2007 Game Preview: Appalachian State University

3.  Offense:  Multiple Single Back Sets

4.  Defense:  4-3

5.  2006 Record: 14-1 (7-0 Southern Conference)

6.  Star Watch:

Five ASU players are Pre-Season All Americans (RB Richardson, QB Edwards, DB and Buck Buchanan Award Candidate Corey Lynch, OG Kerry Brown, and CB Jerome Touchstone)

Senior Running Back Kevin Richardson-(5'9, 190) This former walk-on won the Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year Award and is now a Walter Payton Award Candidate.  He averaged well over 100 yards per game as he ran for 1,676 yards (All time school record) and 30 TD's (All time DII record) last year as a Junior including 179 yds and 4 TD's in Championship Game. 

Sophomore QB Armanti Edwards- Last year's National Freshmen of the year was second on the team in rushing easily surpassing the 1,000 yd mark for the season.  Scored 15 TD's on the ground and averaged over 6 yds per scamper.  Also threw for over 2,000 yds.  (150 per game with a 60 percent completion percentage)

Junior Linebacker Pierre Banks-Led the team with over 100 tackles last season playing the wide side linebacker spot.

Redshirt Freshmen CoCo Hillary-Yes the second 'C' is capitalized.  This slot receiver/return specialist has dazzled in the fall workouts, is a threat to break a big one!

The Series

These two schools have never met and this is ASU's first ever trip to the state of Michigan.  It is also ASU's first ever matchup against a Big Ten Conference Team.   ASU is 45-29-3 in season openers and 6-29-1 vs. DI squads.  Their last victory over a DI school came in 2000 vs. Wake Forest.

Fast and Fun Facts

  • ASU is a perfect 2-0 all time in instant replay challenges! 

  • ASU's next opponent is the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears, enrollment 1,600!

  • ASU is a perfect 15-0 when Richardson eclipses the 100 yd mark!

  • One of ASU's title sponsors is Hardee's.  (I really miss the "fixins" bar and their commecials on the website are sweet!)

  • In an online poll, as of yesterday, 71% of ASU fan's biggest concern about the game was stopping our offense.

  • ASU players are referred to as "APPS" and the stadium is nickname "The Rock"

  • They have a "Tailgate of the Game Award" for each home game

*Appalachian State University football's preparations for the defense of its back-to-back NCAA Division I football national championships and 2007 season opener at Michigan will be chronicled for a 30-minute documentary as part of Fox Sports Net's popular Under the Lights series.

Since I know you're just waiting for Saturday Night...

by Johnny Cleveland

If you need something to occupy your time while waiting for J.L. and his three ring circus to arrive late Sat. Eve., then you have come to the right spot. Keep yourself busy with these creative musings.

Spartan Web Fun (click continue reading now)

1. Enlightenedspartan.com 

Get your John L. shirt here. Many styles and colors for you or your wife or your girlfriend and actually even your dog. Also available on many different office supplies and whatnot.

2. Spartantailgate.com

Maybe what you would call our "sister site" (just because of the name of course). Pretty hillarious continual loop of old J.L. slapping himself in the face.

3. Msuspartans.com

Weekly Press Conference by J.L. Smith. I know its a cliche, but this stuff is so high quality, you couldn't make it up. I mean seriously, you have to hear him just to appreciate how wonderful Coach Smith is. Absolutely delightful material here folks and if you listen long enough he jokes how he is thankful "they aren't very good", referring to us of course.

4. Statenews.com

The dreaded, administrative vote of confidence and support. The MSU officials say J.L. is "an excellent coach." We think so too, can you sign him to a lifetime contract Mr. Mason.

Game Two for Tupa

by Johnny Cleveland

I am sure these posts should come earlier in the day but I had to work. Anyway we are down 1-0 to the big bad Yanks, but we are definitely not out. Good News: I thought our overall performance was above average and we showed zero sign of intimidation. Our bats had life and little more timely hitting would have given us the lead and then who knows what would have happened. Bad News: We face Mike Mussina tonight and he is second all time in winning percentage against the Tigers. It is imperative to get some early runs and let Verlander relax. Hopefully Moose is not at 100%, he has been hurt (thumb).

Tonight's Starting Pitcher: Justin Verlander 

Though he's just a rook, JV is low stress. For one he pitches to quickly to get your smoke lit in time for the next pitch, and also you know he is going to bring heat. Yes, it could be disastrous if his control is off and the Y's blast away with favorable counts, but I look for the youngster to be poised and have a nice outing.

