Photo: readers Amy and Jeff

It’s been a while, huh?  Where the major sources slot the 4-2 Wolverines in the 2008-09 bowls.  Don’t book your flight just yet:

  • College Football News/  Insight Bowl  12/31/09 vs. Kansas
  • CBS Sports:  Champs Sports Bowl 12/29/09 vs. Wake Forest
  • ESPN (Mark Schlabach): Valero Alamo Bowl 1/2/10 vs. Oklahoma State
  • ESPN (Bruce Feldman):  Champs Sports Bowl 12/29/09 vs. North Carolina

Consolidated BCS Bowl Projections for 2009-2010

04. September 2008 · Comments Off on eBay Watch: 1976 Orange Bowl Stub · Categories: Archive 2008, Bo Schembechler, Bowls, eBay Watch, History, Michigan Memorabilia, Ohio State

1976 Orange Bowl Michigan Oklahoma

Next installment of eBay Watch features a somewhat unique piece of memorabilia from the Bo era, a ticket stub from the 1976 Orange Bowl game where Michigan faced Oklahoma. Here ‘s the auction, with a starting bid of $9.99 waiting for a taker, and here’s a snapshot of the stub being auctioned:

1976 Orange Bowl Michigan Oklahoma

For what it’s worth, here’s a cleaner version of how the ticket looked thanks to, you can see they got a jump on the bicentennial craze right off the bat (1/1/76):

1976 Orange Bowl Michigan Oklahoma

The game holds a historic significance as the first non-Rose Bowl invite in Big Ten history (in the modern era). Under pressure from the Big Ten, much due to the dominance of Michigan and Ohio State over the past few years, the Big Ten decided that teams in the 1975 season would be allowed to play in a post-season game other than the Rose Bowl. The lock at the top by concerned the Big Ten, as these rivals cornered the market on recruiting pitches about bowl games.

For Michigan fans, the game pretty much sucked and paled in comparison to the masterpiece put on in the 2000 Orange Bowl by Tom Brady and Alabama. Freshman Ricky Leach and the Wolverines lost 14-6 in a defensive battle struggle dominated by OU’s Selmon brothers, Leroy and Dewey, who tallied 23 tackles between them. Here’s a tight recap from the Bentley Library.

Michigan’s only score of the game was a touchdown as a result of an OU fumble on their own two yard line. Bo decided to go for two, probably because he wanted to get a head start on avoiding another tie in that season, having tied two times in the regular season. Also, I suppose the Wolverines had an outside shot at the national title if a few things happened. Michigan went into the game #4 in the country, with the Sooners ahead of them.

The team that sent Bo to the Orange Bowl, Woody Hayes and the Buckeyes, were huge favorites to wrap up the season with a national championship against UCLA. They crushed the Bruins earlier that season and went into the Rose Bowl with an air of confidence. Woody even hinted at retirement before the game, anticipating the golden opp to go out on top. But it wasn’t to be- the Buckeyes stumbled and the Orange Bowl victory propelled the Sooners the title.

Some highlights from the game, mostly Oklahoma on offense but that’s what you get. Please note the Wolverine ‘All-Whites’ uniforms, and take a close look at the Oklahoma snot-lock block at 1:40 of the tape:

With the Michigan Marching Band scheduled to play a Boy Band-themed set this Saturday for the Miami, OH game [seriously], it’s high time to show the band back when men were men. Here’s the MMB doing the theme from Jaws at halftime of the Orange Bowl. Check out the band forming a person swimming, about to be engulfed by the jaws of the deadly beast, click for the video:

Related: eBay Watch: 1976 NCAA Finals ticket stub, Michigan vs. Indiana

Leachapalooza: The Best of Rick Leach on WTKA 12-09

15. April 2008 · Comments Off on BCS Prize in Tatters, It’s Been Shattered · Categories: Archive 2008, BCS, Bowls, College Coaches, Jokes

Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators are struggling a bit in 2008. First they suffered the beat down at the hands of your Wolverines in the Capital One Bowl, now this.

