Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Thoughts from an embarrassed Michigan fan

In case you hadn't heard, the University of Michigan football team lost on Saturday to Appalachian State University, 34-32. The storied Michigan team, which has won more college football games than any other school, began the game ranked 5th in the nation and was considered a contender for a Bowl Championship Series game, if not the National Championship game itself. With many returning starters, Michigan was set to improve on their 2006 season which saw them lose only once in the regular season en route to the Rose Bowl.

That's all gone now.

After one game, Michigan now finds itself as the laughingstock of the entire sports world by losing to a school that most people had never heard of in front of their home fans. I was one of those fans and I will tell you that the walk back to the car after the game on Saturday was a true walk of shame.

To put it in perspective, the entire population of Boone, NC, where Appalachian State University is located, is 13,328. It would take EIGHT Boone, NCs to fill up Michigan Stadium. In actuality, there were only several hundred Mountaineer fans in attendance, but their celebration was loud enough to fill the Big House as the 109,000+ Michigan fans exited in stunned silence.

Under the current BCS system, a single loss almost certainly eliminates a team from contention for the National Championship. One can easily conclude that a single loss to an unknown team has wiped out any hope that Michigan ever had for 2007. National sports media has already labeled it the biggest upset in the history of college football. I can't say I disagree with them. It is simply an embarrassing time to be a Michigan fan.

To be fair to the kids at Appalachian State, they played a remarkable game, and by all accounts, they are a very good team. ASU is the two-time defending Division I-AA National Champion, meaning for the last two seasons, they were the best of the schools you'd never heard of. Which begs the question of Michigan: If you are going to schedule a "warm-up game" against a supposed cream puff opponent, why would you schedule it against the best one? Never mind that a team of Michigan's stature has no business losing to a team like ASU, why even take the risk? The risk far outweighs the reward of winning a game against the likes of Appalachian State.

Michigan now has the arduous task of preparing for a game against the Oregon Ducks, with Notre Dame and Penn State after that. It's going to be a very long season.

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  1. Anonymous Says:

    The saddest part about this is that they still have one of the best, if not the best, QB/RB combinations in the country, so winning out the rest of their games is not out of the question. Which means that there's a chance in December that Michigan fans will be looking back on this game and thinking to themselves "if only we would have beaten Appalachian State, we'd be in the BCS Championship game". What a bummer.

  2. Lloyd Carr Says:

    what there was a game? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ... huh what ....nobody tells me anything......