App State to play Michigan on ESPN2
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The Sun Belt and ESPN announced that Appalachian State's game against Michigan will be televised on ESPN2.
The game, which is scheduled for Aug. 30, will be at noon.
It is the first time the two teams have played since Appalachian State shocked the Wolverines with a 34-32 upset victory in front of over 109,000 fans at Michigan Stadium, otherwise known as the Big House. Appalachian State took a 28-14 lead on the No. 5-ranked Wolverines and held on to the win when Corey Lynch blocked a Michigan field goal with five seconds left in the game.
Appalachian State, which was ranked No. 1 in the FCS polls, went on to win the FCS national championship at the end of the season for the third straight time.
"It's exciting to know that a national audience will be tuned in for Appalachian State's first game as an NCAA Division I FBS program," Appalachian State athletic director Charlie Cobb said in a news release. "One of the many reasons that we chose to return to the Big House was the probability that the game would be televised nationally. Along with our Sun Belt Conference opener at Georgia Southern (Sept. 25 on ESPNU), we now have two regular-season games that will be shown on over-the-air ESPN networks this year -- a first in Appalachian State history. The exposure to a national audience that these televised games affords our football program, athletics department and university is worth millions of dollars and also gives our students, alumni and fans that can't be at the games the opportunity to cheer on the Mountaineers wherever they might be."
Appalachian State is getting $1 million to return to the Big House. The Mountaineers were a disappointing 4-8 last season, while Michigan is also coming off a disappointing 7-5 season.
The Mountaineers are 7-0 on ESPN2. The last time App State played on ESPN2, the Mountaineers crushed Wofford 70-24 at Kidd Brewer Stadium on Halloween night in 2008. App State was ranked No. 2 and Wofford was ranked No. 3 in the FCS at the time.
Appalachian State also won each of its FCS national championship games on ESPN2. App State beat Northern Iowa 21-16 in 2005, Massachusetts 28-17 in 2006 and Delaware 49-21 in 2007.
The Sun Belt and ESPN also announced that up to 50 Sun Belt events will be carried on ESPN3. The sports expected to be broadcast include regular season games for football, men's and women's basketball and baseball.
Conference championship games in men's soccer, women's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball will also be carried by ESPN3. All of the events are in addition to those already in place to be carried on the ESPN networks, which includes ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU.