When trying to decide what was the best CFB Playoff fit for Appalachian State, you had some interesting coincidences. App State runs up-tempo like Oregon, has won a lot of close games like Florida State and has very high expectations like Alabama. However, the fourth team, the one who won the whole magilla, is the best fit here. The Ohio State Buckeyes are the best comparison for App State and here's why.
2014 Started Off Rough, Ended Great
The first months of the season was one to forget for both teams. App State got trounced by Ohio State's arch-rival Michigan to the tune of 52-14 in week one, making the all-time series tied at 1-1. Meanwhile, Ohio State was seemingly eliminated from the CFB Playoff in week two as they were upset at home by Virginia Tech 35-21.
App State went on to start the season 1-5 while Ohio State struggled in wins over Cincinnati, Penn State, Indiana and Minnesota and wasn't a serious CFB Playoff contender until their 59-0 beatdown of Wisconsin in the B1G Title game. Even when App State beat Troy, Georgia State and UL-Monroe at home on a last-minute field goal, they weren't taken seriously. It wasn't until they pulled off consecutive shockers at Arkansas State and UL-Lafayette that people realized the Mountaineers were legit.
Ohioans Love App State
This might have made the paper back then, but App State beat Michigan in 2007. For App fans, it remains a seminal moment in their football team's history. And for fans of Ohio State, it gave them the perfect ammunition in their on-going war with the school up north. One Ohio State alum chapter shows the App State/Michigan game before the annual game with the Wolverines, which is amazing to think of.
Despite being one of the early innovators of the Spread Option offense, head coach Scott Satterfield has turned the Mountaineers into a power rushing team that can push people around. No one expected App State to gash Arkansas State and UL-Lafayette, but it happened. Ohio State used their power running to gash Oregon in the National Championship game, neutralizing the speed and quickness the Ducks brought to the table.
After becoming a national powerhouse, due to a variety of issues, both schools got rid of their popular and successful head coaches: tOSU got rid of Jim Tressel and App State got rid of Jerry Moore. Both moves were hated by fans and the immediate aftermath on the field wasn't pretty. However, both schools now are winning again, with Ohio State having just won the National Championship and App State winning their last six games.
Returning an Armada Of Talent
App State returns the most starters in all of FBS with 20, plus all the special teams players. Ohio State is also returning most of their talent, including all three quarterbacks. Both teams have a successful QB who became the starter after the season started (Taylor Lamb with App State and Cardale Jones with Ohio State) both have a stud RB (Marcus Cox with App State, Ezekiel Elliot with Ohio State) and both return their special teams starters. Also, both teams are projected to win their conference in 2015 according to early projections by ESPN and The Sporting News.
Marching Bands Know To Have Fun
Ohio State is known for the great and nerdy halftime shows put on by their marching band, The Best Damn Band In The Land. App State's Band Of Distinction (yes, the name is lame) embraced their inner nerd with superhero-themed halftime shows in 2014.
While TBDBITL is famous for their Script Ohio in the pregame, App's BoD has yet to do a Script Appalachian, which admittedly would be very difficult. However, the Block A logo has a Script Appalachian in it, so that counts.
Go Apps! Go Buckeyes!
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