Editor's Note: This was co-written by a way better writer than me who wishes to remain anonymous. Sort of like Michigan fans after a loss.
In 2007, Appalachian State made an incursion into the far north, setting the Big House in Ann Arbor on fire and creating perhaps the definitive moment of Lloyd Carr's Ambrose Burnside-esque reign of error. Perhaps fueled by this singular - and I mean that in every sense of the word - victory, the Mountaineers have not only outgrown their FCS britches but in fact shredded them. They have looked out from their vantage point in the mighty mountain metropolis of Boone and seeing no quality football in any direction and thus deciding that they as a result the time was ripe for them to elevate themselves to FBS glory.
Instead, they ended up in the Sun Belt conference.
The Mountaineers - so called because good decision making is at a premium in North Carolina and someone thought West Virginia was worth emulating - play their home games at Kidd Brewer Stadium, more colloquially known as The Rock because that, presumably, is what it is made out of. Wikipedia notes that this gives the Mountaineers one of the best home field advantages in the country. This is in large part due to the fact that the only people who actually want to get to Boone are residents and hipsters who think that Asheville's gotten too commercial; on the off chance that a visiting team's fan's actually attempts to scale the heights of the Blue Ridge and secure tickets at an App State game, they are likely to get lost, be chased by bears, and ultimately murdered by moonshine-distilling entrepreneurs.
To add terror to more terror, the Mountaineers' mascot is theoretically a "mountain man" named Yosef. What Yosef actually looks like is the Swedish Chef with a late-stage case of rabies.
Occasionally, they let him carry a gun.
Last year, in their first year of bowl eligibility, App State won a conference record 11 games and outlasted Ohio in the Camelia Bowl, which is one of the numerous plant-based bowl games to have sprung up in the last few years and carries all the heft of an inflatable mattress filled with helium. The Camelia Bowl is played in Mobile, Alabama, a city best known for providing a speed bump for the efforts of Admiral David Farragut, and whose proud tradition of football can be summed up in a haiku.
As for the Mountaineers' opponent, the Ohio Bobcats, they do feature the ministrations of long-since-booted former Nebraska coach Frank Solich, which is as about as close as App State is going to get to beating another OTE team for the forseeable future. Having cockily scheduled a rematch with Michigan in 2014, they got the overalls beaten off of them 52-14. Having learned their lesson, they're sticking to ACC and SEC teams for their Power Five payday games, along with a few dates with MAC teams. And the MAC, as we all know, is Big 10 cosplay for jumped-up FCS teams based out of random cities in Ohio.
Now, none of this - okay, a great deal of this - is to dismiss Appalachian State's proud history of football. Having begun playing in 1928, they were a charter member of the NAIA, which means we should be impressed with their sheer upward mobility. More recently, they ripped off a series of three consecutive FCS championships from 2005 to 2007 under legendary coach Jerry Moore, and they have played in storied games like the Burley Bowl (4 times), the Elks Bowl, and the Pythian Bowl. The program has produced pros like Dexter Coakley and Dexter Jackson, and several punters not named Dexter.
And the university has also produced this:
Truly, nothing else I could say could be more damning than this.