This past week, the App State football team traveled to Chapel Hill to take on ACC opponent North Carolina in possibly its most anticipated matchup of the season. The Mountaineers fought hard during all four quarters and blocked a field goal in the closing seconds to win 34-31, their first Power Five victory since defeating No. 5 Michigan in similar fashion in 2007.
While a road win against a Power Five team would normally warrant a significant ranking boost, the Mountaineers only rose four slots in the Associated Press poll this week, from unofficial No. 36 to No. 32. Even with eight of the 21 teams between App State and the No. 15 slot losing games this week, the Mountaineers didn’t break the top 30.
It’s time for the disrespect App State football receives on a national level to end. The Mountaineers are one of the few Group of Five teams consistently ranked in the top 50 in the country in the last four seasons, with a defense that’s spent significant time in the top 15.
They have competed with Power Five talent every season, coming within a touchdown in overtime of defeating Penn State on the road in 2018, and before that, lost by only one point to Wake Forest in a mistake-riddled game in 2017. They’ve won three straight conference championships and are undefeated in bowl games.
With all this in mind, it’s truly a head scratcher why App State is unable to receive the respect it deserves. But, even without it, junior wide receiver Thomas Hennigan said the Mountaineers aren’t scared to go out and prove they’ve earned it time and time again.
“We’re definitely open to anyone that wants to play us,” Hennigan said after the UNC game.