Recap and Probables
Tonight is definitely a 3 to 4 pack game. I went with three since I have faith. As for last night, the "white boys" did about as expected, a combined 3 for 8. Spanish Main was solid, that is except for the captain. After praising his leadership, it turns out his missed hit and run could have been the turning point. All I am saying is that it was a good call but Pudge didn't get it done. And for all you that say Pudge should have bunted, you obviously haven't watched many games this year, cuz my man is a piss poor bunter and most likely would have popped out or led to a double play. Anyway we will not win with another 0'fer from Ivan, and unfortunately Mussina can K him just about every time. So prove me wrong again pudgy. Everyone in "Gangsta's Row" had a hit including Granderson who had 3. Keep it up fellas. Mags had a nice double but he's gotta have a multiple hit game tonight.

The Pitching and Coaching: Robertson did a nice job and again I would have like to see what would have happened had we scored, like we should have, in the second and third innings. I thought twice we should have brought righties in to face Jeter, first in the 6th with Nate still throwing, and then in the 8th with Walker on the mound. Other than that, Walker did a good job and as I predicted, if we saw Grilli and/or Walker, it probably wasn't going to be a good situation. Well at least all the big dogs in the pen are rested for tonight. We will definitely see Zumaya for some work and probably Rodney. If Jonsie is spotted, good news Tiger fans.

Goal #1: Get back here for Friday Night 1-1 and we will be the buzz of the sports nation! And what a nice Prequel to Saturday nights game it would be to see The Gambler put the pin striped pussies in a 2-1 hole. LETS GO TIGERS! and while I am thinking of it, EDEAN told me to tell ya all, "Fuck State".


by Johnny Cleveland

I decided to write this while we were still undefeated. That way I can bitch about this "organization" without it looking like I am whining cuz we got screwed. And don't worry eventually we will get screwed (again) by Mr. NCAA/BCS.

Problem 1Striped Idiots

Since its football season we will start there and with the NCAA officiating crews. First as an unrelated side bar, let me point out the ironic ness that officials wear striped uniforms and are frequently reffered to as zebras and zebras I believe are a close relative, if not family member, of the Jackass. Kinda funny isn't it? Needless to say, they all to commonly perform at sub par levels, and I am not ever getting into basketball, see Hightower. The latest glaring set of incompetents came 1.5 weeks ago in the Oklahoma @ Oregon debacle. Besides ruining the outcome of the game, the refs couldn't even get it right on replay. And then the replay guy gets threats on his and/or his family's lives. That really makes one want to grow up and be a ref now doesn't it.

Solution 1: A. Real Solution - get a uniform set of rules and officials and disperse them to games on a national level. And prioritize big games and give them the best officials. B. Short Term - At least get neutral officials for non conference games.

Underlying Solution 1: Although I admit some level of mental retardation must exist to not correct the aforementioned Sooner-Duck call after viewing the replay, at no point should a man and his family be threatened over a non-professional sporting event. If the NCAA/BCS would fix this lousy Bowl Game System then it wouldn't even have been a big deal. It is a big deal because under the current system basically Oklahoma is fucked. Its happened to us many a times, and often not due to refs I might add, but how awful is it when your National Title hopes are ruined in week 2. Pretty shitty, therefore if there was a playoff system, like there is in every other conceivable contest at every level when a title is going to be awarded, then yes, Oklahomians would still be pissed, but they would at least have a chance to redeem themselves in January. (Just an aside in case you ever get this trivia question. And this is some crazy shit, Did you know that the replay official that blew the call was actually on the field for the Cal-Stanford "band is on the field" game, and allegedly was the ref who was supposed to have seen the final and illegal lateral??, Can't make this stuff up if I tried)

Problem 2: National Title Continued

While on the topic of F'in up the National Title let me bring in another instance of NCAA/BCS blunder. Now I must admit at the time I didn't give 2 shits about Auburn and their 2004 title game snub, but upon further review it really pisses me off. First of all i wasn't too schooled on the quality of the SEC, but its absolute bullshit. Currently their are 5 teams from the SEC in the top AP 18, (plus Bama if they could make a PAT) your telling me that going thru that and the SEC title game undefeated doesn't get you in??? Which brings us back to Michigan, how shitty is the possibility of going into C-bus with both teams 11-0 and the loser has no chance at playing for the title. So possibly the two best teams play two months earlier and then one has no chance due to the schedule.

