App State football continues making history as first Sun Belt team ranked in consecutive weeks

Moss Brennan and Silas Albright

After dismantling the ULM Warhawks (3-4, 2-1 Sun Belt) 52-7 on Saturday and becoming the first Sun Belt team to win while ranked in the AP Top 25, the Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0 Sun Belt) continued to make history Sunday.

The now bowl eligible Mountaineers moved up 3 spots to No. 21 in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll to become the first ever Sun Belt team ranked in the Top 25 in consecutive weeks. The Mountaineers also moved up two spaces in the Coaches Poll to No. 22.

App State currently owns the third longest winning streak in FBS with 12 straight wins, behind only Clemson (22) and Ohio State (13).

The No. 21 Mountaineers and Troy are the only teams in Sun Belt history that have ever been ranked. App State is the only Sun Belt team to ever win a game while ranked.

Troy cracked the Top 25 in November 2016 after a thrilling 28-24 win over App State. The Trojans lost in their next game against Arkansas State and dropped out of the rankings.

App State became the second school ranked in the Sun Belt last season when the Mountaineers were ranked No. 25 in October 2018. The team then traveled to Georgia Southern where they lost 14-34.

“You saw what happened last year when we first got ranked. We got embarrassed at Georgia Southern,” redshirt junior quarterback Zac Thomas said after the win over ULM. “I think that it was just good for us to get this win under us and still be ranked.”

App State is now one of 10 undefeated teams in FBS, and one of two outside a Power Five conference. SMU, who is No. 16 in this weeks poll, is the other non-Power Five undefeated team.

Every year since the start of the College Football Playoff and revised bowl system in 2014, the top ranked Group of Five team has earned a trip to a prestigious New Year’s Six bowl.

The Mountaineers rank third in FBS in 3rd down conversion percentage at .548, seventh in scoring offense with 42.8 points per game, and eighth in red zone offense with 27 scores on 28 trips.

The No. 21 Mountaineers return to action when they face South Alabama (1-6, 0-3 Sun Belt) on Oct. 28. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. from Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama.