Four years ago, the Michigan football program opened the season ranked in the top five in the nation and had hopes and aspirations of a national title run. What the Wolverines got instead was an embarrassing upset loss in the first game of the season against Appalachian State, setting off a roller coaster ride of a last season for Lloyd Carr.
It turns out that game won't end up being Appalachian State's only trip to the Big House. Michigan has scheduled the Mountaineers again -- this time to open up the 2014 season. The game will be played on Aug. 30, 2014, and will generate a good deal of national interest given what happened back in 2007.
While the idea of Michigan scheduling this game for revenge on Appalachian State is interesting to think about, I'm not a fan of this move at all. By scheduling the Mountaineers again, the embarrassing upset in 2007 will be brought up throughout the preceding offseason as people look ahead to the 2014 season. While Michigan will be seven years removed from the loss by 2014, is it really necessary to schedule a game that forces fans to relive the most embarrassing loss in program history?
It's not like a win will erase what happened in 2007. It will simply make Michigan's record against Appalachian State 1-1, and that's nothing to be proud of by any means. What's more, what if Michigan loses? As Michigan found out the first time, there are no guarantees, and it would be even more embarrassing if the Wolverines somehow managed to lose again.
To me this seems like a situation where all Michigan gains by scheduling this game is added buzz for the 2014 opener. The thing is, all of the added buzz is going to be negative for Michigan considering what happened in 2007. Perhaps athletic director Dave Brandon feels that all buzz is good buzz, but this just does not seem like a wise move on his part.
UPDATE: According to Mark Snyder, Appalachian State will receive $850,000 from Michigan for the game if it is still an FCS school. If Appalachian State makes the jump to FBS by the time of the game, it will receive $1 million from Michigan.