Wolverines Go Down, In Historic Fashion

By Adam Caparell - September 01, 2007

Well, no one could have predicted this: the No. 5 team in the nation, losing to a Division I-AA/FCS team, in what could very well be one of the greatest upsets in college football history.

Michigan went down hard Saturday with early indications saying they became the first ranked team to lose to an I-AA opponent, that opponent being Appalachian State.

It was a back and forth affair in the fourth quarter that the majority of the country did not get to see because of it was televised on the Big Ten Network - how about that game for the new channel's debut? - but Michigan had a chance at the end of the regulation to win it with a field goal, only to have it blocked.

The loss is devastating for Michigan, the winningest program in college football, and one of the proudest. Its national title hopes just went down the drain along with Mike Hart's and Chad Henne's Heisman chances.

The Michigan defense - gutted this off-season by defections on the defensive line, linebacker and corner - was burned time after time and the beleaguered Lloyd Carr may never live down this one down. He lost to a I-AA team, an embarrassment of unbelieveable proportions - no matter what he or any of his player say - and the Wolverines won't be playing for a national title. No coach or media voter can in their right mind put the Wolverines among the nation's best after they lost to a I-AA team, even if every other team in the nation has a loss when the season is all said and done. The Wolverines, quite simply, are roadkill.

"I wouldn't call it embarrassing because that takes away from them," running back Mike Hart said after the game. "We're disappointed. I can tell you that."

After Hart ran for that Heisman like touchdown, it looked like there wouldn't be any way Michigan would lose the game. Big time players make big time plays like that and they almost always lead to win over an upstart like Appalachian State. But Hart doesn't play defense, Michigan's biggest problem - by far - Saturday.

"It is one of the biggest losses ever, but give all the credit to Appalachian State," Hart said.

Michigan's season is done, earlier than it should have been in what has become all too familiar seen in Ann Arbor.

Quick Views From Elsewhere:

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech's offensive line struggled and Sean Glennon was far from perfect. East Carolina gave the Hokies a good run at it and was able to move the ball a little. But the Hokies defense was far from stifling.

I'll say this, though: there's no reason to think that with a couple of more games under their belt they won't start playing the way everyone expects them to which is to say they'll be one of one of the best. They just better get their act together pretty quickly with LSU up next weekend.

The Hurricanes backfield looked pretty good today. The combo of Javarris James and Graig Cooper were impressive. Kirby Freeman, on the other hand, was not good in his season debut. His stat line was awful and if he keeps playing like he did this afternoon we'll be seeing Kyle Wright in the very near future.

One thing Randy Shannon, who picked up his first win as a head coach today, can not continue to do is allow Richard Gordon to return kicks. Yes, he's a physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, but it takes him too long to get moving and it costs Miami yards on the return. Stick to the speedsters. They may not run over people, but they'll definitely get you more yards in a lot less time.

Notre Dame
How the Irish were 2.5 point favorites this afternoon was beyond me. They got spanked by 30 against Georgia Tech in their worst season opening loss in program history.

Notre Dame was bad, allowing the underrated Tashard Choice 196 yards rushing. The equally underrated Yellow Jackets defense was equally impressive, albeit against an Irish offense that will take a step or two back this season considering no skill position starter from last season - most especially quarterback Brady Quinn - returned for 2007.

As for the Irish quarterback situation, if the offensive line can't protect him then does it really matter who Charlie Weis tabs? Notre Dame allowed an eye-opening nine sacks today not exactly helping Evan Sharpley's efforts or Demetrius Jones'.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 02:50 PM on September 01, 2007
Comments (1)


You just never know!! I am so glad that this happened. I am so tired of hearing before the season even starts that this team is going to do this and that team is going to do that. It's like everything has been scripted before the season even starts. This just shows the game still has to be played.

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