Brock’s Random Thoughts: The Appalachian State Disaster
I have been a Michigan fan since I was a kid, so that makes what happened 13 years ago today the worst day ever for me in a sports sense (I say sports sense, because the coronavirus pandemic and 9-11 are much, much worse than this).
On this day 13 years ago (September 1st, 2007), one of the biggest upsets in college football history occurred at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.
Appalachian State (the 2006 FCS National Champions) knocked off the 5th ranked Michigan Wolverines 34-32 in the very first game ever broadcasted on The Big Ten Network.
In my opinion, this is the worst loss in the history of Michigan football. And it is the massive cloud that hangs over this program to this very day. That's why I call it a disaster.
I get criticized by my fellow Michigan fans for feeling this way, but head coach Lloyd Carr (and his coordinators) should have been fired in the locker room after the game by then-athletic director Bill Martin or the school president. Just simply because of the embarrassment the school received locally and nationally from fans and media.
The worst part about it is that most fans just condone the loss. They just say "It's OK, it's not that a big deal. App State is a good team, we'll rebound from this." To that I say "WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT???!!!!" (BTW, Michigan finished 9-4 that season, ugh!!!)
You lost to a I-AA level team at home!!! Lloyd Carr didn't have his guys ready to play!! To this day, Michigan has trouble defending a spread offense similar to what Appalachian State runs for years. Why are my Michigan brethren still condoning this loss after all this time?? Carr has never been held accountable for that loss, IMO.
Carr spent years at Michigan underachieving with tons of NFL talent. I know Michigan won the 1997 national title (Brian Griese and Charles Woodson won it for Michigan, not Lloyd Carr!!!), but there were multiple seasons of 9-3 and 8-4 with NFL talent up and down the roster (that's bad coaching). And he screwed up the Tom Brady-Drew Henson QB controversy in 1999 (would've played for the national championship that year if Brady played the whole year). He should've won at least three national titles in Ann Arbor.
By the way, people have to get out of this mindset that it's good enough to "Win the Big Ten and go to the Rose Bowl." That is so 1978, we're in 2020 now!!!
With the way that salaries are for these overpaid coaches (another topic for another day), and the way the system has changed over the years, the expectation should be (at least in most years): "Our goal is to make the College Football Playoff and then play for what really matters in college football. And that's the National Championship. Anything less than that is a failure."
It boggles my mind how many people defend Lloyd Carr to this day. How he's in the College Football Hall of Fame is beyond me. His conservative nature (much like Jim Harbaugh today) was just maddening when you've got star players all over the place. Open up the playbook! Be more aggressive offensively!
Until Michigan makes the College Football Playoff and plays for the national championship, they will not be "The Leaders and Best", and won't be where I think they should be (amongst the nation's best football programs).
If you want to know why they aren't, look in the clouds over Michigan Stadium.
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