A quick dump, twenty minutes after the OT win:

I always love the IU vs. Michigan game because of the hoops tradition at the two schools and probably more so because I attended IU for a couple years at the end of the Knight era.    I’ve seen a couple dozen games at Assembly Hall including a few real beauties.    What a classic.

I actually missed the first half due to the early start.  When I tuned on BTN, they were flashing the first half stats.  All brutal obviously; everything in IU’s favor and Michigan was shooting horribly.  After the first few minutes of the second I saw Michigan firing (and firing, and firing) and missing.   A disappointing, two-steps back loss seemed imminent and I chalked this up to one of the drawbacks of Beilein’s system: we’re going to win some we probably shouldn’t and vice versa.

But those M men grinded away, never stopped firing, stepped up the defense and seemed to constantly get open looks.   Crean’s brutal inaugural season continues.   Obviously a lot of this is on Indiana.  While Michigan hit some clutch shots (Sims turnaround jumper in overtime was money), the Hoosiers couldn’t seem to get a hand in the face of most of the threes and rest assured they will be shooting some free throws tomorrow after failing to convert when Michigan nearly collapsed at the end of OT.

Trying to find new labels for these wins is growing tiresome–was this a “landmark”, “breakthrough”, or “career-defining” victory? I think all those have been used up. These cats are on their way.

Postscript 1/8 – I see a lot of Michigan fans are talking about how sloppy the game was, how we’re playing to the level of our opponents, how we almost gave it a way.  All true!  But dudes—we don’t have Larry Johnson and Stacey Augmon out there, we’re not the Harlem Globetrotters just b/c we won a couple big games.  Take the good with the good

Hoosier Report: Ugh

1950 Army Michigan from Yankee Stadium

1950 was a special season in Michigan football history. Many M historians know this is the year that the Wolverines defeated Ohio State 9-3 in the epic Snow Bowl. That classic win earned the Blue a trip to Pasadena where they defeated Cal 14-6 on two late touchdowns.

All’s well that ends well, but things didn’t start well and included a trip to New York. The next edition of eBay Watch features this ticket stub from the Army-Michigan game held October 14, 1950 at Yankee Stadium:

1950 Army Michigan stub

You can see the full auction here.

Army was riding a twenty-two game winning streak heading into the game and dropped the Wolverines 27-6 in front of 67,076 fans including General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Gazing soley at the boxscore you might have figured the Victors prevailed or at least kept the score respectable:

1950 Army Michigan from Yankee Stadium

The New York Times commended the Wolverines effort that day and reported that Oosterbaan’s men put a bit of a scare into the Black Knights, scoring early and threatening often. In the end Army was too tough, capitalizing when they needed to pull safely away. Army’s streak eventually ended later that season in a 14-2 loss to Navy.

While the football squad took a bit of a beating in a hard fought battle, the Michigan Marching Band made a few headlines with a legendary performance on the historic field. Their effort earned a few inches in the Times post-game coverage:

1950 Army Michigan from Yankee Stadium

Brush away tear after reading that. My god, Revelli pulled out all the stops!

Other Notes:
* This was Michigan second trip to Yankee Stadium, the first was in 1945 also against Army. The Wolverines were defeated in a similar fashion 28-7.

* I actually made it out to Yankee stadium last week to check out the stadium before they move to the new digs, a photo for you from my seats featuring the captain and M man Jeter:

Yankee Stadium

* They don’t write like this anymore. From the New York Times, Tuesday January 2, 1951 on the Rose Bowl later that season:

A crowd of 89,939, basking in sunny but brisk ideal football weather, watched Bennie Oosterbann’s indomitable Wolverines, indecisive winners of the 1950 Big Ten crown, cap the immolation of the Coast in the New Year interconference competition with their trouncing of Lynn Waldorkf’s pigskin chasers.

Credits: The lead photo, boxscore and the Marching band summary were all from the October 15, 1950 edition of the New York Times, “Cadet Streak at 23”.

Woodson's interception against Michigan State 1997

You like me have likely been suffering through ESPN’s tournament for the greatest sports highlight of all time (which inexplicably contains an entry with no actual footage and may have never actually happened: Babe Ruth’s called shot). I typically hate these things unless there’s some Michigan-related element to it (see Legg’s goal winning the ESPY).

To make a bit interesting I rolled my head through the greatest highlights in Michigan football in the past 40 years or so. Several came to mind and I’m certainly missing some of your favorites. My favorite? See the pic that leads this story. I was in the upper deck in Spartan Stadium on the same side of the field and saw the whole thing. My head almost exploded when I realized what I had just watched.

Here’s a poll and get your takes and feel free to add your own entry:


Here’s what I could find on the YouTube. Thankfully I witnessed each of these in person except for the great Wangler to Carter game winner and of course the Harmon ditty:
More »

Check out Brian Cook’s AOL Fanhouse post on the new montage put together by the talented “expressfan”. It’s not just your same old Wangler to Carter.

