Mountaineers Picked to Finish Fourth in Sun Belt by Coaches, ESPN Picks Them for First

Published Monday, July 20, 2015 at 10:13 am
Senior wideout Malachi Jones and the Mountaineers are picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt in 2015 by the league's coaches. Courtesy: DCMayo (Appalachian, '83)

Senior wideout Malachi Jones and the Mountaineers are picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt in 2015 by the league’s coaches. Courtesy: DCMayo (Appalachian, ’83)

While ESPN and Sporting News picked the Mountaineers to come in first, the Sun Belt Conference’s football coaches have picked Appalachian State University to finish fourth in the 2015 Sun Belt football standings, the league announced on Friday.

Appalachian State won its final six games of last season to finish 7-5 overall and 6-2 in conference play, good for a third-place finish in its inaugural Sun Belt campaign.

The Mountaineers return 20-of-22 offensive and defensive starters from last season’s squad and carry the fifth-longest winning streak in NCAA Division I FBS into the 2015 season. Appalachian State is fully bowl-eligible in 2015 after completing its NCAA-mandated two-year transition from FCS to FBS in 2013 and ‘14.

The Sun Belt’s coaches picked Georgia Southern to repeat as conference champion, followed by UL Lafayette and Arkansas State. Appalachian hosts all three league favorites at Kidd Brewer Stadium this season with the Georgia Southern (Oct. 22) and Arkansas State (Nov. 5) contests slated for primetime national television on ESPNU and the UL Lafayette matchup serving as the home finale on Nov. 28.

Texas State, South Alabama, UL Monroe, Troy, Georgia State, New Mexico State and Idaho round out the poll.

Appalachian State season tickets, including a slew of full- and half-season packages, are on sale now. Tickets, which are available for as low as $99 for the full season (six home games) and $65 for a half-season package (three home games), can be purchased online at appstatesports.com/tickets, by phone at (828) 262-2079 and in person at the Appalachian State athletics ticket office, located at the Holmes Center.

2015 SUN BELT FOOTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL

  1. Georgia Southern (6 first-place votes) – 110 total points
  2. UL Lafayette (3) – 108
  3. Arkansas State (1) – 96
  4. Appalachian State – 82
  5. Texas State – 78
  6. South Alabama (1) – 68
  7. UL Monroe – 59
  8. Troy – 39
  9. Georgia State – 32
  10. New Mexico State – 30
  11. Idaho – 24

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