01. July 2011 · Comments Off on Husking History · Categories: 2011 · Tags: , , , , ,

 

Today the Big Ten officially welcomes Nebraska to the conference, so I say welcome to fans & the Husker bloggers.  I’ve actually been to Lincoln for a “Big Ten” game – versus Iowa in 2000 and had an outstanding time.  Other than the stadium being completely doused in red (something we’ve seen before), my other lasting impressions include a strapping man launching T-shirts out of his portable missile launcher, and the pro football feel to the whole event with the omnipresent ads, sponsored replays, etc.  It’s a different environment than Michigan for sure, but not unlike what you get in other stadiums in the conference.

Speaking of the bloggers, a few are celebrating the day with a post and Big Red Network even solicited notes from the conference blogosphere.  Brian chimed in:

From MGoBlog – Welcome. Michigan looks forward to proving once and for all that the
1997 Nebraska team couldn’t hold a candle to Charles Woodson and
company. Please try to blend in when you overwhelm our stadium.

So did I:

From MVictors — Welcome.  Nebraska and Michigan share many things historically of course: a deep running tradition of excellence, the 1997 national championship and Fielding Yost.  Our teams even shared the outcome of the game when we met 100 years ago this fall in Lincoln – a 6-6 tie.  On that trip the Michigan team, students and fans who traveled to the game were treated like royalty.  After the game the Nebraska officials invited the entire contingent to the postgame banquet, and the Nebraska band even learned ‘The Victors’ for the occasion.  Good luck this season.

More on that game and the entire 1911 season coming up in Hail to the Victors 2011 – coming soon and you can preorder now.  If I had a T-shirt gun I would shoot you a copy.

Of course the initiation of new bloggers means more people talking about U-M and potentially about Michigan history so…dispatch the history nerd police!

First, Husker Extra did a nice alphabet-themed run down on the Big Ten but stumbled a tad when it got to L:

L is for the Little Brown Jug, the prize that goes to the winner of the Minnesota-Michigan game. The oldest trophy in college football, the jug was first up for grabs in 1903.

I appreciate the acknowledgment of the Little Brown Jug, but it wasn’t first up for “grabs” until 1909 .   It was left behind in 1903, starting the chain of events that led to them playing for it next time they met.  And Corn Nation recapped the history of the jug here, also with some elements that are incorrect but that’s not their fault because the existing versions at the athletic departments have some of the story wrong.  (Inside scoop: I’m working with the folks on State Street to tighten up the Michigan version.)

While Corn Nation escapes that one, I can’t let this one go.  They did a round table style Q&A yesterday and the second topic was ‘2 – Coach (or person you’d most like to meet associated with the Big Ten, dead or alive)’.  Resident historian Jon responded with this:

2 – Notice I included the criteria “dead or alive” and I’m the history guy, right? RIGHT? Woohoo! I’d like to meet Fielding Yost and do a post game interview, asking the question “What were you thinking, kicking to that Grange kid?”

I’ll take that.   I’m guessing Fielding Yost would be pretty confused by Jon’s question, but happy to talk about how he handled the Ghost.  George Little was the U-M head coach when Grange ran roughshod over the Wolverines in 1924 and FWIW, he didn’t score on a punt or kick return.  More importantly, Yost returned in 1925 and smothered Grange and Illinois 3-0:

Twenty-five times the Wheaton Iceman carried the ball, and 25 times Michigan sent a shudder through the sellout crowd as Grange was jolted to the turf by bone-crushing tackles.

Somewhere  up in football’s Valhalla Yost is still talking about how he whipped Grange.

Make sure you follow MVictors on Twitter.!

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