He’s got clips from the Bo and Brandstatter on Michigan Replay talking about the play and about broadcasting legend Bob Ufer. Plus, he thankfully includes a great clip of two plays prior to the famous pass when Michigan threw the ball right into Indiana coach Lee Corso’s hands to kill the clock. In one of the Ufer recordings (not provided here) you hear him talk about this but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it. It’s hilarious. Here’s the YouTube and don’t miss Cook’s take on the Fanhouse:

13. January 2008 · Comments Off on Relief: Beilein and crew down Wildcats · Categories: Archive 2008, Coach Beilein, Coach Rod, Hoops, Indiana

Congrats to the Coach Beilein and the hoops squad as they got off the schneid by taking down Northwestern 78-68 for their first Big Ten win. No word whether Coach Rodriguez did the mid-court shot at halftime. Apparently Beilein’s inspirational highlight DVD helped.

Coach Beielin asked team manager and local guy Pete Burak to suit up for the game, but he didn’t play. Pretty cool.

Eric Gordon: Money!
Seriously, what are you supposed to do about that?

And in case the Indiana blow-out wasn’t out of your mind yet, the IU Blog Inside the Hall runs a little film session on Eric Gordon demonstrating the super frosh’s ridiculous range. The set? You bet: Crisler arena.

Empty Crisler Arena
This is midway through the first half – this is real

Made it up to the game last night and it wasn’t as close as the 78-64 final score.

– It’s a little frustrating to sit and watch. The offense pretty much looks for an open three and then clanks it off the rim. The good news? It seemed like they were getting good looks at the rim before then tossing the brick.
– The highlight of the game was DeShawn Sims’ three-quarter court heave to end the half. The place erupted and that was nice to see.
– Newsflash: Eric Gordon is amazing. Michigan kept it relatively close near half because Gordon was on the bench with three fouls.
– A few local AA-list celebrities at the game including:
* Coach Carr with wife Laurie at mid-court. He got a huge cheer when they showed him on the screen.
* Coach Rod with a few new staffers (see pic). Both coaches spent some time with Florida grad and supreme hotness Erin Andrews.
* Joe Dumars courtside checking out the talent.
* Sam Webb of WTKA.

– As far as the arena, it was at best 40% full with large portions of the Maize section empty. Four of us walked up to Crisler without tickets. A few different fans handed us free tickets within minutes.

– Carty reacts to the Jay Bilas comments. He inserted the entire Bilas comment on Beilein in the post then reacts. Check it out.
– mgoblue.com publishes Coach Rod’s entire new staff. Glad to see he retained equipment manager Jon Falk, keeper of the Little Brown Jug.
– MLive published the audio of Rich Rodriquez’s interview with Jim Rome from yesterday. I’ve got it here:

Update Postgame:

Eric Gordon: Money!

And in case the Indiana blow-out wasn’t out of your mind yet, the IU Blog Inside the Hall runs a little film session on Eric Gordon demonstrating the super frosh’s ridiculous range. The set? You bet: Crisler arena.

Mallett running the Spread Offense

MGoBlog’s Unverified Voracity today published some great stuff, including a link to the 2005 West Virginia playbook. A lot of the plays involved a wiggle, and waggle and the quarterback taking it to the house. It’s TOO EASY! Run, Ryan Run.

Elsewhere: I added a few Big Ten Blog links on the right toolbar. If you’ve got some other suggestions let me know. All these seem to be updated fairly frequently. Funny, after reviewing these I learned quickly that other Big Ten blogs like to talk about Michigan about as much as I do. But sometimes they’re just not very nice about it. A few examples:

The Enlightened Spartan: Hates Michigan and Mitch Albom. Memo to ES: you can have Albom. Take him, please.

Illini Talk: Found the “M”ORON Michigan license plate and got a chuckle.

Buckeye Commentary: Oh the Irony. Columbus ripping on Michigan’s new Hillybilly West Virginianess

Boiled Sports:
The Purdue blog tells WVU fans to chill out and gives them an unbiased reality check.

Black Shoe Diaries: The Penn State site has an interesting poll: Is Michigan hiring Rodriguez good, bad or TBD for Penn State. Ummm…not sure how to take that, right? I mean things aren’t exactly good for Penn State at least with respect to Michigan as is, so for those saying it is a good thing for Penn State, is that because Carr is leaving or because Rodriguez is coming?

04. August 2007 · Comments Off on Michigan’s Debut as a Nocturnal Eleven (1944) · Categories: Archive 2007, History, Indiana, Media, Ohio State

Webmaster’s note 8/4: Originally published on July 31, I just heard back from the Bentley museum which provided some key info on the game. I’ve updated the piece with the new info from the Bentley…

Tribune Lead on Michigan's night debut
Feminine ticket stub. Manly kick-off time.

