Georgia State is proving this college football thing is just a little tricky: Unlike similar schools that have started Division I programs in the last five seasons, GSU's attendance has falled behind as the Panthers have started 0-4 in 2012 and have lost 12 of their last 15 games.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that GSU had only 9,746 fans in the Georgia Dome Saturday for the Panthers' loss to Richmond. They're averaging just 13,298 this season, almost 15,000 behind Texas-San Antonio and 3,000 behind future Sun Belt neighbor South Alabama, despite sitting in the heart of Atlanta, one of the 10 biggest metro areas in the country and a town considered to be the "heart" of college football:
"Our athletics department is working hard to engage fans and provide a compelling game-day experience," Georgia State President Mark Becker said in an email. "There’s more work to be done, and it is going to take time to get it done.
"College football is not a ‘build it and they will come’ proposition; winning matters."
Another potential issue is the FBS requirement of a 15,000 per-game average for home attendance. Georgia State is currently playing a transition schedule against FCS teams, but this season will count in a two-year window for the school to average 15,000.