In just four years, the Bobcat football team has joined a competitive new conference and is set to welcome the biggest crowd in the stadium’s history.
After years of discussion to prepare for the move to the Football Bowl Subdivision, the new West Side Complex had a landmark opening in 2009. For the home-opening game that year, the Bobcats hosted small-town Angelo State and won 48-28 in front of a crowd of 14,116. Now, the Bobcats have set their sights on Texas Tech and have the capacity to host a crowd of more than 30,000 at the game.
According to a Sept. 4 poll by the Associated Press, the Bobcats are the 35th highest ranked college team of 125 total schools. Texas State football will likely never see such a high rating again this year without a victory over the Red Raiders.
A variety of improvements have been made to take the Texas State football program to the next level. The foot- ball team now has a new identity under the direction of head coach Dennis Franchione. In addition, the Bobcats were accepted into the Western Athletic Conference and will move into the Sun Belt Conference next year.
To accommodate the new WAC schedule, seating capacity in the stadium has also expanded significantly through the completion of the North Side Complex construction project estimated at $33 million.
Temporary student seating in the South End Zone will expand the stadium’s record attendance to approximately 33,000. At press time, there were an estimated 1,000 tickets remaining for the game, which will more than likely sell out before kickoff. An estimated 8,000 Bobcats, more than 5,000 Tech fans and about 15,000 Texas State fans are expected to turn out for the game.
Just two years ago, one of Bobcat Stadium’s most exciting traditions was getting the trains to blow their horns as they passed across the nearby railroad tracks. Hopefully, students will start a new tradition by demonstrating pride in the team and sticking around at the games regardless of the score.
In the past, many students only attended tailgate or were bored by halftime and decided to spend their day elsewhere. But the excitement is here now. The Tech game is the biggest athletic event in the history of Texas State athletics and students should stay and support this group of players, this team and this movement.
Ray Rotto, voter for the AP from the Bay Area inCalifornia, voted Texas State’s football program as 16th in the nation. He cited that the Bobcats’ significant win over the Cougars was the most unforeseen of all the other upsets that happened in college football’s opening week. Students should take note that even AP writers are jumping on the Bobcat bandwagon.
Sometimes, people are criticized for hopping on a team’s bandwagon when they start to gain national recognition. But in this case, the Bobcats need a bandwagon, and they have never really had one. So go ahead students, hop on.