For the seventh-straight year, Appalachian State University has earned a berth in the NCAA Division I Football Championship and for the second year in a row, it has received a first-round bye in the 20-team field. Appalachian (8-3) will host Maine (8-3) in the tournament’s second round on Saturday,
Dec. 3 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Kickoff time is TBA.
Appalachian and Maine, ranked ninth and 13th, respectively, in The Sports Network's final NCAA Division I FCS poll of the regular season, received at-large bids to the Division I Football Championship field. The Mountaineers tied for second in the Southern Conference with losses at No. 9 (AP) Virginia Tech, No. 12 Wofford and Furman. Maine tied for second in the Colonial Athletic Association with losses at Pittsburgh, versus No. 8 Towson and at No. 11 New Hampshire.
The intriguing second-round pairing is a rematch from the first round of what was then known as the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs in 2002, when seventh-ranked Maine upset No. 5 ASU, 14-13, at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
The winner of the Maine-Appalachian matchup will advance to the national quarterfinals where it will face SoCon champion and No. 3-seeded Georgia Southern (9-2), unseeded Old Dominion (9-2) or unseeded Norfolk State (9-2). Should GSU defeat the winner of the ODU-NSU opening-round contest in the second round, it would host the quarterfinal matchup. If the Eagles are knocked off, the quarterfinal venue is TBA.
Other teams on the Mountaineers’ side of the bracket include Eastern Kentucky (7-4) and James Madison (7-4), who will square off in the first round next weekend, No. 2-seeded North Dakota State (10-1), who will face the EKU-JMU winner in the second round, and Towson (9-2) and Lehigh (10-1), who will meet in the second round after first-round byes.
The other half of the bracket includes top-seeded Sam Houston State (11-0), No. 4 seed Montana (9-2) and No. 5 seed Northern Iowa (9-2), as well as Wofford (8-3), who Appalachian tied for second in the final SoCon standings at 6-2 in conference play.
The NCAA Division I national championship game is set for Saturday, Jan. 7 at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, Texas.
• Reserved seat tickets for the Dec. 3 second-round game between Appalachian and Maine are on sale NOW at GoASU.com. Tickets cost $25 for adults and $15 for youth (ages 3-12).
• Tickets can be purchased 24 hours a day, seven days a week at GoASU.com and are available from Monday-Friday between 9 a.m.-4 p.m. by phone at (828) 262-2079 or in person at the ASU athletics ticket office, located in the Holmes Center.
• Unlike past years, ASU students will be admitted to all postseason games at Kidd Brewer Stadium for FREE. Appalachian athletics will cover the costs to allow all ASU students to attend by simply presenting their student ID at the gate on gameday, just like the regular season. Student guest tickets cost $15 and will go on sale on Sunday, Nov. 27.
• Full season ticket holders have until Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 4 p.m. to purchase their regular-season seats for the second-round matchup versus Maine.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26
ALBANY, NY (8-3) @ STONEY BROOK (8-3)
CENTRAL ARKANSAS (8-3) @ TENNESSEE TECH (7-3)
NORFOLK STATE (9-2) @ OLD DOMINION (9-2)
JAMES MADISON (7-4) @ EASTERN KENTUCKY (7-4)
SATURDAY. DECEMBER 3
STONEY BROOK-ALBANY WINNER @ #1 SAM HOUSTON STATE (11-0)
NEW HAMPSHIRE (8-3) @ MONTANA STATE (9-2)
WOFFORD (8-3) @ #5 NORTHERN IOWA (9-2)
CENTRAL ARKANSAS-TENNESSEE TECH WINNER @ #4 MONTANA (9-2)
OLD DOMINION-NORFOLK STATE WINNER @ #3 GEORGIA SOUTHERN (9-2)
MAINE (8-3) @ APPALACHIAN STATE (8-3)
LEHIGH (10-1) @ TOWSON (9-2)
EASTERN KENTUCKY-JAMES MADISON WINNER @ #2 NORTH DAKOTA STATE (10-1)
Photo Courtesy, Brian Quick, by Bill Sheffield, ASU Athletics