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Appy hosting playoff game while Wofford feels slighted
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    Wofford coach Mike Ayers admits it — he was a little surprised to learn his team had to board a plane to Missoula, Mont., for a first-round playoff game today.
    After winning the Southern Conference’s automatic bid, the 8-3 Terriers were shipped to undefeated and third-seeded Montana, nearly 2,000 miles away from their Spartanburg, S.C., home.
    But what disappointed Ayers the most were the ESPNU broadcasters during last Sunday’s FCS playoff selection show.
    “They talked about every other school but Wofford,” he said. “We’ve had a great season in a great league, and for whatever reason, the impression was almost like we were just an afterthought of getting in. But that’s all right. We feel the selection process is not a perfect process. We’ve had our troubles in the past.”
    Ayers is referring to 2002 and 2004 when three-loss Wofford teams got passed up when invitations to the 16-team playoff field were handed out. This year, he’s glad the Terriers were “fortunate enough to have the automatic bid,” but he feels some teams got left out.
    “To tell you the truth, I thought Georgia Southern should have been one of those teams selected because they are a very good football team,” Ayers said of the Eagles, who dealt the Terriers a 38-35 home loss earlier this month. “I’d put them up against anybody.”
    Like Ayers, Appalachian State coach Jerry Moore believes the postseason selection process has its flaws.
    “There’s always some injustice in this thing,” Moore said. “I hope they expand (the playoff field) to 24. They are talking about expanding it to 18, but that doesn’t really help anything. If they are going to expand it, it needs to go to 24. (Then) you’ll have a little bit better chance of taking care of some of those situations.”
    The two-time defending national champion Mountaineers host James Madison (8-3), the 2004 national champs, today at 1 p.m.
    “When they say they got a tough draw, well so did we,” Moore said. “We’ve got tremendous respect for the program and the players there at James Madison, always have.”
    How much of an advantage is starting the playoffs at home where the Mountaineers draw the largest crowds in the FCS?
    “I don’t know,” Moore said. “Georgia Southern came up here and thumped us real good right here at home.”
    Moore said the pressure on his team has been considerable since its season-opening win at Michigan, which was considered one of the biggest upsets in college football history.
    “The Michigan win just accelerated everything,” Moore said. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever been around and my whole life’s been football, playing and coaching. I’ve never experienced anything like what we have this year. Our players have done a great job handling all that.”
    As for Wofford, the Terriers are set to play in front of a huge crowd at Montana, which traditionally draws in the 24,000 range. Ayers said his guys know how to overcome a rowdy atmosphere because of playing in Paulson Stadium at Georgia Southern and The Rock at Appalachian State.
    “They make it tough on you — that’s just part of the game,” Ayers said.
“It’s something we’ve got to deal with. There are some issues, no doubt, but we’ll see if we can overcome those.”
    Along with the long trip and the undefeated Grizzlies, the Terriers will have to deal with the weather in Montana where about a foot of snow fell earlier this week.
    “We are trying just to focus on their players, their scheme and us playing and executing and doing the things that have gotten us here,” Ayers said.