This year, it seems that Appalachian State football has been unstoppable. So far, we have an overall ranking of 5-1, and we're undefeated when it comes to the Sun Belt conference. Although we lost to then top 10 ranked Penn State (we should have won that game for sure, but I'm not salty or anything), it was a GREAT game, we played them in their home turf, and we only lost in overtime.
For a few weeks now, Appalachian State students have grown anxious, hoping that our football team would crack the 'AP Top 25' poll. After our 52-7 win over Southern Alabama, it seemed that most of the campus was almost 100% sure that this was our chance to make our move in the rankings.
However, we were still stuck in the top 30. We were receiving votes to potentially be put into the top 25, but not enough to make the cut.
According to the Instagram 'tags' option, #rankappstate has over 200 photos with that hashtag. At the last football game against LA-Lafayette, the student section seemed to be a lot crazier than usual. Of course, students started the 'Rank App State' chant multiple times, and cheered harder than usual to make sure the Mountaineer's took home a win.
On Sunday morning, the campus of Appalachian State was peaceful, quiet, and cold. Some students were sitting in front of their computers and phones, constantly refreshing their internet to see if the rankings had come out yet. For Appalachian State football, this would be the first time the Mountaineer's would ever be ranked in the top 25 of the college football world.
Finally, around 3 in the afternoon, the polls came out. Appalachian State student's were blowing up Snapchat and Instagram stories, showing that we had finally cracked the #25 ranking in the AP poll.
The hashtag #rankappstate could finally be put to rest, and the new hashtag #moveappstate can be put in place. This was the most excited I think I've ever witnessed this campus to be.
With a student population just shy of 20,000 students, we're still not as well-known as a school as we should be. Being from Florida, I still sometimes go home and get awkward looks when I wear an Appalachian State shirt around where I live.
"What school is that?" "How do you pronounce that again?" "OH, didn't you guys beat Michigan like 10 years ago? Yeah I kind of remember that." I feel like I've heard it all.
Now, it's almost like our school has a new certain kind of pride. Being nationally ranked, our logo and school name can now be seen by thousands and thousands of people who are browsing online.
The next football game is against Georgia Southern, who has also only lost one game. As long as we stay strong, play well, and win that game, we could be moving up in the rankings even more.
While I think we were deserving of being ranked in the top 25 a few weeks back, you can really tell how the Appalachian atmosphere has shifted. Our football team can only go up from here, and we're all watching our small town grow into something much bigger.