On May 1st of this year the athletic department published a press release announcing that the 2007 game at Illinois would be played at night. The presser also listed the history of Michigan’s games in prime time. It all started in 1944 with a game under the lights at Marquette and the Blue didn’t play another for nearly 30 years.

Searching the Internet
I dug around the internet looking for more detail on the game. Emails to the athletic department and the Bentley museum got nothing. The Bentley summary of the Fritz Crisler’s 1944 team provided basics on the game (Michigan won 14-0 in front of approximately 12,366 fans) but nothing substantial.

Digging further, I bought an archived copy of the 1944 Chicago Tribune which published a piece covering the game. The article provided a summary of the game and provided a glimpse at sports writing back in the day. Written by Charles Bartlett, the Tribune piece reads more like a play by play than a modern game summary. Here’s the headline and a small taste of Bartlett’s writing style:

Tribune Lead on Michigan's night debut

Call to Marquette Sports Information
Next I contacted the Marquette sports information department. One of the challenges in digging up data on this game is that Marquette stopped playing football in 1960. Michael Whittliff of MU suggested I try looking at the library’s collection of yearbooks. Expecting to find nothing, a review of the 1945 ‘Hilltop’ yearbook paid off big time & yielded a game photo:

Michigan's first night game vs. Marquette in 1944

In case you can’t make it out, the clowns on the yearbook department added the caption “May I have the next Waltz, please?” under that photo. That’d probably not cut mustard on one of the MichiganZone’s caption contests. It’s a great photo and I was jacked to see it was taken after sundown.

Bentley Museum Comes Through
The info and the game photo was cool, but up to this point I still didn’t find any special reason why Marquette played the 1944 game at night. It wasn’t unique for MU to play at night as scan of the yearbook showed other night game photos. Then, a few days after my initial draft of this story, I got an email back from the Bentley museum.

Greg Kinney, the curator of the Michigan football archives at the Bentley wrote to me: “After checking a bunch of sources, I finally found a newspaper article that offers some rationale for the night game. Michigan was host to the Navy V-12 program and so had many Navy and Marine recruits on the team.”

Here’s the deal on the V-12 program:

The V-12 Navy College Training Program was designed to supplement the force of commissioned officers in the United States Navy during World War II. Between July 1, 1943 and June 30, 1946, over 125,000 men were enrolled in the V-12 program in 131 colleges and universities in the United States. When the draft age was lowered to 18 in November 1942, the Navy quickly foresaw a shortage of college-educated officers for its operations. Likewise, hundreds of the nations colleges and universities feared economic collapse without students to fill suddenly empty classrooms. All those in V-12 were on active duty, in uniform and subject to a very strict form of military discipline.

Kinney found additional articles on the game including one in particular which provided the reason for the night time start. Kinney wrote to me:
“The team left Ann Arbor at 1:30 Friday afternoon and arrived in Milwaukee at 7:40 and had a brief workout under the lights. The article states; “Michigan meets Marquette University at Milwaukee tonight and the opening kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 o’clock to enable the Wolverines to catch an early train out of Milwaukee and have the navy and Marine players back here within the 48-hour limit.”

So…it was the V-12 program and the time limit that made for the unique start time. There must have not been a train that left Saturday evening to get the players home within the 48 hours.

The Season of 1944
As mentioned Michigan took down the pass-happy ‘Hilltoppers’ 14-0 on two second half scores. The change in schedule apparantly took its toll on the ’44 Wolverines as the following week they were stomped by Indiana 20-0 in Ann Arbor! The rest of the schedule was a breeze until losing a tight game to the undefeated Buckeyes in front of over 78,000 in Columbus. For the last four games it should be noted that Michigan’s fullback and captain Bob Wiese left for military service no doubt related to the V-12. Obviously there were bigger priorities than college football back then. The final AP poll slotted the Wolverines at #8, with the great Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis giving Army (which “rolled through the 1944 season like Patton through Europe” according to InfoPlease.com) a national title.


SALINE, MI NOVEMBER 10, 2006 It’ll be great to get back to IU, the first time since graduating from business school in 1998. It was a great two years in Bloomington and of course this time coincided with Michigan 1997 National Championship run. I actually received two tickets to the 1998 Rose Bowl against Washington State from the IU Athletic department. Ahh, good times.

Here’s a few things I’d like to see tomorrow:
– Henne crisp passes, with completions of 40+ to Manningham and/or Arrington.
– Hart having less than 15 carries.
– Minor, Grady, Jackson looking sharp.
– Defense holding IU to less than 200 passing yards.
– Overall, a 20 point+ win, going away, giving some of the 2nd string a chance to redeem themselves.
– A porterhouse steak at Little Zagreb