“You made your entire existence about beating App. You never did. I enjoyed my final trip to Kidd Brewer East. I’ll miss having a home game in the Triangle.” 

That comment, posted Sept. 21 on an Appalachian State University football message board, reflected the general attitude surrounding the Elon University/Appalachian State rivalry.

For Elon, Appalachian State was “the game.” Some players even compared this year’s matchup to the National Football League’s biggest game of the season.

“It’s like our Super Bowl,” senior safety Chandler Wrightenberry told Adam Smith of The Burlington Times-News.

The perspective from Appalachian State was more subdued. After all, the Mountaineers won three consecutive national championships from 2005-2007 while Elon has only qualified for the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs once in school history.

MORE: Can Elon keep up second half magic for whole game?

Appalachian State etched its name in college football lore with an upset win at the University of Michigan Sept. 1, 2007. Elon’s best performance against a major conference team was a two-touchdown loss to a woeful Duke University team in 2011. The Blue Devils finished 3-9 that year.

In 2008 and 2009, when Elon was ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation, the game carried a greater meaning for Appalachian State. The Mountaineers were able to win both years and prevent Elon from claiming a Southern Conference championship.

The rivalry’s final four editions saw Elon come oh-so-close to a victory, only to lose by three, four, 12 and 10 points, respectively. All the while, Appalachian State fans, always a loyal legion, packed Rhodes Stadium in Elon and essentially made it Kidd Brewer East, a reference to the Mountaineers’ home stadium in Boone.

While Appalachian State was focused on qualifying for the playoffs year in and year out, Elon was merely another hurdle to jump over, albeit one that had not tripped up the Mountaineers since 1964. Lyndon B. Johnson was in the White House when Elon last defeated Appalachian State.

That same general attitude prevailed over the series’ final scheduled meeting Saturday night. Appalachian State is in the first year of a two-year transitional period to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Sun Belt Conference. A result of that transition is increased scholarships, making the Mountaineers ineligible for the SoCon championship and FCS playoffs in 2013.

That being said, a winning season is the only goal Appalachian State can truly pursue in 2013. An 0-2 start left the Mountaineers eager for a turnaround, and a win over Elon seemed to provide the perfect opportunity.

LAST TIME OUT: Appalachian State withstands late Elon rally

Elon began its season 1-2, with difficult losses against Georgia Tech and North Carolina A&T State University. Team members seemed to sense Appalachian State would provide not only their greatest excitement of the season, but a chance to win and flip their season.

Yet the scene in the stands at Rhodes Stadium did not reflect those attitudes.

The visitors’ sideline was packed with fans decked out in black and gold, fans that had made the trek from the mountains and were not going to let a steady rain deter their gameday experience.

The home sideline began the game nearly full, but had emptied out when the Mountaineers raced to a 24-0 lead as the game approached halftime.

Even as Elon clawed back to have a shot to win late in the game, Rhodes Stadium was quiet, with many fans having taken shelter from the rain and given up on their team’s “Super Bowl.”

As Appalachian State scored the game-clinching touchdown, the few Elon fans left stood wet and dejected.

The 31-21 loss marked the end of an attempt at a rivalry that never truly panned out.

Where will Elon’s new football chapter in the Colonial Athletic Association take them? Will a new rival emerge? Also, will Appalachian State have success at the FBS level?

These questions, not “Can we beat App this year?” will take over. For now, rest in peace, Elon/Appalachian State. It was fun while it lasted, even if it was, for the most part, a one-sided affair.