Sure, they have earned "respect" nationally for their incredible, sustained success on the field.
They're known as the original FBS killers, making it a habit of knocking off teams like Rutgers and Northwestern well before Appalachian State famously knocked off Michigan, James Madison upended Virginia Tech, or, most recently, North Dakota State took it to Kansas State.
They're also known perennially as a team in the FCS Top 25, inhabiting the rankings in some way for an incredible 130 weeks. In 2004, behind a third-string quarterback, QB Ricky Santos and his Wildcats beat Rutgers 35-24 and have been nationally-ranked ever since.
FBS nightmares, all those Top 25 appearances, and nine consecutive playoff appearances to go along with that give UNH mad "respect" with the wider FCS community, and also make for a thrilling opponent when they come to to town.
But they also have earned "respect" in another way, too. They've done so by building their success the right way, not compromising academics for all their athletic success.
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