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Appalachian State and Liberty schedule future home-and-home series

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Appalachian State and Liberty have agreed to a future home-and-home series beginning in 2024. The schools announced future games to be played at Appalachian State in 2024 and at Liberty in 2025.

Appalachian State will host the Flames on Sept. 28, 2024. Liberty will host the Mountaineers the following fall on Oct. 11, 2025. Although this will not be the first time the two programs have played each other, it will mark the first time the two schools have faced each other with both being full FBS members.

Appalachian State and Liberty have faced off 10 times before. The most recent meeting in the series took place on Oct. 11, 2014, when Appalachian State was in its first season transitioning to from the FCS to the FBS. Liberty won an overtime shootout, 55-48. Liberty made the move from FCS to FBS in 2018 and is coming off its first bowl appearance, and victory, this past season against an Appalachian State rival, Georgia Southern.

“One of our goals in football scheduling is to play regional opponents to which our fan base can easily travel, and we’ve been able to do that with series like this one,” Appalachian State Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said in a released statement.

The addition of Liberty to Appalachian State’s future schedules fills the non-conference portion of the 2024 schedule for the reigning Sun Belt Conference champions. Appalachian State will also host East Tennessee State and play road games at Clemson and East Carolina in 2024. Appalachian State has two openings on its 2025 schedule, as of now. A home game against South Carolina is also booked for 2025 in addition to the road game at Liberty.

Liberty now has seven games booked for the 2024 season. The independent program will also host Coastal Carolina and Marshall and play road games at North Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Ball State, and UMass in 2024. Liberty still needs three more games to fill up the 2025 schedule, which is highlighted by road games at Army and Duke and a home game against Wake Forest.

Texas adds three games vs. Group of Five schools to future schedule

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In between portal posts, how about some scheduling news involving the Texas Longhorns football program?

Early Thursday afternoon, Texas Longhorns football announced three future games against schools from Group of Five conferences, one from the Mountain West and two from the Sun Belt.  On Sept. 3, 2022, Texas will play host to Louisiana-Monroe.  Sept. 16 the following season, Wyoming will head to Austin.  Finally, on Sept. 5, 2026, Texas will face in-state foe Texas State at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium.

Texas and Louisiana-Monroe have met just once previously, a 59-20 UT win in 2009.

Texas and Wyoming have squared off five times previously, the first coming in 1974 and the most recent in 2012.  The Longhorns have won all five meetings by a combined score of 163-44.

As with Louisiana-Monroe, Texas and Texas State have played just once before, way back in 1930.  At the time, the school noted, Texas State went by the name “Southwest Texas State Teachers College.”

In announcing these Group of Five games, Texas also took the opportunity to remind folks about its other prime non-conference Power Five matchups.  From the release:

The contests with Alabama in 2022 and 2023, as well as Ohio State in 2025 and 2026 are part of a high-profile collection of home-and-home series that started with LSU traveling to Austin this past year and a return trip to Baton Rouge in the upcoming year. Other featured future matchups with iconic college football programs include Michigan (2024 and 2027), Georgia (2028 and 2029) and Florida (2030 and 2031).

In addition to those mentioned by the school, Texas also has a future home-and-home series with Arizona State scheduled for 2032 and 2033.  They had also been in discussions with Penn State on a home-and-home a couple of years ago.  As of yet, nothing has come out of those talks.

LSU, two B1G schools will have most players on Super Bowl rosters

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The LSU Tigers football program represented the sport well in winning the 2019 national championship, and now they’re set to be well-represented when the next level crowns its Super Bowl champion as well.

Sunday afternoon, the Kansas City Chiefs again overcame an early deficit to beat the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship game. In the NFC championship game, the San Francisco 49ers pummeled the Green Bay Packers to earn a berth opposite the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. That game will be played at the home of the Miami Hurricanes, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Feb. 2.

The 49ers, seeking their first Super Bowl win since 1994, have four former LSU football players currently listed on their official online roster*. The Chiefs, in search of their first title since 1969, have one former LSU football player on their Super Bowl roster. That total of five is tied for the most for a single school in this year’s game.

The number for LSU is matched by a pair of schools from the Big Ten — Iowa and Penn State — for the most players on Super Bowl rosters this year. Three former Nittany Lions and Hawkeyes play for the 49ers, two for the Chiefs.

Two SEC schools, Florida and Vanderbilt, each have four former players as part of the game, as does Stanford. Middle Tennessee State and San Diego State are two of a gaggle of schools with three players on teams playing in the game, which is the most of any Group of Five conference member.

