App to face UAB in New Orleans Bowl

BOONE — Appalachian State found out Dec. 8 it would face Alabama-Birmingham in the New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 21.

The Mountaineers are going to their fourth straight bowl game after finishing 12-1 overall and winning at least a share of four straight Sun Belt Conference championships. The Mountaineers won their second-straight outright title after beating Louisiana 45-38 in the Sun Belt Conference championship game on Dec. 7.

Appalachian State set a conference standard by winning 11 regular season games in 2019. The Mountaineers also beat Power Five teams North Carolina 34-31 and South Carolina 20-15. App State also finished its Sun Belt regular season 7-1.

Alabama-Birmingham, which plays in the West Division of Conference USA. The Blazers finished with a 9-4 overall record and went 6-2 in the West Division.

(5) comments

We are who we choose to be associated with, and leaving Davidson and Elon for Monroe and Troy was a gigantic hit to AppState's academic rep. It's like Yale leaving the Ivy League to join the MAC to "move up" to FBS.

And the coach is gone after one year. ESPN reporting that Eli is gone to Missouri. Another thing I don't like about being in the group of five.

Really? 11-1 and all we get is a Dec 21st New Orleans bowl against UAB? What is a UAB anyway? Every year we go to this bowl or the Montgomery bowl a week before bowl season. I miss the playoffs. So much more fun. And I miss competing for national championships, which clearly were more challenging that the Sun Belt. And I miss being associated with quality universities. Group of 5 is purgatory. Like FCS but with more debt and less fun. It's not the players fault, so congratulations on a good season.

The national attention, the ability to recruit superior talent and the ability to play against better competition has elevated the program to a level that no FCS playoff system would ever provide. Keep in mind that many players currently on this team would never have come to AppSt if the move to FBS had not occurred. App would never have been ranked at #20 in the nation had the program remaind FCS. The future continues to shine.

I don't think this logic stands up to the facts. We got just as much national attention while in FCS. Recall being on the cover of SI? Recall being on ESPN multiple times each year? We played a power 5 team as FCS and now we do the same. The playoffs drew interest from fans across the country because it has implications for fans across the country. Nobody cares about the Camellia Bowl except the fans of the two teams. And I don't think the current players are better than Armanti Edwards and company, and the record shows the Sun Belt was no better competition. And I know people don't like it, but maybe universities are suppose to care about educating kids first. Being in the Sun Belt costs the university $15 million more than being in FCS (yes, it's been a financial disaster) and that is money that could be used for actually educating students or building classrooms instead of adding empty stadium seats.

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