Image courtesy of JMU Athletics Communications
Written by Bennett Conlin and Jack Fitzpatrick
Anyone else excited for tomorrow? JMU football Sun Belt Conference kicks off tomorrow against App State, and the game got us as excited as we’ve been at the JMU regular season game years ago.
As we do every week, we sat down to answer a few questions about this week’s game.
On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your excitement level for the JMU-App State?
Jack: This is a tough, tough 8 game. It feels like North Dakota State in the playoffs last season for me. I get that there are no real bets in this game, but imagine, man, what the software could mean and the accuracy it could give us as a fanbase. Imagine that App State has been in FBS all these years growing as a program, and then we, JMU, a brave new team to the FBS stage go home and steal the win? Not real!
There’s no shot at JMU making a bowl game or championship game this season, but the ramifications of this showdown for the near future are massive and amazing.
Bennett: I said in the podcast that my excitement level is 7, and I’m going to stick with that. Don’t get me wrong, I am undoubtedly excited about this game. It’s JMU’s Sun Belt debut against a former (and hopefully future) competitor. Meanwhile, JMU can’t win the sun belt or do a bowl game this season, so the stakes look lower than they will be in future seasons. It’s a great match, but it’s not in the 8-10 range for me yet.
Do you expect the JMU-App State to develop into a fierce competition in the coming years? If so, how long for the two fan bases to consider it a heated competition?
Jack: If JMU wins this year, I think it’s instant. Now, if App State wins then like Bennett I would say 3-5 years.
For me, the rivalry needs both teams to win and for the competition to be permanent. Near the end Richmond wasn’t really competitive. The dukes were fair Much Better than spiders they lost their luster. If JMU and App is a competitive game for the next few years, this will be the match hot competition between countries.
Bennett: Let’s give it three years. The schools are a few hours apart, and each fan base is very enthusiastic. The ingredients are there for a great competition, but it will take a few years for players, students, and younger alumni to feel that App State is a real contender.
The 2008 JMU movie with the Mountaineers was six years before I came to JMU, and while I certainly know about the App State, this was not a rivalry during my time as a fan. It will take two meetings before the bad blood returns among the fan bases.
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