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Thursday, August 25, 2011
Appalachian State returning to Big House

By Brian Bennett

The matchup that caused one of the most stunning upsets in recent college football history will take place again in 2014.

Michigan announced Thursday that it will open the 2014 season at home against Appalachian State. Yep, the same Appalachian State that shocked the Wolverines 34-32 to open the 2007 season, when the defending FCS champion Mountaineers blocked a potential winning field goal at the end of regulation.

"We look forward to facing Appalachian State again," Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon said in a news release.

Appalachian State is currently deciding whether to move up to become an FBS member. The school could be in a transition period to the FBS by 2014 if it decided to make the move. So if the Mountaineers beat Michigan again, it might not register as big of an upset. But it would still be big.

Give some credit to the Wolverines for scheduling the Mountaineers again. That upset probably hastened the departure of Lloyd Carr, though the team bounced back to finish 9-4 and beat Florida in the Capital One Bowl. While this game presents the opportunity for revenge, Michigan is also taking a chance here because Appalachian State is an FCS powerhouse that usually fields a really good team.

The Wolverines should still have enough talent to beat a team from a lower level, but lightning has already struck once here. Can you imagine the reaction if Appalachian State pulls off another upset in the Big House?

Either way, it's a fun start to the 2014 season, as a lot of people will be watching or talking about this game when it could be another snoozer of an opener against an FCS opponent. One thing we know: Michigan won't look past Appalachian State in 2014.