Former U-M media relations legend Bruce Madej guest hosted in studio with Ira on WTKA this morning.  They were joined mid-morning by WXYZ sports director Tom Leyden who shared a few stories, notably this recap, perhaps never shared before, around his first hand experience of the events when Bo Schembechler passed away back in 2006:

 

Whoa!  And when you deliver a U-M football story that Madej hasn’t heard, you know you’ve got something.

H/T to GN for passing this along.

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter

UGP

[Ed. In a repost from January 2014, Dr. Sap is back and offers up some Bo-era flavor that comes from the treasure trove that is the Sap archives. –G]

Guest Post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

When Michigan quarterback Jim Harbaugh scored on a quarterback draw against Notre Dame in 1985, little did he know that a photo of the classic TD would spark an interesting discussion in the national media.   As Harbaugh crossed the goal line that afternoon, Ara Parseghian exclaimed on the CBS broadcast, “A quarterback draw – great call!”

The next week, Sports Illustrated captured Harbaugh’s scoring play under the title, “A Cure For Bo’s Blues”:

A Cure for Bo's Blues - HarbaughA couple of SI readers took notice of the NFL football Harbaugh was cradling in the photo.  They were inspired to write the editor and ask why a collegiate athlete was using a professional pigskin:SI Letter - Jim Harbaugh's NFL Wilson footballAs noted by SI’s ED/Sir, this question was addressed by the NCAA and the next year they decided to modify their college footballs that were used by Division I schools. So when Michigan played at Notre Dame in 1986 Harbaugh was throwing around the new AFCRT Wilson 1001:

Jim Harbaugh - Notre Dame 1986It was the same model, size and shape as the NFL Wilson – it now just had a different, less professional-looking, stamp on it.  Of course everyone then was asking, “What the heck does AFCRT mean?”  It stands for the American Football Coaches Retirement Trust and is essentially a retirement plan setup for qualified college football coaches.

The ball stayed in circulation for a few years. In fact, when Demetrius Brown outdueled Rodney Peete in the 1989 Rose Bowl, this was the ball that was used in that glorious victory over the Trojans:

AFCRT pigskin Michigan

—————————————————————–

Thanks Sap!  If you want to see the best looking ball from a Notre Dame game, that’s easy.  My pal and artist Jil Gordon does the handiwork on many of the game balls awarded to players and coaches.  Here’s what she did for UTL 1.0 – just amazing:

ND ball

Follow MVictors on Twitter

maratop[1]

[Ed. What the heck – a primer on Jim Harbaugh’s greatest moments as a Wolverine as we await the official decision. Once again a nicely done Bo-era gem from Dr. Sap!]

A guest post by Steve “Dr. Sap” Sapardanis

#5: 1984 Miami (FL) – Jim Harbaugh’s first start as a Michigan Wolverine would come against the #1-ranked, defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes and he didn’t disappoint. Wolverine fans, myself included, had long felt that the maize and blue lacked one thing on offense for a few years – a tall, pocket-passing QB, ideally from California. That finally happened with the Palo Alto, CA 6-3, 202 pound Harbaugh.

clip_image002

Having heard that he had attended a high school passing camp with John Elway as his instructor, sealed the deal for me – Harbs was going to be the next starting QB in my opinion and his first start was highly anticipated by many. His first two passes against Miami – an out pattern to Vince Bean for 11 yards and another to Steve Johnson for 16 yards – showed off his strong arm, much to the delight of the Michigan Stadium crowd, as Michigan went on to win, 22-14. It was an impressive victory for the Wolverines and a great start for the new QB from California.

#4: 1985 Notre Dame – Remembering how Michigan finished the 1984 season at 6-6, not many gave U-M a chance in the season opener against Notre Dame in 1985. It was a statement game for both Michigan and its quarterback. Would the Wolverines bounce back with another 10-win season?

bl012189

Would their quarterback return to form after breaking his arm a year earlier? A strong defense and solid ground game would power the maize and blue to the victory, and while Harbaugh didn’t light up the scoreboard with his passing, he was effective enough through the air to get the win, 20-12. His 3rd quarter touchdown on a quarterback draw and his ensuing endzone celebration put an exclamation point on the victory – Michigan and Harbaugh were back. 

#3 1985 Ohio State – With Iowa having all but wrapped up the Rose Bowl bid a few weeks earlier with a one point win over Michigan, the Wolverines and Buckeyes were playing for Fiesta & Cotton Bowl bids respectively.

clip_image005

Not quite the same, but the chips were still high and Harbaugh was clutch throughout the game – particularly on 3rd down. Michigan’s QB would finish the game 16 of 19 for 230 yards and 3 TD’s with 8 of 9 passing on 3rd down for 8 first downs. He topped his clutch performance with a 77-yard touchdown bomb to John Kolesar that put a dagger in the Buckeye hearts once and for all as Michigan won, 27-17.

#2 1986 Notre Dame – Going into the game against the Irish in 1986, Michigan was ranked #1 in some polls but Notre Dame was strutting out their new coach and no one knew what to expect from Lou Holtz and ND.

clip_image007

Two moments stood out for me in this game: (1) After Harbaugh floated a perfect 27-yard touch pass to Jamie Morris for a touchdown, the Michigan quarterback flashed the #1 finger as he raced to the endzone to celebrate the score with his teammates. When did Michigan’s QB ever proclaim so visibly that they truly were #1? Never. (2) Late in the 4th quarter with the contest still in doubt and facing a critical 3rd & 6 at their own 22 yard-line, Harbaugh lofted a perfect 38-yard pass to Kolesar down the Michigan sideline that got the Wolverines out of trouble. When did Bo EVER throw deep on a critical 3rd & short with the game on the line? Never. Not until #4 arrived. A last-second John Carney field goal miss preserved the 24-23 Michigan victory.

