Georgia State University, the newest college football program to grace the game, won its first game on Thursday, beating Shorter University 41-0 in convincing fashion.
There are firsts for everything, and with the first W in the books, the Panthers have to move forward with the understanding that college football is a practice and a delicate entity with multiple facets and complexities to grasp.
Never mind that the Atlanta-based program gets to face Nick Saban's Crimson Tide to close out the season, but GSU is a young program looking to build a reputation.
Programs have to build a fan base before anything else.
College players want to play in front of somebody, and give the spotlight to the university and its fans.
When people think of monster programs like Florida, Alabama, and Texas, the fans influence so much of what goes on behind the scenes. The loyalty and support seeping out of the stands for every game goes a long way in the success of the program.
The Southeast is a breeding ground for football, evident by the success of the SEC schools and the high school football talent that draws from that region.
Getting fans to come watch, support and influence the team and the program is a starting point for any program.
Head Coach Bill Curry
Recruiting is the building blocks of any college football program, but emphasis on securing the in-state talent is often overlooked by some.
The Southeast houses some of the best young talent in the country, and the locale of Georgia State looks to play a huge factor in its future success.
Locking down recruits within the state of Georgia will do two things: build the program from within and construct a natural fan base for friends and family.
Call it killing two birds with one stone, but the value of having homegrown players for state universities can sometimes be underestimated.
Coach Bill Curry will need to work to steal recruits from FBS and FCS programs in the area like Georgia and Georgia Tech, but the right pitches could work well in his favor if he plays his cards the right way.
When recruits see the facilities—the weight rooms, the locker rooms, the stadium—their eyes light up. These are the venues where they will be spending countless hours, spilling immeasurable amounts of sweat to fight for and build a program.
Without the backbone of the athletic facilities, there is hardly room for improvement and growth.
A large selling point for some programs is the facilities offered at the university. A young and small program like Georgia State will be hard pressed to secure the state of the art amenities like at Alabama or Texas.
But luckily that is not their competition. Beat the programs of equal prominence and things will begin to snowball.
Rome wasn't built in a day, and Bill Curry can't do everything himself.
But getting the best assistants to stand by his side can get almost everything done.
Not just the best coaches, but the right coaches. The ones who understand the players, as well as their craft.
Acquiring a formidable staff will go a long way to harnessing the complexities of college football and building a winning tradition for Georgia State
A little luck never hurt anyone, except Michigan when they embarrassingly lost to Appalachian State.
The same can go for Georgia State, but not just in the win column.
Taken from the EA Sports NCAA Football handbook, locking down a homegrown superstar at a key position can go a very long way to building fan bases, winning traditions and getting more local players to join the ranks.
Everyone loves an underdog, but an underdog with talent is a dangerous combination.