By MICHAEL FRANCA
The Miami Hurricanes football team will head to Boone, N.C., on Saturday, Sept. 17, to face notorious underdogs, the Appalachian State Mountaineers.
Appalachian State is famous for its stunning upset of then fifth-ranked Michigan on the opening weekend of the 2007 season. At the time, the Mountaineers were still part of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
Now, though, they are a Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team who play in the Sun Belt Conference.
While they have moved up in the college football hierarchy, they are still not on par with the likes of Miami, which is in a Power Five conference, the ACC.
You wouldn’t know it from the pregame coverage, however.
The national narrative surrounding this game seems to suggest that the Canes should be on upset alert. They are only slight favorites in Vegas (-3.5), and have been singled out by writers and pundits as candidates to be dethroned.
USA Today, for example, published an article calling the game a “huge test” for 25th-ranked Miami. The piece highlights all the potential pitfalls in the match-up for the favorites.
It mentions how App State started this season by taking No. 9 Tennessee to overtime in Knoxville. The article also points out that it will be a home game for the Mountaineers; offering fans of the team a rare opportunity to see a major team come into town — something that will surely rile them up.
While these are indisputable observations, many key factors are being ignored. For one, the Hurricanes are the major team for a reason: talent.
The growing narrative sweeping people up is a result of the love of a good underdog story, nostalgia for 2007, and the national distaste for the Miami football program.
Unfortunately for everybody else, the Hurricanes are the superior team — something they will set out to prove on Saturday.