compete in the Sun Belt Conference as football only members. CCU’s location makes for a natural geographical fit to the Sun Belt as it borders both North Carolina, home of Appalachian State, and Georgia, home to both Georgia State and Georgia Southern.

“This is a great day for the Sun Belt Conference as we are very proud to have Coastal Carolina University join our membership,” the commissioner said in his statement. “The Sun Belt is a growing conference with a bright future and Coastal Carolina makes a perfect fit as it too has seen a tremendous amount of growth and has all the tools necessary to move forward at the highest level of collegiate athletics. Under the leadership of President David A. DeCenzo and Athletics Director Matt Hogue, I expect the Chanticleers to be competitive in all Sun Belt sports and to represent the conference in a first-class manner on and off the field.”

(Graphic credit: Sun Belt Conference)

Reports: Coastal Carolina to join Sun Belt in 2017


The Great Wheel of Conference Realignment may have just taken its last spin. For now.

According to a report from ESPN’s Brett McMurphy and USA Today‘s Dan Wolken, Coastal Carolina is set to join the Sun Belt as the league’s 12th and final member. The Chanticleers were finalists alongside Eastern Kentucky for the conference’s last remaining spot.


Eastern Kentucky is said to be further along than Coastal Carolina in terms of department-wide infrastructure, but the Myrtle Beach, S.C., school has two things the Colonels do not that are paramount in this particular game of thrones: recent football success and access to large sums of money, and not necessarily in that order. Coastal has both of those things thanks to Joe Moglia, the billionaire former banking executive that is now the Chanticleers’ head football coach; Moglia is 32-10 in three seasons as Coastal Carolina’s head coach, leading the club to the FCS quarterfinals in each of the past two seasons.

Coastal Carolina’s addition would allow the Sun Belt to split into two divisions and stage a football championship game. (Nevermind the fact that the NCAA will likely deregulate championship games before Coastal’s arrival.) Coastal Carolina would figure to fit into an East division alongside Appalachian State, Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Troy and South Alabama. Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Arkansas State, Texas State, New Mexico State and Idaho figure to form a West division.

A formal announcement is expected Tuesday, where the school could stadium upgrades necessary for FBS admittance. Brooks Stadium holds 9,214; FBS teams are required to average at least 15,000 paid attendance over a rolling two-year period.