Penn State Athletics announced this morning that the Nittany Lions' 2018 non-conference schedule had its last remaining opening filled as Appalachian State will come to Beaver Stadium for the season opener that year. The Mountaineers, hailing from the Sun Belt, started their transition in the FBS last year and will become eligible to begin playing in bowl at the end of next season.
The 2018 non-conference schedule also includes a trip to Pittsburgh (Sept. 8) and a home game against Kent State the following week (Sept. 15). And plus, just look at the rest of that home schedule that year.
Appalachian State has played a Big Ten opponent twice before, both games coming against the Michigan Wolverines. You may remember the 2007 game, probably the greatest upset in college football history. A freshman Dan had just witnessed a 59-0 pounding of Florida International in his first ever Penn State game and walked out of the bleachers to become a part of this scene in the corridors of Beaver Stadium.
What do you think of the matchup? It isn't the most intimidating of non-conference opponents but Pitt is a Power 5 opponent and it is still yet to be seen the exact criteria that selection committees will adhere to when determining their final four teams in the Playoff era.