By Paul T. Choate
Nov. 18, 2012. Despite a few bumps along the way, the No. 7 Appalachian State Mountaineers (8-3, 6-2 SoCon) received a first-round bye in the NCAA Division 1 Football Championship playoffs and will host No. 16 Illinois State (8-3, 5-3 MVC) at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 1.
The 20-team bracket was unveiled during the FCS Selection Show, televised on ESPNU at 1:30 p.m. Two other Southern Conference (SoCon) rivals of ASU made it into the field as well, with Wofford (8-3, 6-2 SoCon) picking up an unseeded spot and Georgia Southern (8-3, 6-2 SoCon) just sliding into one of the five seeded slots in the playoffs with the No. 5 seed. Though receiving a first-round bye, ASU was not seeded.
While the Mountaineers’ record is well over .500, there was some concern as to whether ASU would even make the playoffs following a heartbreaking loss to Wofford 38-28 on Oct. 20. In the hotly contested SoCon, every loss tends to come at such a great price. Following the loss, however, the Mountaineers rebounded to win three straight, including a very impressive 31-28 win over then-No. 1-ranked Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Ga., on Nov. 3.
All three SoCon teams selected were given first-round byes and all will play their first playoff game Dec. 1. Wofford will square off against New Hampshire (8-3, 6-2 CAA) and Georgia Southern will take on Central Arkansas (9-2, 6-1 Southland).
North Dakota State, with a 10-1 overall record and a 7-1 record in the Missouri Valley Conference, claimed the No. 1 seed.
The meeting between ASU and ISU will be the first ever between the two schools. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. and tickets are available. Season ticket holders still have to purchase tickets to postseason games, but will receive first dibs on available tickets. For ticket information and for more on the Mountaineers, visit goasu.com.
To view the full bracket for the FCS Division 1 Championship playoffs, visit ncaa.com/interactive-bracket/football/fcs.