Turns out there was a little mishap with the Sears Trophy. Yep, their prize for their 2007 BCS Championship win over the Buckeyes has seen better days:

BCS Tropy...Shadoobie (Shattered)

From USA Today:

It may remain a mystery who actually destroyed the crystal football, which shattered after hitting the ground outside head coach Urban Meyer’s office. Florida has already contacted the company in Kentucky that makes the base of the trophy and imports the crystal from Ireland for a replacement.

Florida associate athletic director Chip Howard confirmed the accident. The trophy was sitting on a coffee table outside of Meyer’s office while construction of new coaches’ offices is being completed.

“It may remain a mystery”? I’d like to understand a little more behind that line. As if anyone can plop down outside Urban Meyer‘s office and kick up their feet on the coffee table? I’m guessing they have a decent idea who broke the trophy.

Reaching back on my Clue skills, I’d start with:
– Professor Gatorade
– In the Coaches’ Lobby
– With a Cheerleader.

06. January 2008 · Comments Off on Capital One Bowl Fan Pics · Categories: Archive 2008, Bowls, Fans

Citrus Bowl - Michigan vs Florida 2008

A few photos directly from the Michigan fan section at the big game. Thanks to Amy and Jeff who sent over these beauties. I had a great New Years but would have loved to have been there. Enjoy!

Update 1/14: Reader Kelly sent over a recap of her experience at the game along with a few more photos. I blended them into the photo gallery above. Here’s her take on the game:

It was unreal and I still can believe I got to witness it in person. It was my first bowl game (I came from New Jersey) and a first for my brother and his 8 year old son (they live in Orlando). We grew up in Michigan, and I’m fan because of my brothers influence…to share that time with my nephew and brothers was truly amazing. It was the kind of thing we’ll be telling our grandkids about. The only negative is that I’m afraid my nephew will never attend another game that lives up to what we saw that day!

We had some serious nosebleed seats – Section 308 and 6 rows from the top. We were surrounded by Michigan fans, but it seemed like Florida fans where everywhere else. I’m guessing it was about 80% Florida fans and 20% Michigan fans. Two things about the fans — First, very nice on both sides – we didn’t get one rude comment from a Florida fan. Also, I had this idea that SEC fans stand and scream the whole game – not at all true, at least yesterday. That might be that they were worried from the first play of the game.

Kelly also took some nice vids from the game. Here’s a nice one from up top in the stadium after the game.

04. January 2008 · Comments Off on Kuselias: “We already have a playoff” · Categories: Archive 2008, BCS, Bowls, Media, Stupidity

Filling in on ESPN’s Mike Tirico Show was Eric Kuselias, Michigan law school grad. I’ve listened to the guy before and he does a good job, but today he enlightened the audience. He said that he gets annoyed by everyone saying we need a college football playoff. Why? Not because he’s tired of the tired debates. No, the purported MENSA member is bothered by the calls for a playoff because “we already have a playoff. It’s with two teams.” Seriously. I assumed he was kidding at first but he went on with this for a little bit.

Gee thanks Dr. Kuselias. In the future, I’ll try to specify a specific number of teams when arguing for the need of a playoff. This reminds me of one of my econ professors at Michigan insisting that people were wrong to suggest that inflation was a bad thing. No, people should be concerned about “unanticipated inflation.” Right.

Lloyd Carr showered after the game

I’m still blown away by the team’s performance on Tuesday. Looking over the highlights and the media coverage it is just amazing.

When things fell like they did, with Penn State and Wisconsin locking into their bowls prior to the BCS pairings and Michigan just hanging there and then finally drawing Florida of all teams….I thought it was a good break for Michigan to get a New Year’s Day bowl but a bad one given they’d have to play the likely Heisman winner and the defending national champion. The Gators seemed to be a perfect poison for the struggling Wolverines. You had to be thinking bad thoughts or at least braced for a spanking like fellow blogger CC at Autumn Thunder.

The one hope I had coming in was that we’d have a healthy Henne and Hart, and you know good things can happen when those guys are clicking. But still…it was Florida with Tebow and Harvin. Not mention they were playing essentially a home game.

