If two-time defending national football champion Appalachian State decides to upgrade to Division I-A it won’t be anytime soon.
“We haven’t spent five minutes thinking about (jumping to I-A) lately,” said Charlie Cobb, second-year athletic director for the Mountaineers, one of GSU’s biggest Southern Conference rivals.
The Mountaineers had enough trouble putting together a football schedule for this fall, a slate that was an hourly conversation around the athletic department until it was finally completed in May. With back-to-back national crowns and a 27-game home winning streak, most potential opponents steered clear of Appalachian.
With its schedule now finalized, ASU’s main focus continues to be upgrading its athletic facilities, Cobb said.
“We are trying to build our athletic program step-by-step,” he said.
Appalachian’s recent success extends beyond the football field. The Mountaineers continue to dominate the Southern Conference as a whole and won both the Commissioner’s Cup and Germann Cup for the second straight year last month. The cups honor the league’s top all-around men’s and women’s athletics programs. Points are awarded based on where the school finishes in the regular season, and two additional points go to conference tournament champions.
“We took a moment to be excited and celebrate this year, and now we are starting some planning for next year,” Cobb said. “This summer we’ll take some time to figure out where we are going and what we’re doing. We don’t know the answers.”
Cobb said Mountaineer fans aren’t pushing for a move to I-A like Georgia Southern fans are through SouthernFACTS.org, a Web site designed to gauge support for football realignment at GSU.
“The great thing is, with back-to-back national championships, our people are focused on seeing if we can be the first team to three-peat,” Cobb said. “We’ve got as good a shot as anybody.”
Is the I-A discussion one that will happen down the road at Appalachian?
“Sure, but we are trying to focus on our immediate and short-term needs right now,” Cobb said.