It’s hard to believe that it’s already been ten years since what is arguably the biggest upset in the history of college football. It was this day in 2007 that No. 5 Michigan suffered a loss at home against Division I-AA (now commonly known as FCS) opponent Appalachian State.
The loss sent absolute shockwaves through college football. The Wolverines boasted a team that had aspirations of competing for another national title, after collecting 11 wins in the season prior. Players like running back Mike Hart, quarterback Chad Henne, and offensive lineman Jake Long, perhaps three of the greatest to ever don the maize and blue (certainly this century), opted to return for their senior years in 2007 to complete unfinished business.
Michigan kicker Jason Gingell, who had nailed two field goals and two point-after attempts earlier in the game, had his 37-yard field goal attempt blocked in the waning seconds with Michigan trailing 34-32.
Here is Thom Brennaman on the call.
With this victory for Appalachian State, they became the first ever D-I-AA/FCS team to defeat a ranked D-I-A/FBS opponent. Sitting at No. 5 in the polls to start the day, Michigan fell out of the rankings immediately by next week. It was the first time that had ever happened as well. In fact, the Associated Press actually had to amend their ways of ranking teams after this victory. They had never ranked FCS programs in the polls prior.
As stunning as it was, the Mountaineers were no slouch program at the time. They finished that 2007 season 13-2 and captured a third straight national championship at the FCS level. They have since then made the jump back to FBS level full-time as recently as 2014. Ironically, their first game as a regular FBS member came against Michigan. The Wolverines dominated the Mountaineers, 52-14.
As for the Wolverines, they piggybacked the stunning defeat with a loss at home against Oregon. They managed to finish the season 8-4 and notch a victory in the Capital One Bowl, finishing inside the top 20 of the polls in what was the final season for Lloyd Carr as head coach.