Aug 202012

It’s the five-year anniversary of Appalachian State’s epic upset of Michigan, and there have already been a bevy of articles about that historic game. Everyone of them includes a fact along the lines of:

“Appalachian State was the first ever FCS (I-AA) team to defeat an AP ranked FBS (I-A) team.”

It’s a fine statement, and it makes quite a pop. The only problem is that it’s wrong.

So who was the first FCS (I-AA) team to defeat an AP ranked FBS (I-A) team?

Way back in 1983, Cincinnati defeated No. 20 Penn State 14-3. Am I losing my mind you might ask. Cincinnati is in the FBS.

That wasn’t the case in 1983. The NCAA temporarily levied I-AA (FCS) status on the Bearcats that season.

There status as an I-AA (FCS) team might have been temporary, but it’s important to note that Cincinnati was the first FCS (I-AA) team to defeat a ranked FBS (I-A) opponent.

This is Cincinnati’s history to claim.

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