For Saturday’s edition of This Week in Michigan Football History we headed back briefly to October 1st in 1927 and 1938 to acknowledge the first game at Michigan Stadium and the first time the Wolverines donned the coveted winged helmet respectively.
From there we went to 1977 on this day exactly four decades ago, as General Bo Schembechler’s third-ranked Wolverines were set for an epic clash in Ann Arbor against fifth-ranked Texas A&M. The game was a blow-out, but A&M was enamored with Bo and later tried to lure him to college station.
Here’s how it went down:
As always, this segment appeared on 1050AM WTKA and 1330AM WTRX’s epic KeyBank Countdown to Kickoff prior to each game. You can hear it live inside the Go Labatt Blue Light Victors Lounge starting 4 hours prior to kickoff. Go Blue!
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script after the jump:
First, Fielding Yost’s dream came to fruition on October 1st, 1927, as it marked the first game in Michigan Stadium, a 33 to nothing shutout of Ohio Wesleyan. Eleven years later on this day in 1938, Fritz Crisler made his Wolverine coaching debut and outfitted the maize and blue with the iconic Winged Helmet for the first time in the 14 – nothing defeat of Michigan State.
For this edition of This Week in Michigan football history we head to 1977 as General Bo Schembechler’s third-ranked Wolverines were set for an epic clash in Ann Arbor against fifth-ranked Texas A&M. The battle of top 5 teams was supposed to one of the premiere match-ups of the college football season if not the decade but– Meechigan did not cooperate.
The Maize and Blue hammered the Aggies 41-3 in front of a sell-out crowd. Back Russell Davis paced the offense with a 110 yard, 2 touchdown performance while the defense, which yielded 5 turnovers, was anchored by Ron Simpkins and his 14 tackles.
The dominant Michigan performance certainly caught the eye of the Texas A&M faithful, who, just four years later, tried to lure Bo to College Station.
Right after Michigan’s victory in the 1981 Bluebonnet Bowl played in Houston, Bo and his wife Millie hopped a flight to Dallas to talk about the Aggies job.
There they were met by millionaire oil-baron Bum Bright, who tried the close the deal on the spot by laying out a multi-million dollar offer loaded with Texas-sized benefits.
Many don’t realize how close Bo was to taking that offer. He actually visited College Station again to get a feel for the town. And then there was the money, which was FOUR times what he was making in Ann Arbor, was impossible to ignore.
Once word leaked of the Texas A&M courtship, reporters flocked to Schemechler’s home to get the scoop. In the end, Bo decision hinged on loyalty—the loyalty to his players, the recruits, their parents, and the promises he made to all of them. Once he made his decision he pulled Millie aside and told her, “I just can’t leave Michigan.”
So he stayed, and as Bo himself prophesized, he brought four more championships to Ann Arbor. While he retired after the 1989 season, Bo set the course that led to Michigan’s 1997 National Title, and above all, he cemented his legacy as the college football Icon that endures today.
For more, check out WTKA.com and MVictors.com. For the Key Bank Countdown to Kick-off this is Greg Dooley.