On Saturday, all eyes will be on Georgia Southern.
Well, the eyes of anyone still with a shot at a Southern Conference title, anyway.
The No. 2-ranked Eagles still have their destiny in their own hands, needing a win over No. 15 Appalachian State Saturday at 2 p.m. in Paulson Stadium to clinch an outright SoCon title and the league’s automatic bid to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
Wofford, Chattanooga and, of course, ASU still need GSU to lose in order to have a shot at the championship.
It’s only fitting that the league’s crown still comes down to arguably its best rivalry over the last 20 years.
"It’s like (ASU coach Jerry) Moore said after last year’s game up there (a 24-17 win by the Mountaineers in Boone, N.C., over then-top-ranked GSU)," said Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken. "Sometimes we win, and sometimes you win."
The last two times, the visitor was favored but the home team won.
The top of the SoCon will hope the visitor will pull this one off.
Along with a win over GSU, the Mountaineers will still need some help on their path to a potential SoCon title in 2012.
App holds the tiebreaker over Chattanooga, but lost to Wofford. The Terriers would have to lose Saturday against Samford and the following week against Chattanooga – not likely but not impossible.
If Georgia Southern loses Saturday, Wofford would only need to hold serve. Winning out would leave the Terriers as the lone one-loss team in the league.
Things get messy if GSU loses, and Wofford drops one of the last two, especially if that one is to Chattanooga.
If the Eagles, Mocs, Mountaineers and Terriers (with a loss to Samford) all finished with two losses, it would mean Chattanooga would have lost to all three, and the three left would each be 1-1 against each other.
The Mocs have the toughest road to SoCon supremacy, needing a GSU loss to ASU and wins over Western Carolina and Wofford.
Chattanooga would still need not only an Appalachian State win over Georgia Southern, but also an ASU loss to Furman and a Wofford loss to Samford.
That would leave the Mocs in a split with the Eagles, with GSU holding the tiebreaker.
Fortunatly for everyone involved, Elon’s game with Samford on Saturday has no bearing on anybody’s Southern Conference title aspirations.
Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.