So there is life at the Associated Press. The venerable newswire actually made news last night by announcing that any college football team in the nation was eligible for ranking in its 71-year-old poll. Duh. Isn’t it supposed to be the top 25 college teams in the nation?
Well, at least now it is. The move was spurred, of course, by Appalachian State, who represented U’dogs everywhere with its inspiring victory over Michigan last Saturday in what was the biggest upset in college football history. (If ya’ll have a better one, holla.)
App State is a Division I-AA school (I refused to get into the new Subprime, or Subdivision terminology), a notch below Division I-A where all the college football behemoths reside – or so it’s supposed to go. Division I-AA programs are supposed to comprise the dregs of the college football crop, players who either didn’t fit the Division I-A mold (i.e. they were smaller or slower than the Div. I-A box) or couldn’t make the grades that would allow them to be eligible for the top schools.
Well, the differentiation gap has shrunk in recent years as Division I-AA programs began to attract better coaches and upgrade facilities. They began attracting better local athletes, too, guys who’ve come to know that in this digital age talent will be found no matter where it matriculates.
The kids from Boone, NC arrived in Ann Arbor believing they belonged on the same field as the boys in maze and blue, believing that they were the right team at the right time.
Then they went out and proved it.
Now, as I stated on SNY’s “Daily News Live” on Wednesday, they indeed belong in the rankings, too.
Here’s RSJ’s Today College Football Top 25:
5. West Virginia
9. Ohio State
13. Penn State
15. Georgia Tech
17. Boise State
18. Appalachian State
19. Virginia Tech
23. Texas A&M
24. Boston College