Solution: Tourney Time

Wouldn't be absolutely insane to have a tournament and maybe get a rematch, obviously I am talking for the OSU fans here because we are winning the first game. Besides that scenario, how crazy F'in nuts would December be with college football tournament games every weekend leading up to Christmas. America would officially go Bizerk! Once again Mr. NCAA/BCS puts a damper on our fun.

Problem 3: Cause for Insanity

Cases 1 and 2 (Mike and Mo) - Although meself loves to laugh at the man formerly know as Mo Clarett, it truly is a sad sad story. Basically his life is over, and guess who is to blame. Mr. NCAA. Now I am not getting into all the obvious shortcomings of "mo" hisself, but if you challenge a NFL rule and win in court, anyone would leap at the chance to make many many millions. So don't you just think that maybe if later on the ruling gets overturned, it would be a little obligatory to let the boy back in school? I know he probably would have done something else to get booted, actually i think he did, but its still bullshit. Now his productive life is over, and he can't even do any crazy shit to make us laugh cuz he's locked up. Double NCAA whammy. And let us not forget the many other people's lives that has been subsequently ruined/ or should i say re-ruined because of the NFL overturned law. I am talking about Lions Fans, we get NCAA reject Big Mike Williams sitting on the sidelines. His life is ruined and alot of Detroiters Sunday's are shot for yet another year because the NCAA wouldn't let him back in and he got fat and slow and Millen still drafted him.

Case 3Buffalo Soldier

Let us not forget the brilliant ruling by the NCAA to not allow skier Jeremy Bloom raise money so he could possibly go the Olympics as a skier. Now I hate the Buffaloes just as much as you do, but come on, making someone ineligible for wanting to represent the stars and stripes, Mr. NCAA should be deported. Stephen, make a call.

Case 4: More insanity

Besides Mo C going off the deepend, what about the DIII back up punter stabbing the starting punter so he could play. At first glace you say, shit i could probably be a DIII punter if I worked at it. Then you say, I don't know a single DIII school at all, I wonder if there are any around here. And then finally after that you say, it must be the NCAA's fault.

Case 5: Even Mentally and Physically challenged Rick Reilly knows how dumb the NCAA is

Read his article on this over the top dumb decision that wasn't even the poor kids fault.

I could go on but I am getting so pissed at the NCAA I gotta stop writing.

1 more thing: How can an organization maintain any level of respectability when they allow a jackhole name Musburger call some of its most important and historic contests?

Center of Nowhere

by Johnny Cleveland

A short week has taken its toll on the tailgate and website faithful, not to mention the Wolverines. Compounding the upcoming weekend is a well rested and increasingly confident group of Chippewas. CMU stayed right with Boston College last Thursday in its first of two Nationally televised games. The Chips got down early but mounted a valiant comeback and even had some chances to tie if not win the contest. With time winding down in the game, the crafty Chips moved all the way inside the BC 40, then out of knowhere they decide to run some crazy "muddle huddle" formation and end up throwing a pick to end their chance at winning. However with extra days of prep and seeing some of UM's weaknesses, we are sure to have a battle with the instate squad. 

The University
  • Located in Mt. Pleasant Michigan

  • Nickname: Chippewas

  • Colors: Maroon and Gold

  • 27,452 Students

  • 4th largest Michigan Public U
Football History CMU/UM
  • Michigan leads series 2-0

  • CMU's last National Championship, 1974 (DII) / UM's 1997 (DI)

  • Michigan 'O' coordinator, Mike DeBord was CMU's previous head coach.

  • Last meeting (8/30/2003) UM 45 CMU 7
CMU 2006

The Chippewa program is definitely on the rise as they have increased their victory total each of the last 3 seasons. Head Coach Brian Kelly has them headed in the right direction highlighted by the close game with B.C. and a winning record last season.

Top players include

1. DE Dan Bazuin -- MAC Defensive player of the year last year and National DI leader with 26.5 tackles for a loss. Bazuin has already been invited to the East/West shrine game and is an All American in several publications.

2. Linebackers -- Three returning starters

3. O Tackle Joe Staley -- Allowed zero sacks last year. 300 lb's, 4.7 forty time. Also going to E/W Shrine game.

4. RB Ontario Sneed -- dual threat running and receiving the ball

5. Punter Tony Mikulec -- was named the MAC West Division Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance against BC.

Too Bad for them

Fun Shit

  • Same school colors as Riverview High School, Webmasters School

  • OL "Big Country" Benke from Lakeshore HS, home of the Moore's.