Forde: North Carolina Home To Upset Kings

It’s a 110-mile drive from Boone, N.C., home of the Appalachian State Mountaineers, to Boiling Springs, N.C., home of the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs.

Unfortunately, no major roadway directly links the two. Perhaps it’s time to build one and name it Giant Killer Highway.

Rural North Carolina has become the cradle of upsets in the most unnatural college sports year of 2007. App State and Gardner-Webb have become the twin towers of small-school power.


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26 Responses to Forde: North Carolina Home To Upset Kings

  1. WolftownVA81 11/08/2007 at 2:51 PM #

    Wow. I had to go check our schedule to see if we had to play these guys. Props to em for a great game.

  2. packbackr04 11/08/2007 at 3:02 PM #

    as possibly the only Mountaineer alum here, i will gladly take this opportunity to bring something up that statefans admin may want to run with on a slow news day. A few years ago, the Asst AD of NC STate took the AD position at App. it was my senior year, so i only got to witness the beginning of the transformation, but that guy has done an amazing job since he got to ASU. 3-4 yrs ago you could drive around Raleigh all day long and never EVER see an APP State bumper sticker. Now they are everywhere, i even saw a 2time natnl champs billboard in Eastern NC this year, selling tix to their football games for this fall. He has spearheaded the facility upgrades taht APP is going thru right now(new press boxes and weight room for the players)

    maybe, just maybe NCSU might want to get this guy back when and if they ever decide to move on from LEE

  3. packbackr04 11/08/2007 at 3:04 PM #

    as i think he has had alot to do with their recent success. although the f-ball team has been good for quote some time. his impact cant be understated

  4. noah 11/08/2007 at 3:08 PM #

    Charlie Cobb. He was a center for some of the late-80s Dick Sheridan teams. Very smart guy, very nice guy and he’s done a great job at App.

  5. packbackr04 11/08/2007 at 3:16 PM #

    yeah, thats the name noah, i knew these guys kept you around for a reason.

  6. LRM 11/08/2007 at 3:17 PM #

    It’s nice now having ESPNU on TWC because I actually got to watch GW lay it to Kentucky — you knew it was bad once Rupp Arena sounded like one of those early December games at the RBC.

    No major roadway directly links the two? Obviously he’s never experienced the beautiful drive down 221 — or treacherous, depending on the weather — through Linville and Little Switzerland and Marion and Rutherfordton — Boiling Springs is just a short hop off 221!! Haha.

  7. LRM 11/08/2007 at 3:25 PM #

    In regards to App, I grew up near Boone and went to many games as a kid, so I may be a bit partial. But App easily could have experienced a rise similar to that of South Florida, except for their geographical practicality for any conference affiliation.

    Don’t forget, Marshall was a I-AA Southern Conference rival of App’s until around 1997, when they made the leap to I-A and eventually the MAC — I even got to see a mesmorizing Randy Moss in Boone in 1995.

    Whereas Marshall had both the fanbase and a logical conference to move into (the MAC’s primarily in Ohio), App’s primary rivals have always been smaller southern schools Furman, W. Carolina, Chatanooga, Citadel, VMI, E. Tennesse (at the time). There are no I-A conferences that made sense for App to move into; I think they looked into the move to I-A but rightly realized they would have better permanent success where they are.

  8. RAWFS 11/08/2007 at 3:29 PM #

    If Lee Fowler were to ever leave NCSU, Charlie Cobb would be my first choice to get the AD job here. Charlie did a whale of a job when he was here and he would be a superb AD in Wolfpack colors.

    Some of y’all would want Bobby Purcell, and I have no trouble with that choice either — but Bobby is an excellent leader of the Wolfpack Club and continuity there counts for something too.

  9. StateFans 11/08/2007 at 3:56 PM #

    It was also Cobb’s ideas to reach out to to lobby the Tangerine bowl (the first time we went there) to edge Clemson out of the picture.

  10. JimValvano 11/08/2007 at 3:59 PM #

    Bobby Purcell would be a bad choice as A.D. I think he’s alright with what he does…a.k.a. ass kissin’…but an A.D. that is nothing but an ass kisser…I thought we were trying to get rid of fowler?

    As far as the good ol’ G-Dubb goes…the game got so bad last night that with Kentucky only down 9 points with more than 4 minutes left in the game…the announcers were talking about what a big victory it was for them. Everyone in the building knew the game was over. Kentucky, while much more athletic looked lost. They didn’t have a leader to step up and take control. They weren’t prepared. They didn’t appear to know their plays very well. As for Gardner-Webb…they looked smarter. Their players seemed to actually know how to play basketball. They out-fundamentalled Kentucky on back-door cuts, bounce passes, blocking out, and keeping the offensive player in front of them defensively. The difference in the game came down to basketball I.Q. and coaching. Kind of made me appreciate our hiring of Coach Lowe who provides both for our team.

