The start of the college football season is less than a week away, and Appalachian State is already receiving plenty of national recognition.
From home attendance to happy fans and a powerful football team, the Mountaineers have made a strong impression entering just their fourth FBS season and third year as a bowl-eligible program.
Alabama sat atop the AP Top 25 poll that was released Monday, and App State totaled four voting points to rank 39th in the 128-team FBS. Two points came from a 24th-place vote by Dave Reardon of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, while one point apiece resulted from 25th-place votes by former Winston-Salem Journal columnist Scott Hamilton and Eric Hansen of The South Bend Tribune.
App State had the fifth-most voting points among teams that are Group of Five conference members.
The Mountaineers are 27-5 in their last 32 games, including a 10-3 record that involved winning a share of the Sun Belt Conference championship and beating Toledo in the Camellia Bowl in 2016. Those accomplishments help explain why App State was listed 10th nationally and first among Group of Five schools in ESPN’s “Fan Happiness Index” that was published this week.
With Appalachian State being the only Group of Five school in the top 16, ESPN ranked happiness based on measurements of program power, rivalry dominance, coaching stability, recruiting trend, revenue growth and Twitter buzz.
App State’s happy fans have been filling Kidd Brewer Stadium at a first-place rate.
According to numbers released this week, the Mountaineers led the nation last year in home attendance relative to stadium capacity, finishing at 108.744 percent. Nebraska was second at 104.826 percent, followed by Kansas State, Oklahoma and Michigan.
App State, which drew a record-breaking crowd of 34,658 for Miami’s visit to Boone, was the only Group of Five team with a total above 100 percent.
The Mountaineers open the 2017 season at Georgia on Sept. 2, play Savannah State in their Kidd Brewer Stadium opener Sept. 9 and face Wake Forest in Boone on Sept. 23 before playing four Sun Belt home games.
The installation of a state-of-the-art scoreboard that’s three times larger than its Kidd Brewer Stadium predecessor is being completed, and the Sept. 9 home opener will include recognition of the teams that won three straight FCS national championships from 2005-07, a run capped by the 2007 team that memorably upset Michigan a decade ago.
Single-game tickets are available after going on sale to the general public Aug. 8. While the Wake Forest game is sold out, tickets are available but moving quickly for Homecoming (Oct. 7) and Family Weekend (Oct. 21) in addition to the “Gold Out” on Sept. 9.
App State football tickets are available online at appstatesports.com, by phone at 828-262-2079 and in person at the Appalachian State athletics ticket office located at the Holmes Center.
Fans can also still enjoy the perks that come with being a Yosef Club member by joining for the 2017 membership year, which runs through Dec. 31, 2017. Yosef Club membership comes with access to exclusive seating and parking for Appalachian State football season ticket holders (at certain membership levels).