Saturday, September 8, 2007

Michigan Who? An exciting football Saturday.

The NFL is pretty bland these days compared to the excitement in college football.

For example, the Wisconsin Badgers were expected to top UNLV but the Rebels (who really aren't a "cupcake" team) ignored that memo and it was nip-and-tuck down to the last couple of minutes before the Badgers finally put it away 20-13. Up to then it looked like UNLV might pull an upset.

While the Badgers won on the scoreboard the real winners were the fans -- a large contingent of Badger backers found an excuse to make the trek to Las Vegas -- who got to see a clean, hard-fought game.

Over in Ann Arbor, the Big House is turning into the Ice House for the Wolverines as Oregon humiliated Michigan 39-7.

Last week's 34-32 roust by Division I-AA champ Appalachian State was arguably one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

Nonetheless while the Mountaineers upset Michigan, the Ducks delivered a big-time butt-kicking that had many Michigan fans booing their own team and calling for the firing of head coach Lloyd Carr.

If there was any doubt whether Appalachian State was the better team last week, that issue was laid to rest today. One would think last week's upset would have fired up the Wolverines but that didn't happen. Michigan will need to pull off a miraculous turn around during the regular Big Ten season to regain at least some of its prior credibility as a powerhouse.

As for Appalachian State, the Mountaineers didn't let their new found fame get the best of them.

28,802 fans -- more than 12,000 over the stadium's official capacity -- watched Appalachian State mow down Division II Lenoir-Rhyne 48-7.

The Mountaineers used their backup quarterback as starter Armanti Edwards was nursing a sore shoulder and coach Jerry Moore played the bench for most of the game.

Lenior-Rhyne's coach, Fred Goldsmith, who was once head coach at Duke and Rice, said Appalachian State is probably better than "five or six teams" in both the Big Ten and ACC.

That said, I'd love to see the Mountaineers make it to Camp Randall.

It seems that tailgating is a tradition at Appalachian State and, regardless of which team came out on top, Badger fans could show the Mountaineers' faithful a thing or two about the fine art of partying. But I digress . . .

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