#1 1986 Ohio State – After beating Notre Dame (twice), after beating Ohio State at home, and after winning the Fiesta Bowl, there was still something missing on the Harbaugh resume: a Big Ten Championship and Rose Bowl berth. Both were on the line in 1986. If that wasn’t enough pressure, Harbaugh put the bull’s-eye squarely on himself after he predicted victory over the Bucks on the Monday before the tilt with OSU.

bl012802

This game was what he dreamed about as a kid emulating his boyhood idol, Rick Leach – beating the Bucks & going to Pasadena – and nothing was going to prevent him from reaching his ultimate goal. Much like he said before his first start in 1984, he was going to do whatever it took to win. In this game it meant overcoming a 11 point deficit in the second half and the raucous crowd in Columbus he so incited with his guarantee. It meant cupping his hands around his facemask to make it appear that his teammates could not hear his audibles that he really wasn’t screaming to them. It meant not throwing a touchdown pass the entire game. It meant executing the game plan to perfection. When it was all said and done, Harbaugh & the Wolverines would emerge victorious In Columbus, 26-24. They were Big Ten Champs and would head west to play in the Rose Bowl, just like he dreamed about as a kid.

Other Notables on Harbaugh:

  • Harbaugh would be the first UM QB to throw for 300 yards in one game (1986 Wisconsin, 1986 Indiana).
  • #4 was the nation’s most efficient passer in 1985 & finished second in 1986.
  • He would also become the QB to successfully break the Bo threshold of attempting more than 25 passes per game AND WIN – another indication that Michigan had finally devised an effective passing game that could win games.
  • Harbaugh started his career being late for his first team meeting and held a clipboard that entire 1982 season. He ended his career by hoisting the Big Ten Championship Trophy and singing The Victors in Columbus.

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter

1969 Michigan Vanderbilt Program

This week we head back exactly 45 years to the opener of the 1969 season and a new era in Michigan Football History.  It was of course the debut of Bo…and Canham’s beloved new carpet:

Speaking of Canham’s carpet, I love this old shot of Dierdorf and Bo:

Bo and Dierdorf inspect new artificial turf

You can catch all of the This Week in Michigan Football History clips here…And don’t forget to catch it live Saturday on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM or inside the Bud Light Victors Lounge starting at 11:30am.

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter 

More »

Up on mgoblue.com right now, a nice piece on the Michigan coaching ties to Miami, OH and its famed Cradle of Coaches.  It include a few great quotes from longtime assistant coach Jerry Hanlon, Tirrel Burton, Jon Falk and others.  Hanlon:

“I’m a double ‘M Man,’ ” Hanlon said. “You can’t get Miami out of my blood because it gave me my start. It’s going to be tough this Saturday, but I think I’ve worn the maize and blue a little too long.” 

More importantly, I got a kick out of this.  The lead pic features Bo’s staff in 1975 during team photo day…but look who’s chilling in the background!

Les Miles Here’s Les, a senior offensive guard in ‘75, in the front row of the team photo if you need him:

Les Miles 1975 

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter

05. September 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: 2014 · Tags: , , , ,

This Week..heads back to September 6, 2008 with RichRod looking for his first win in Ann Arbor against Miami, OH.  For obvious reasons we quickly spin away from 2008 and take a little Notre Dame/Michigan history, specifically to the cancelation of 1910 that tossed gasoline on the rivalry:

You can catch all of the This Week in Michigan Football History clips here…And don’t forget to catch it live Saturday on the KeyBank Countdown to kick-off on WTKA 1050AM or inside the Bud Light Victors Lounge starting at 8am.

For more on the Notre Dame Rivalry:

#THWND!

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter

mgoblog’s Hail to the Victors preseason mag is an annual must-get so if you don’t got, get (also at UGP stores around town).  This year the Tales from Old Blue history section alone features pieces by Craig Ross, Bacs, John Kryk, Michael Florek, and yrs truly.  

Photo Aug 24, 9 24 14 AM

Florek pulled together a brilliant slice of U-M lore by chronicling the origins of the Wave in Ann Arbor.   Nutshell: U-M experienced the Wave, coupled with deafening fan noise, in action during the September 17, 1983 loss at Husky Stadium against Washington (U-Dub invented it in 1981).   Five weeks later the cheerleading team introduced  it to Michigan Stadium when #12 Iowa came to Ann Arbor. 

The story around the origins is very cool, but even better is the reaction of one Gen. Glenn E. “Bo” Schembechler a couple weeks after it was introduced:  

“That thing (the Wave) never should have started.  If it never started nobody would know that we have an oval stadium and that you can make an ass of yourself all the way around the oval.  I can’t believe that fans are not sophisticated enough to understand the game.  It’s unsportsmanlike to both teams.”  

Damn, Bo was a beauty.   Needless to say the fans didn’t like being told what to or not to do in the stadium & letters to the Michigan Daily blasted back at Bo for his comments.  net-net – Bo backed off, the Wave endured, and get HTTV 2014.

 

Follow MVictors on Twitter