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Appalachian State, Western Carolina face big teams

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BOONE, N.C. (AP) -- Appalachian State has grown accustomed to national titles and long winning streaks, so what's all the buzz surrounding a game the Mountaineers will almost certainly lose?

Well, it's Michigan. Not every day does a Football Championship Subdivision team visit the fabled Big House.

But that's what happens Saturday. Appalachian State is a two-time defending champion of Division I-AA, but they aren't expected to be anything more than sacrificial lambs.

Playing high-profile opponents offers a shot at generous television exposure, precious time on the nightly national highlight shows and the chance of pulling a monumental upset.

Western Carolina also faces a big team on Saturday -- the Catamounts will travel to play Alabama in coach Nick Saban's first game with the Crimson Tide.

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