FBS should come in due time

In a not-really-shocking-but-nonetheless-interesting turn of events, the AJC reported yesterday that Georgia State may be positioning itself to begin playing FBS football by as early as 2014-2015  – putting the university on the same competition level as Georgia Tech and UGA.

Now, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t know if we’re ready for that level of competition just yet. Sure, playing at an FBS level sounds attractive — especially because we’re talking about the near future. However, considering our football program is still in its infancy, shouldn’t we be taking a more conservative approach?

After all, it’s not as though the CAA is something to laugh at. With an outstanding number of CAA teams making it to the Big Dance last year, including a longshot VCU finishing in the Final Four, the CAA is making its way up in the world. And not just in basketball (of which, we had a great regular season, and I still think we have a decent shot at the tournament, despite our loss to ODU tonight).

But before we start looking too far ahead of ourselves by moving to an FBS conference, we need to examine what we need to do now to get students in the Dome and committed to the program. Because, let’s face it, student attendance last year (and even our inaugural season) was abysmal. Some might like to blame the fact that most students are commuters, which undoubtably plays a role, but a lack of school spirit and traditions are what truly hold us back. And the only way you build those things is through time and patience (but a few wins couldn’t hurt).

Instead of jumping ahead and saying we need to be playing FBS football, I say we knuckle down and play the basics for a few years. After all, if we can’t win against mediocre FCS teams or worse, how are we gonna compete in a tougher conference?

Especially when we don’t even have a football stadium that we can truly call our own – although that might change if GSU decides to make a move once the Falcons leave (and it’s appearing that they may go forward with with plans to build a new open-air stadium).

However, considering our size and location in the south, a transition to FBS is inevitable – as well it should be. National football will bring in loads more of money in terms of alumni donations but, more importantly, will act as a luring rod for incoming students interested in the school.
As a fan and student, it certainly gives me hope for the future of the university and the value of my degree.
However, how we make that transition will make all the difference. And I don’t think we’re ready for such a big move just yet.
One day, for sure. But not today and not two years from now, either.
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