My Sportsman: Appalachian State
It happened in Austin and Berkeley. It happened in Boulder and Chestnut Hill and Gainesville. It happened in Lexington and Los Angeles and Piscataway. In 2007, the upset shook the college football season like never before, turning Goliaths into rubble and making every David believe that anything is possible.
Every team ranked in The Associated Press preseason Top 10 has lost, and it began with a game that the Las Vegas sports books refused to set a betting line on because it was such a mismatch.
It all began with my Sportsmen. It began with Appalachian State.
It began when defensive back
Appalachian State, like so many I-AA and I-A teams from non-Bowl Championship Series conferences, was scheduled, in essence, as a preseason game. The Mountaineers were a chance for a Wolverines team with national title aspirations to run wild on a group of players who would be rewarded by being able to tell their grandchildren, "I once played in the Big House." But on Sept. 1, the so-called Davids from Boone, a town of 13,000 tucked away in northwestern North Carolina, produced one of the most shocking upsets in sports history.
Four weeks after Big Blue suffered its black eye, Colorado beat then-No. 3 Oklahoma, Kansas State dumped No. 7 Texas and Auburn knocked off No. 4 Florida. More upsets followed as Illinois topped No. 5 Wisconsin and 41-point underdog Stanford stunned No. 2 USC the following weekend. Then Kentucky beat No. 1 LSU on the same day that Oregon State shocked No. 2 Cal. Rutgers followed by edging No. 2 South Florida and Florida State made Boston College the fourth No. 2-ranked team to fall. More recently, No. 1 Ohio State got tripped up by Illinois.
After every "we just shocked the world" triumph, we were reminded of how it began with Appalachian State's quarterback
It began with a win that showed that anything is possible in college football. It began with a win that showed how no program, not even one with more victories than any other in the history of the game, is safe.
In a season unlike any other, it all began with Appalachian State, my Sportsmen of the Year.