I picked up a copy of Bruce Madej’s Champions of the West this past weekend and it’s got some interesting stuff. Greg Kinney of the University of Michigan Bentley Museum contributed and that was a big selling point for me. It was published back in 1997 and provides a year-by-year capsule of Michigan sports, dedicating a page or two to each season. The focus is on football but covers the entire Michigan athletic package. It’s basically a collection of factoids, bios, lists and general items of interest over each year and I’ve cited the book here several times due to some of the nuggets they dredged up.

One of the lists they pulled together was the average weight of the Michigan offensive line over the years. Since it was published a decade ago, I added the last data point based on this year’s line and slapped it into a graph. Yes, they are getting bigger:

Average Lineman weight since 1901

Based on the data points I’ve seen, when the Notre Dame series is scheduled to end in 2032 the average Michigan offensive linemen should come in at around 6’7″, 327 pounds. This of course assumes a lot of things. Forgetting about human progress in fitness & nutrition for a moment, a key factor might be the type of lineman you want to fit the offensive scheme that is run at the time. While Coach Rod didn’t have Jake Longs to choose from, his Mountaineer o-line still averaged 291 lbs although it was thrown off a bit by young sophomore big fella Greg Isdaner who weighs 320. Whooa big Hoss! That’s a mountain man.

There’s a lot more good stuff in the book and if you’re in buying Champions of the West this you can get it at Amazon and I recommended getting it from one of the resellers (click the New & Used option) (for around a buck or less, seriously). If you really want this book you can buy 154 copies on the eBay right now, current bid price $.01.


  1. I’ll have to check out this book, but what are the ebay sellers charging for shipping? $15? =)

  2. A cool $124.75 USD for shipping. Heavy book, several boxes.

    The other nice thing about this OL data. I’m pretty overweight now. If I can just stay where I’m at , by 2032 I’ll probably be considered a fairly fit dude.