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National Pundits Weigh In on App State’s Season      

Jan. 14, 2015. With the 2014 college football season in the books, media outlets nationwide began issuing end-of-season rankings on Tuesday and Appalachian State University football has graded out favorably in the evaluations.

USA Today’s Paul Myerberg issued a letter grade for all 128 NCAA Division I FBS programs and gave Appalachian State an A-minus for the 2014 campaign. Appalachian was one of only 27 teams to receive an A grade (A+, A or A-) and earned the same mark as prominent programs such as Alabama, Duke, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Missouri and Utah.

Myerberg also ranked App State No. 70 overall among all FBS teams, ahead of eight teams that played in bowl games (Central Michigan, Bowling Green, North Carolina, Arkansas State, Illinois, UTEP, Fresno State and South Alabama) and 18 squads from the five “power conferences” (North Carolina, California, Kentucky, Illinois, Oregon State, Virginia, Michigan, Northwestern, Indiana, Texas Tech, Colorado, Washington State, Kansas, Purdue, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Iowa State and Vanderbilt).

In its postseason rankings, CBSSports.com ranked Appalachian State 73rd nationally. At No. 73, the Mountaineers came in ahead of five bowl teams (Fresno State, Central Michigan, Arkansas State, UTEP and South Alabama) and 16 power-conference programs (Virginia, Oregon State, Kentucky, California, Northwestern, Michigan, Indiana, Texas Tech, Washington State, Syracuse, Wake Forest, Purdue, Kansas, Colorado, Vanderbilt and Iowa State).

In its first season in NCAA Division I FBS, Appalachian State rebounded from a 1-5 start to win its final six games and finish 7-5 overall. At 6-2 in Sun Belt Conference play, the Mountaineers placed third in their first campaign in the league.

Appalachian State returns 20 starters and will carry the nation’s fifth-longest winning streak into the 2015 season, which begins on Sept. 5 at home versus Howard.