The way those guys played despite the mistakes – it was just incredible. Watch the highlights again and watch how hard Arrington is going and how hard the defensive line comes off the ball. Even when Tebow made a play he ended up on his arse. Finally for MVP Henne, talk about putting it all together in his final game! He was so sharp (save bad decisions on the 2 trick plays) and just raised his NFL stock three-fold.

Then to hear Carr’s words on the field after the game and finally the transcript of his locker room speech. The Big Ten Network provided some video of the speech – MGoBlog embedded the video, and Michigan Sports Center has some great clips as well. But I’ve captured, saved and hosted the audio so it doesn’t get lost. Not the greatest quality but you get the idea. Enjoy:

And to watch the way West Virginia played last night. Those players played a lot like Michigan and I was impressed with the defense. This is going to be a fun off season. I’m so happy for Carr and excited to see what Rodriguez can do. I hope each recruit that is on the fence watched that game and heard Carr’s words after the game. It’s two days later and I’m still giddy over all this.

01. January 2008 · Comments Off on Post Capital One Bowl Game, Lloyd Carr (audio – a bit choppy) · Categories: Archive 2008, Bowls, Lloyd Carr

Thanks to MLive, the post game press conference from Lloyd Carr:
– “Proud of our players, to deal with some of the things they’ve had happen this season…”
– “The way things started this sesaon they could have folded. Never did.”
– [After the game] “Told the players I loved them. Most importantly, I thanked them.”
– [After down 35-31, any doubts?] “I told our kids only we could stop ourselves, which we did a number of times…we got all the time in the world we needed.”
– On Arrington’s punishment this summer. Great stuff (midway through the audio, check it out)…Talks about this summer, the punishment of running the steps….says his mother called him every morning to wake him up at 5:30am to make sure he was at the stadium to walk the steps…Carr adds he only asked him to walk steps; Arrington used it as an opportunity to get in better shape.
– “There were some sensational catches and Adrian made some of those.”
– “I never woke up not wanting to be there” [coaching at Michigan].
– [On his wish for the program] “I hope they win every game…Every time.”

Carrying Lloyd Carr off the field
If you were questioning whether this was a partisan Florida crowd, check out the stands

And Carr gives some touching comments at midfield and he’s flanked by wife Laurie. Great stuff; Great win….can’t be happier for the guy and the program. And taking down Urban Meyer and Florida is a big one for the Big Ten.

And Tebow scrambled for what seemed to be hours and threw it up high in the air…it looked for a moment like the Gator receiver was open but no. Incomplete and Michigan and the Big Ten win this one. Henne’s the MVP for me. They dose Carr with the cooler. The story of course is Carr but also Michigan giving a glimpse of the future Michigan offense (maybe DeBord trying to keep his job) and the final story line is M overcoming those 4 turnovers. Clock ticks to zero and what a great end to a tough season.

Two incomplete passes sets the clock to 2:04 and sets up third and 10. And Trent JUST MISSES and incredible play to pick the ball off. 1:58 – Fourth Down.

More »

30. December 2007 · Comments Off on Carty: They’re fat · Categories: Archive 2007, Bo Schembechler, Bowls, Coach Rod, Media

Per AA News columnist Jim Carty, the team (save Marquis Slocum) looked noticeably a tad plump at the open practice:

Hart looks to be carrying a few extra pounds and he was far from alone. Right guard Alex Mitchell and a number of other linemen on both sides of the ball are as big as they’ve been all year, and by big, I mean big as in bellies, not big as in ripped.

I question this a little bit, I mean, what’s Carty’s frame of reference? The locker room after the regular season games? He did add that Henne and Hart appeared to be a full strength despite Hart’s portliness.

Elsewhere, the New York Times named Rich Rodriguez one of its 5 individuals who had a major impact on the sports world in 2007. Pete Thamel who does the Times’ The Quad Blog wrote the piece. On the Michigan hire:

By hiring Rodriguez, Michigan, which had clung to its Bo Schembechler-bred power football roots, essentially pulled its head from the proverbial cloud of dust and conceded that gaining 3 yards at a time was no way to win national titles.

Finally, I’m not a doctor but looks like they should have delivered Henne’s cortisone shots in his arse.