Remember Appalachian State's historic upset of Michigan back in 2007? It was the first—and still the only—time a Division I-AA/FCS team had ever topped a I-A/FBS Top 5 team, and it was a wildly entertaining game to boot.
One of the lingering questions about that game, meanwhile, was simply "how did this happen?" That question seemed to answer itself when Oregon dropped a 39-7 shellacking on the Wolverines at the Big House the very next week—but still, it's worth asking.
According to an anonymous interview at Chat Sports, there is an answer—a sweet, sticky answer. Here's more:
In a shocking revelation, this former player told me that over half of Michigan’s defensive starters and several key offensive starters partied deep into the night the night before the 2007 Michigan vs. Appalachian State game, then smoked marijuana hours before kickoff in an effort to “see how bad we can beat up if we are stoned.”
The player said that the Michigan secondary and linebackers were the main participants of this group, but the ring leader was an explosive offensive playmaker, who would later be suspended during his Michigan career for failing a drug test.
This notion of getting ripped right before a game seems ludicrous. Doing anything while high on marijuana is a frightening activity. Ever been in a grocery store? Ever been in a grocery store on weed?
Seriously, football at the college level is a very complex sport, and no matter how physically talented you are, you're not going to beat anybody if you get the play call, and by the time of the snap all that's going through your head is "potato potato potato potato." So if this story is true, it's a wonder that Michigan even stayed close in this game.
The anonymous former player, who the website says will be revealed in November, also places the blame for the loss on the coaches for not adequately preparing the team for Appalachian State and, in particular, QB Armanti Edwards, who shredded the Michigan defense:
The coaches barely even game planned for App State regardless. We didn’t prepare any differently nor see any tape of their offense during game week. We were working on normal prep and facing our offense. Armani [sic] Edwards was having a field day on us because we didn’t even know he was a fast dual-threat guy. The whole week is an embarrassment.
It's funny: Michigan fans were happy to see Rich Rodriguez go, because he wasn't a "Michigan Man." He also wasn't very successful as a coach, which had just a little to do with it, but when Brady Hoke was hired, his Michigan bona fides were unquestionable. Even Lloyd Carr backed the Hoke hire, and you know what? It has been, up to this point, a great hire.
But Lloyd Carr was one of those "Michigan Men" too, and this alleged lapse in player discipline happened on his watch, not Rodriguez's. So who's really antithetical to Michigan's purported values there?
It'll be interesting to see what the reactions to this piece will be from coaches and players who were part of that 2007 team. It's not that claiming to being high out of their minds is exactly in the Wolverines' best interests, but what do you want to say about a historic loss to an FCS team?
"No, we were all clear-headed and adequately prepared for the game." That's almost worse, isn't it?