Appalachian State in talks to join Conference USA

By Kevin Kelley -

Appalachian StateThe Appalachian State Mountaineers are in talks to join Conference USA, ASU Director of Athletics Charlie Cobb has confirmed.

Appalachian State has been a member of the Southern Conference in the Football Championship Subdivision since 1971. There they have won three national championships (2005-07) and won or shared the Southern Conference championship 11 times.

In a release dated May 8, 2012, Cobb wrote:

“Potential membership in Conference USA is one of the scenarios that Appalachian has been pursuing since the athletics feasibility committee made their recommendation last August. As you recall, the committee recommended that Appalachian seek membership in a conference that sponsors FBS football and the Board of Trustees approved that recommendation this past September. The committee’s mandate was that a new conference must create geographic rivalries and make financial sense for us.”

“Feedback that we have received throughout this process has been overwhelmingly positive with regards to our University’s and athletics department’s infrastructure. Our academic programs are top-notch, our financial base is strong, the data put forth by the athletics feasibility committee is solid and our facilities, fan support and success on the playing fields and courts are unparalleled among our peers.”

One of the hurdles for ASU to overcome is their location. They are located in Boone, North Carolina, a town with a population of 14,138 according to the U.S. Census Bureau (2009).

But Cobb accentuates the positives in his letter, stating that Appalachian State is “…in the coverage areas of four top-100 markets that serve over 3 million homes combined” and that they have “…103,000 living alumni and 76,000 of them live in the major population centers of North Carolina.”

In addition, Cobb points out that based on last years attendance, the Mountaineers would have finished 5th in Conference USA and second in the Sun Belt Conference.

Earlier this week, it was rumored that App State and New Mexico State would get invitations to join the Sun Belt Conference. That rumor was shot down by SBC commissioner Karl Benson, as least in regards to NM State.

The letter released by Appalachian State’s Charlie Cobb shows that the Mountaineers are more interested in joining Conference USA than the Sun Belt.

  1. HerdFan87
    May 11, 2012 at 10:58 am

    It would be awesome to see Appalachian State to join C-USA! I couldn’t wait to see Marshall play them again.

  2. Mike
    May 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Replacing Dallas, TX with Boone, NC doesn’t seem to quite fit the bill.

    • HerdFan87
      May 11, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      Very true… I hope that UTSA can replace them and I guess replace one of our 2 Houston schools with North Texas…

    • NateTCU
      May 11, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      SMU does not give you the Dallas, Texas market at all. North Texas has to have close to three times the DFW market that SMU has. If you ranked college team by how many fans they have in Dallas SMU would be doing good to be #8.

      1) Texas

      2) Texas A&M

      3-4) Oklahoma and Texas Tech (no order)

      5-10) Ok State, Arkansas, TCU, SMU, North Texas, Baylor (no order)

      Also ran) Tulsa, K-State, Kansas, LSU, La Tech, Houston, Rice, Texas St, Sam Houston St, UTSA, UTEP.

    • Mike
      May 12, 2012 at 2:30 am

      How many times was UNT on regional or national television last year?

    • NateTCU
      May 15, 2012 at 9:16 am

      four times

    • Mike
      May 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Why wouldn’t The Big East take UNT instead if they command such a large DFW TV market share?

    • Luke Knight
      June 26, 2016 at 11:33 pm

      I think that Miami University of Ohio or Toledo should join Conference USA. I believe that would be a great rivalry for Marshall to have!

  3. matt
    May 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Doesn’t the team from Boone, NC have a better fan following than the team from Dallas.

    • Mike
      May 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Sounds like the Big East made a mistake by bringing in SMU instead of Appalachian State.

  4. Greg
    May 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    That team also beat Michigan in their own big house! They will do just fine and yes they have a following just like BSU did before moving up.

  5. Kro
    May 15, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I just heard that Liberty also wants to move up to FBS.

  6. gcdbfv
    May 15, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Really? where did you hear that.

  7. BC
    May 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I think Liberty is going to have a hard time fitting into a conference. Because of their fundamentalist nature, and their extremely conservative politics****see disclaimer) along with the fact that they refuse to play any sport on Sunday’s doesn’t make them the kind of school other conferences will want. And under the current rules, you can not upgrade to FBS without a conference invite.

    Also they are in a small TV market that is dominated by UVa fans.

    disclaimer****let’s not turn this thread into whether you agree or disagree with their positions; but I think you will all agree that many university administrations will find them quite controversial/

  8. BC
    May 16, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    They don’t, and that is what kept them out of the Pac-10. And as far as programs go BYU has far more to offer a conference than Liberty does.

    Under current NCAA rules, Liberty does not have the option to join the FBS as an independent, and unless a conference has absolutely no other option for a 12th team, I doubt they will look at Liberty.

    As it stands now, C-USA has its 13 (If App State joins they will make 14), the MAC will have 13 the Sun Belt will be at 10 for football (counting the new teams) in 2013. So IMHO, Libery is going to be unwanted.

    Perhaps they can talk to Idaho and NMSU to salvage something in the WAC.

    • Mike
      May 16, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      Kinda surprised C-USA didn’t look at Troy and Ark. State – two pretty good programs.

    • BC
      May 17, 2012 at 10:49 am

      Troy is on the fringe of the Montgomery TX market (#119) and Ark State is in Jonesboro (#182),

      And even in those markets I would guess those teams are less popular than the Tide, War Eagle and the Hogs.

    • Dawg fan
      May 17, 2012 at 6:54 pm

      bc, troy, alabama is no where near montgomery, texas

    • Mike
      May 17, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Obviously a typo – he meant Montgomery, AL.

  9. connEr
    May 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    you don’t know that for sure Mike

  10. connEr
    May 30, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    I think that Appalachian State should join the C-USA. I mean, Why not? You have the opportunity to be in a division 1 conferance, and you get to play against good temas, like Houstan. I THINK THAT Appalachian-State should join C-USA!!!!!

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