Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fun Facts About Appalachian State

Last December, Michigan football fans howled over being left out of the BCS national championship game. Today, the Wolverines aren’t even worthy of the Division I-AA championship. Saturday at the Big House, Appalachian State stunned the fifth-ranked Goliaths from the Big Ten, departing Ann Arbor with a 34-32 triumph. You may know that the Mountaineers are the two-time defending national champions in their classification. But what else do you know about ASU? Here are some fun facts.

App State is located in the city of Boone, named for the character from Animal House.

ASU began in 1899 as Watauga Academy. If App State were still an academy, it would be on Notre Dame’s schedule.

By capturing the Division I-AA title in 2005, ASU became the first North Carolina school to win an NCAA championship in football. I know - it’s a shocker that Duke never did so.

As numerous commentators have noted, Division I-AA is now known as the Division I Football Championship Subdivision. None of those commentators have kept a straight face while saying it.

Like Jim Tressel with Youngstown State in 1993 and 1994, ASU coach Jerry Moore won consecutive national championships in 2005 and 2006. When you’re taking on Michigan, being like Jim Tressel is a good thing.

ASU has the highest elevation of any U.S. university east of the Mississippi River, inspiring the team slogan “Our football players are higher than Ricky Williams!”

Appalachian currently has a 27-game home winning streak – 27 games longer than Michigan’s current home winning streak.

ASU’s Kidd Brewer Stadium is affectionately known as “The Rock,” due to frequent shoot-outs there involving Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage.

The App State fight song, Hi Hi Yikas, is sung to the tune of the German folk song Bergvagabunden. Because nothing is more synonymous with high-level football than German folk songs.

ASU’s alma mater is called Cherished Vision, not to be confused with Kool and the Gang’s Cherish. But wouldn’t it be awesome if Kool and the Gang sang your school’s alma mater?

My sister-in-law in Florida is an Appalachian State alumna. So to please his mom, I’m sure my four-year-old nephew Matt will trade in his Gator helmet for a Mountaineer one.

According to the ASU media guide, the name of its mascot Yosef comes from “mountain talk for ‘yourself.’” English professors must be thrilled that the symbol of their university champions the value of “mountain talk.”

Former Mountaineer player Ron Prince is the head coach of Kansas State, which lost a late lead at Auburn Saturday night. So the upset bug wasn’t quite contagious among Appalachian State guys.

In the 1987 Rose Bowl, Michigan lost its only-ever matchup with Arizona State. So if you’re ASU, the Wolverines can’t beat you.

Saturday also featured a West Virginia rout over Western Michigan, so the state of Michigan was completely owned by Mountaineers.

App State’s next opponent is Lenoir-Rhyne. I’m sure that game will have over 100,000 fans too.

ASU’s chancellor is Dr. Kenneth Peacock. Like all male Peacocks, he displays his extravagant tail when he strolls the campus.

Each year, App State plays Western Carolina for possession of the Old Mountain Jug. Quirky trophies are often at stake in Big Ten games, so it’s no wonder the Mountaineers felt at home in Ann Arbor.

Mack Brown was ASU’s head coach in 1983. I’m guessing he didn’t have anyone like Vince Young at the time.

An Appalachian Summer Festival is the social event of the year on campus. Well, not this year, after the parties tonight.