Teams & Conferences

Preview 2017: Is Appalachian State Ripe For Expansion?

Preview 2017: Is Appalachian State ready for the expansion radar?

After a few terrific years, and with plenty of good parts to be an attractive partner, Appalachian State might just be good enough to get a long look from some bigger leagues.

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2017 Appalachian State Preview & What You Need To Know
– 2017 Appalachian State Schedule Analysis
 Appalachian State Previews: 2016 | 2015

When it comes to the world of college sports and realignment and expansion, is Appalachian State football making itself a potentially attractive candidate to move up in the world?

Nothing against the Sun Belt, but considering the geography, the decent-sized enrollment – around 20,000 – and the potential for rivalries with Charlotte, Marshall, Old Dominion and Western Kentucky, Conference USA might be an interesting fit if the football team continues to rock and roll.

And that’s the key. If the Mountaineers can keep up their level of success, the former FCS powerhouse might just be too good to ignore if they continue to crank out double-digit win seasons and scare the hell out of some big names – like Tennessee last year – along the way.

This year’s team might not be quite as strong as the last two that combined to go 21-5 with two bowl victories, but with a fantastic nucleus of all-star talent, a ridiculously easy-looking schedule, and the foundation in place – from Scott Satterfield and the coaching staff, to the expectations of a program that wins like this one does – there’s no reason to expect anything less than another terrific season.

Depth will be the concern early on in the season, but the formula should continue to work just fine as long as the starting 22 stays in one piece.

The offensive backfield has the veterans in QB Taylor Lamb and RB Jalin Moore to keep the great ground game rolling behind another strong line. As long as a few inexperienced receivers step up and shine around No. 1 target Shaedon Moore – and as long as the downfield passing game is a bit stronger – there won’t be an issue.

The 3-4 defense that was so amazing against the run and finished 17th in the nation overall has to work on finding a few new producers in the linebacking corps, and five of the top ten tacklers have to be replaced, but again, there are enough good pieces to work around to not expect a big drop-off.

So, would another ten-win season move the needle enough to make Appalachian State ready for the Conference USA world – or even the American Athletic Conference?

From TV markets to the other sports, there’s obviously a lot more to it than whether or not the football team comes up with a few big wins, but the Mountaineers might once again show that they’re just too good to ignore.

– 2017 Appalachian State Preview & What You Need To Know
– 2017 Appalachian State Schedule Analysis
 Appalachian State Previews: 2016 | 2015