The Appalachian State Mountaineers will receive a nice future payday from the Georgia Bulldogs.
“Appalachian State will get a $1 million guarantee to play in Athens, according to a memorandum of understanding signed by the schools last month obtained via an open records request,” Marc Weiszer of the Athens Banner-Herald reported. “The exact date is still to be determined.”
The most logical date for the two teams to play is Sept. 2 to open the 2017 campaign. Otherwise, the two programs may have to find an opening during their conference schedules, because Appalachian State plays the Akron Zips on Sept. 16 while Georgia has the Notre Dame Fighting Irish scheduled for Sept. 9.
The two programs met for the first time during the 2013 campaign. The Bulldogs overwhelmed the Mountaineers 45-6. But Appalachian State isn’t a program to back down from tough competition (and a good payday).
After all, you can never tell when something special will happen. No one needs to remind Michigan Wolverines fans of what happens when Appalachian State is underestimated.
They are calling it a natural rivalry, even though the two programs have yet to play a single game. Appalachian State and Charlotte will play two games in 2018 and 2019 in a home-and-home agreement announced Monday. Charlotte will play host in 2018 and Appalachian State will host the game in 2019.
“It’s a game that should be played,” Charlotte head coach Brad Lambert said in a statement Monday, according to The Charlotte Observer. “We’re excited about the opportunity to play a great program from right here in our region. This will be fun for our fans and I’m sure they will be excited as well.”
“The proximity of our campuses, the similarity of our schools and the familiarity our student-athletes have with each other from the high school level make it a natural rivalry,” said Appalachian State coach Scott Satterfield.
The two campuses are just about two hours apart, but both programs are moving up in the world of college football the next couple of years. Appalachian State will leave the FCS to compete at the FBS level starting this fall. The Mountaineers will join the Sun Belt Conference. Charlotte is on a fast track to FBS competition after completing the first football season in program history just last fall. The 49ers will move up to the FBS level in 2015 and join Conference USA.
With a handful of regional college rivalries becoming a thing of the past thanks to realignment (Oklahoma-Nebraska, West Virginia-Pittsburgh, BYU-Utah etc.) it is good to see new rivalries develop. It may take some time before Charlotte-Appalachian State rivals the intensity fo a Duke-UNC match-up in the state, but here’s hoping this series can extend beyond the initial two-game set in place now.
Helmet sticker to Charlotte Observer.