BOONE — With the college football season weeks away, Appalachian State fans were reminded once again that the seemingly impossible can happen, even in the most improbable circumstances.
Sports Illustrated gave Appalachian State fans and college football fans everywhere that reminder when it ranked Appalachian State’s 34-32 victory over Michigan as the of all time biggest upset in college football.
Sports Illustrated’s Ethan Thomas ranked college football’s top 10 upsets of all-time, listing Appalachian State’s 2007 win over Michigan as the biggest on Aug. 1. It edged out Stanford’s 24-23 win over Southern California, which happened on Oct. 6, 2007.
The list was made in conjunction with the magazine’s recognition of 150 years of college football. A total of 15 categories were recognized by the magazine, including top 10 all-time upsets.
Appalachian State was coming off a second straight Football Championship Subdivision victory after capping its 2006 season with a 28-17 win over Massachusetts in the FCS championship game. Michigan went into the game ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll and several key players bypassed the NFL draft to make a run at a national championship.
Appalachian State was 41-point underdogs to Michigan, but managed to take a take a 28-17 halftime lead and managed to hold off the Wolverines. After Michigan went in front 32-31, App State kicker Julian Rauch gave the Mountaineers a 34-32 lead with a 24-yard field goal with 26 seconds left. Michigan quarterback Chad Henne hit Mario Manningham for a long pass, and Michigan kicker Jason Gingell lined up for a field goal.
But, Appalachian State Corey Lynch broke through and blocked Gingell’s attempt, which preserved the win.
The other games on the top 10 list included: Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Oklahoma on Nov. 16, 1957; Oregon State’s 21-20 win over Washington on Oct. 19, 1985; Howard’s 43-40 win over UNLV Sept. 2, 2017; Carnegie Tech’s 19-0 win over Notre Dame on Nov. 27, 1926; James Madison’s 21-6 win over Virginia Tech on Sept. 11, 2010; Temple’s 28-24 win over Virginia Tech on Oct. 18, 1998; Navy’s 46-44 win over Notre Dame on Nov. 3, 2007; and Butler’s 23-21 win over Youngstown State on Sept. 1, 2018.