    By the way…Gardner-Webb alum…class of 2007.

  11. 4PackinMB 11/08/2007 at 4:12 PM #


    I, too, am an ASU alum….Go Mountaineers!

  12. cooldrip 11/08/2007 at 4:17 PM #

    Bobby Purcell has led the growth in membership and fundraising at the WPC, and there would be strong continuity in the WPC leadership if he were to become AD. Buzzy Correll would be an excellent successor to Bobby. Bobby’s far more than just an a**kisser, although he’s definitely good at that!

  13. Mike 11/08/2007 at 4:21 PM #

    Charlie Cobb has a twin brother. Those two big boys growing up must have eaten mom and dad out of house and home. Charlie was 6’6″ and about 300 in his playing days, and his brother was the same size. Maybe we can hire the brother.

  14. packgrad02 11/08/2007 at 4:36 PM #

    Why would we want to get rid of Lee?

  15. JimValvano 11/08/2007 at 6:04 PM #

    oh well…to each their own I suppose. I know where Bobby Purcell stands with me. I know where he stands with one person ranked in the top 5 in the wolfpack club and i know where he stands with three others with ranks in the top 90. He does an alright job…I wouldn’t want him as an A.D. though.

  16. noah 11/08/2007 at 6:33 PM #

    Actually, if Lee Fowler leaves or…slips in his tub….or goes missing (whatever), the guy who is #1 on my list is Bill Martin.

    But he’s going to say “no,” and then we can call Charlie Cobb. But just like Bill Cowher got the offer before Tom O’Brien, I want Martin to get the offer before Cobb.

  17. Primewolf 11/08/2007 at 8:01 PM #

    How could we do worse than Lee. That would take some incredibly bad planning and bad luck.

  18. VaWolf82 11/08/2007 at 9:02 PM #

    How could we do worse than Lee.

    How quickly they forget.

  19. EverettBeez 11/08/2007 at 9:50 PM #

    App Grad here too –
    I remember playing Marshal in Boone in the national Semi-Finals – it must of been Dec of 88, fresh snow on the ground, you could hear the band echoing through the whole valley. We lost, but it was just a tremendous atmosphere. App did the study, and like LRM said, they rightly decided to stay double AA, and won back to back national championships since.

    Lets don’t forget that last alumni we brought down from a mountainous Southern Conference school . . . What looks good on paper doesn’t always work the way you want it to.

  20. highstick 11/08/2007 at 10:15 PM #

    I stopped in a Walmart in Spruce Pine yesterday and guess what? App State has made the big time! Selling their t shirts and hats right beside the Tarholes! Hat’s off to you App guys, but that was not a good move!

  21. redfred2 11/08/2007 at 11:07 PM #

    I grew up close to Gardner Webb and lived in Blowing Rock for a couple of years, so I know that drive well LRM. It’s not an expressway by any means but the scenery more than makes up for it. I need to get back out that way sometime soon, It’s been too many years.

    I don’t know about the rest of you but I consider the App State shocker over Michigan as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, upset in my lifetime. Then, Gardner Webb, itty bitty Gardner Webb, tops that by dominating KENTUCKY???!!!!!!!! It’s unreal, I’ll bet more than a few UK fans are going…Duh…what the hell just happened…and what the hell is a Gardner Webb anyway?

  22. wolfman 11/08/2007 at 11:52 PM #

    Yeah, App must have done some dealing with the devil to get that game with UM, and to actually win was definitely the biggest upset of my lifetime. Grats to App, I grew up in Jefferson so I’ve always been a fan, I hope they keep the Ol’ Mountain Jug this Saturday. Go Mountaineers!

  23. PamlicoPack 11/09/2007 at 11:41 AM #

    I think Charlie Cobb is at the back of the minds of a lot of folks for when Lee moves on…He left probably in part because he knew the next time the NC State job came open, he would be a stronger candidate with experience as the head guy somewhere else then as the internal candidate. I have seen no indication that Bobby Purcell is unhappy where he is…why try to promote a guy to his Peter Principle level of incompetence if he is happy and doing a good job where he is?

  24. Luke12321 11/09/2007 at 11:54 AM #

    I am attending Gardner-Webb currently….wow, what a win! I think Kentucky was favored to win by 25?! But yeah…anyone is better than Lee!!!!!

  25. RedTerror29 11/09/2007 at 12:49 PM #

    Bobby Purcell wanted the AD job when Fowler got it. It’s easy to say, “hey, Bobby is doing a great job where he is, why promote him?” But Bobby wants an AD job. He wants it at State more than anywhere, but eventually someone will give him that opportunity if we don’t and he will take it.

    And go Western! Beat those Boone Goons and their bandwagon, Walmart fans!

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