Posted on: February 10, 2008 5:02 pm

Appalachian State Football we have earned RESPECT

I am sitting here in Raleigh, North Carolina, and most of you know am a very proud alum of Appalachian State University. I majored in Sports Public Relations, interned with the Sports Information Department and the Yosef Club. I graduated in December of 1995, when our football team went undefeated in the regular season.

And if you know me at all, I am passionate about the things I love. There are many things in this world that I love, my wonderful son and all my other team's, but that is not what I am talking about today. I love my alma mater, I love what it stands for, I love the football program, I love the little town of Boone in which the university is situated in. I take GREAT pride in the fact that I am an alum of Appalachian State University, and that we have an amazing football program. Coach Jerry Moore and his staff have built a program that is clean is fundamentally strong.

Last year, when it was announced that we were going to be playing Michigan, everyone said, we'd get our arses kicked and handed to us in a hand basket. I did not believe this. I had confidence in the program, the system that Coach Moore has in place. I knew he'd have our boys ready. I knew that our Sophomore QB Armanti Edwards and Senior RB Kevin Richardson as well as the rest of the team would stun the fans in the Big House. As the game approached, I stood firm on the fact that the following would happen:
  1. We were not going to the Big House for a Field Trip and Guided Tour, we were going to earn respect
  2. We were going to get national attention from this game
  3. We were going to stun the fans of Michigan
  4. Armanti Edwards would lead the team to score twice, in the endzone, not field goals
  5. We may be smaller, but we were also fast, Michigan better be prepared
  6. We were not going to get blown out of the Big House, the final score would be respectable, and we would hold Michigan to under 40 points
Never did I guarantee a win. I am just confident and rather familiar with my alma mater's program, and the preparations Coach Moore puts his team through. If you look at all the points listed above, all of these things happened, the surprise, and bonus, was we shocked everyone by winning the game. The only ones that needed to believe that they could do it were the players on the field and the coaching staff that was behind them.

That win at Michigan did more for my small university in free publicity, potential recruits, and putting us on the road to stepping up to Division I, than the $400,000 check we received for playing in the game. We all of a sudden earned RESPECT. Well that is what I thought, until the schedule was released this past Friday, and I saw we were playing the Defending BCS Champion LSU.

Then I saw it happening all over again, people saying we are in Division 2, that we are INFERIOR, and so on and so on. Either this is the biggest lack of respect or they are scared, I can not quite decide. Some of these people are making comments about Division I-AA football, but lack the basic knowledge about the team's that play in the Division. They lack the knowledge that Appalachian received votes in the final AP Poll, finishing ahead of  other Division I school's. They lack the knowledge that Appalachian finished 44th in the Sagarin ratings last year before many DIVISION I school's. Appalachian won their third straight National Championship this past season, this is unprecedented in their Division or higher, meaning a Division I school/BCS Championship has never had a 3 peat. And Division I-AA has a playoff system, so it (IMO is even harder to repeat in a playoff system).

These student athletes work just as hard, if not harder to win, to be a student athlete, to perform on and off the field, many of them will not make it in the pros, as scouts do not reach down to the Subdivision, but I do have a feeling with Appalachian's win over Michigan, and another successful season in 2007, this will be changing.

They are that good. They deserve respect. They have earned it.

When I posted my thread on the College Football board, I was surrounded with negativity from LSU fans that we Appalachian fans have a chip on our shoulders. That we got lucky against Michigan. Well last time I checked, luck runs rampant in sports. Do we have a chip on our shoulders, no I do not think so, our football program is that good, and we have every right in the universe to be proud and sing praises about them. I never said one negative thing about LSU, nor will I ever, just about the fans I encountered.

All I am asking from you LSU fans, give us the respect we are giving you. We know you are Defending National Champions. Do you realize we are as well?
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com