Conference-wise, it was the SEC leading the way (again) with 32 players, followed by the Big Ten’s 22. The ACC (17), Pac-12 (16), Big 12 (12) and Conference USA (11) were the only other FBS leagues in double digits.

As for the other conferences?

  • Mountain West, nine
  • AAC, six
  • MAC, five
  • Sun Belt, four

Football independents accounted for six players. There were a total of 21 players who played at levels of football other than the FBS.

Below are all of the individual schools that will be represented on Super Sunday:

FIVE
Iowa
LSU
Penn State

FOUR
Florida
Stanford
Vanderbilt

THREE
Arizona
Auburn
Clemson
Kansas State
Middle Tennessee State
Mississippi State
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Pittsburgh
San Diego State
South Carolina

TWO
Alabama
BYU
Central Michigan
Duke
FAU
Florida State
Georgia Southern
Michigan
Michigan State
NC State
Ole Miss
Oregon
Purdue
Southern Miss
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
USF
Utah
Virginia

ONE
Air Force
Alabama A&M
Appalachian State
Arizona State
Arkansas
Baylor
Boston College
Bowling Green State
Buffalo
Cal
Cincinnati
Colorado
Colorado State
Colorado State-Pueblo
Eastern Illinois
Eastern Michigan
Eastern Washington
Georgia
Georgia Tech
Grand Valley State
Harvard
Hawaii
Illinois
Indiana
James Madison
Louisiana Tech
Louisiana
McGill (Canada)
Minnesota
Montana State
New Hampshire
New Mexico State
North Texas
Northern Illinois
Northern Iowa
Oklahoma State
Old Dominion
Oregon State
Princeton
Samford
San Diego
San Jose State
SMU
South Carolina State
TCU
Temple
Texas Tech
UConn
Utah State
Valdosta State
Villanova
Virginia Tech
Wagner
Washington
West Alabama
Western Illinois
Western Kentucky
Wyoming

(*Includes players on injured reserve, practice squad, etc.)

DE who began his collegiate career at Coastal Carolina, signed with Syracuse before flipping to NC State is back in transfer portal

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The NC State football program is the latest to find out first-hand that Jeffrey Gunter may have an issue with commitment.

In January of 2019, Gunter opted to transfer from Coastal Carolina. Three weeks later, he tweeted he was transferring to Syracuse… before deleting the tweet. Two days later, however, Syracuse confirmed the defensive end’s addition to the roster. Feb. 26, though, Gunter reneged on that commitment, tweeting he would no longer be transferring to Syracuse and would instead move on to NC State.

That commitment stuck… for all of 11 months, as it turned out, as 247Sports.com is now reporting that Gunter is listed in the NCAA transfer database

During his one season with the NC State football program, Gunter was the Co-Defensive Scout Team Player of the Year. He had to sit out the 2019 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules.

After totaling 14 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2018, Gunter, a two-star 2017 signee, was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference.

It’s worth to note that, in Gunter’s winter of decommitment last year, he had also considered moving to either North Carolina or Oregon. Whether those two schools will be in play this time around is unclear.

SEC finishes 2019-20 postseason with highest winning percentage; the Big 12, not so much

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After being knocked off its perch last season, the SEC is back atop the postseason heap.

LSU’s resounding win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff national championship game Monday night officially put the 2019-20 college football postseason to bed.  That was the eighth win for the SEC during this month-long postseason, easily the most of any other conference.  The .800 winning percentage for the SEC in the postseason was also far and away the highest.

Last season, the SEC went 6-6 during the 2018-19 postseason cycle, including Alabama’s beatdown at the hands of Clemson in the title game.  At .667 (4-2), Conference USA had the best winning percentage a year ago.

Getting back to 2019-20, the Pac-12 was the only other Power Five conference with a winning record this postseason at 4-3 (.571).  That’s an improvement from the 3-4 (.429) of a year ago and a far, far cry from the 1-8 (.125) egg the league laid two cycles ago.

Speaking of the postseason laying of eggs, the Big 12 went 1-5, posting a Pac-12-esque .168 winning percentage.  Three of those losses came by double digits, including Oklahoma’s 63-28 woodshedding by LSU in one of the College Football Playoff semifinals.

As for the other Power Fives, the Big Ten went 4-5 (.444) and the ACC 4-7 (.364).

Football independents, incidentally, posted a .667 winning percentage (2-1).

And how did the Group of Five fare?

  • Sun Belt 3-2 (.600)
  • AAC 4-3 (.571)
  • Mountain West (.571)
  • MAC 3-4 (.429)
  • Conference USA (.375)