SPARTANBURG, S.C. — The Georgia Southern Eagles can’t win the Southern Conference championship or the automatic bid to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in 2013, but that didn’t stop the league’s coaches and media from picking GSU to finish first, anyway.
On Wednesday at the Southern Conference’s media day at the Spartanburg Marriott, the league’s coaches picked the Eagles to finish first ahead of Appalachian State, the other ineligible team.
The media picked GSU to edge Wofford in the standings.
Not that preseason polls mean anything to the Eagles.
“It doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a preseason pick,” GSU coach Jeff Monken said. “If they’d let us win all the games just because we were picked first here, it would make the season a whole lot easier. The fact is, we’ve got to play the games, we’ve got to earn it on the field, and where we finish at the end will be what’s important.”
The only goal for Monken and the Eagles, as far as the SoCon is concerned, is to beat everybody.
“We’ve had tough ball games against everybody in this room over the three years I’ve been here,” Monken said. “We won most of them, fortunately. We’ve lost some of them, and we haven’t gone through this schedule yet and been 8-0 in this league. It will be our goal again to win all of the Southern Conference games this year. What happens to everyone else is irrelevant to me all together. I care about one team.”
Monken, defensive lineman Blake Riley and punter Luke Cherry were sporting their new GSU Adidas attire at the SoCon media day. Georgia Southern recently announced a five-year partnership with the athletic clothing and accessories company, which will provide uniforms and equipment.
The only noticeable change to the uniform was an Adidas logo on the front of the jersey above the number.
“(Adidas sponsors) teams like Nebraska, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, UCLA — there’s a lot of teams and they’re into college football pretty good,” Monken said. “They really expressed a desire to partner with us, and we’re grateful.”
GSU previously had an apparel deal with Nike.
and future rivals
Wednesday, Monken and first-year Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield didn’t have much to say about their programs’ future rivalry in the Sun Belt. They were focused on 2013.
The move and the rivalry, however, weren’t completely out of mind.
“It’s good to have a partner in crime, so to speak, to go with you. I think when we start this particular season, we’re going to be focused on the Southern Conference, and I know (GSU is) going to be doing the same thing,” Satterfield said. “As soon as the season’s over, then we can put all our focus on the Sun Belt.”
Satterfield took over the ASU program after Jerry Moore, who coached the Mountaineers for 24 years, was released from his contract following the 2012 season.
Satterfield played quarterback at ASU from 1991-95 and was hired as offensive coordinator in 2012.
Keeping it going?
Wofford has developed quite a rivalry with ASU and GSU since its 8-0, SoCon title season in 2003.
The Eagles and Mountaineers might be leaving the SoCon for the FBS, but Wofford coach Mike Ayers wouldn’t mind meeting up with them again, at some point down the road.
“A lot of these (non-conference) games are scheduled five or 10 years out,” Ayers said, “but I’m sure there might be a day. There might be a day.”