Appalachian State University football ranks among the top 20 nationally in three different online rankings released recently.
Leading the way, Appalachian State ranks No. 11 nationally in warrennolan.com’s latest Nolan Power Index. The Nolan Power Index (NPI) ranks all 128 NCAA Division I FBS teams based on winning percentage and strength of schedule. With only one game left to play (Monday’s College Football Playoff championship game between Clemson and Alabama), Appalachian’s No. 11 NPI is easily the highest in the Sun Belt Conference (well ahead of No. 30 Georgia Southern) and fourth among all “Group of 5” conference teams (behind only No. 6 Western Kentucky, No. 7 Houston and No. 10 Navy).
The Mountaineers’ NPI could get a boost should No. 3 Clemson defeat No. 1 Alabama in the national title game. One of Appalachian State’s two defeats in 2015 was a 41-10 loss at Clemson on Sept. 12.
No. 11 is also what CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli ranked the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl among all 40 college football bowl games in 2015. Fornelli ranked Appalachian State’s thrilling 31-29 triumph over Ohio in the Dec. 19 Camellia Bowl above all but two other postseason games that were won by a “Group of 5” conference teams, behind only Houston’s 38-24 win over Florida State in Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl (No. 10) and Western Kentucky’s 45-35 victory over South Florida in the Miami Beach Bowl (No. 4).
Finally, in its annual College Football Stadium Experience rankings, stadiumjourney.com ranked Appalachian State’s Kidd Brewer Stadium as the nation’s 20th-best FBS stadium and No. 2 among “Group of 5” conference venues (behind only Navy’s Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (No. 6). The stadiumjourney.com rankings are based upon the stadium’s overall atmosphere, neighborhood where the stadium resides, fans, access to and inside the stadium, food and beverage options inside the stadium, overall return on investment and an “extras” category for any unique features not covered adequately in the other categories.