3. Michigan Wolverines – 2007
Lost to Appalachian State Mountaineers 34-32
9-4 (6-2); No. 18 AP; No. 19 Coaches; W Capital One Bowl
It’s cliche to bring this game up, just as it is to bring up the Alabama Crimson Tide losing to the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks Nick Saban’s first year on the job, which was ironically the same year this happened. What people leave out, however, is that Bama went 7-6 that year. The Michigan Wolverines actually turned out to be pretty decent.
Now, as a top five program expecting a national championship with senior quarterback Chad Henne, senior running back Mike Hart and junior wide receiver Mario Manningham, this team was a disappointment. But if you look at what they did in a vacuum, Tennessee football would love to have such a season this year.
Lloyd Carr’s program got off to a horrendous start with the most famous upset in college football history, losing their opener to the FCS Appalachian State Mountaineers 34-32. As a national title-caliber team that was a 33-point favorite, this loss was devastating.
Now, it is true that App. St. was an FCS powerhouse at the time. And the game was close, which is why UT’s Georgia State loss looked so bad. We might also mention that Shawn Elliott, who is now the Georgia State Panthers’ head coach, was on that staff. Following that, though, they then lost to the Oregon Ducks.
At 0-2, Michigan’s season was over. Then they quietly got on a roll. It started with a win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. But then they upset the No. 10 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions and eventually reeled off a streak of eight straight wins. They lost their final two to the Wisconsin Badgers and Ohio State Buckeyes, but that last game was for the Big Ten title.
Then, in Carr’s final game, the Wolverines beat the Florida Gators and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow 41-35 to finish 9-4 and in the top 20. Not bad for an 0-2 start, and that type of season this year would be great for Jeremy Pruitt.