Calm down. You knew it was coming.
This entry was suggested to me by a good friend who feared it might be a bit "too soon" to faithfully execute. Fortunately, The Greatest Rivalry in Sports knows no such courtesies.
Top Five Annoying Things About Michigan: No. 3 False Idol
For twenty years (1969-1989), Bo Schembechler was a walking legend on the Michigan sidelines, his iron-taloned visage, down parka, and chrome-rimmed avaitor glasses reminiscent of a State Highway Patrolman. He was described as "a consummate 'coach's coach,'" with a "superb technical command of the game" and a "fiery disposition," attributes that led him to find success against mentor Woody Hayes in "The Ten Year War."
During his tenure in Ann Arbor, he compiled an impressive 194-48-5 record (.796 winning percentage) and led the Wolverines to 13 conference championships and 17 bowl appearances behind the populist banner: "Those who stay will be champions."
But he was wrong. After thirty-seven years of coaching a "'remorseless and punishing' brand of football" Schembechler walked away from the game having never sustained a program at an elite level -- and without a national championship.
Pathetic in Pasadena
In two decades Bo Schembechler followed the gold rush to Pasadena ten times. He walked away with just two Rose Bowl victories. Take a look:
|Jan. 1, 1970||Rose||Southern California||L||3-10||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1972||Rose||Stanford||L||12-13||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1976||Orange||Oklahoma||L||6-14||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1977||Rose||Southern California||L||6-14||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1978||Rose||Washington||L||20-27||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1979||Rose||Southern California||L||10-17||Bo Schembechler|
|Dec. 29, 1979||Gator||North Carolina||L||15-17||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1981||Rose||Washington||W||23-6||Bo Schembechler|
|Dec. 31, 1981||BlueBonnet||UCLA||W||33-14||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1983||Rose||U.C.L.A.||L||14-24||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 2, 1984||Sugar||Auburn||L||7-9||Bo Schembechler|
|Dec. 21, 1984||Holiday||Brigham Young||L||17-24||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1986||Fiesta||Nebraska||W||27-9||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1987||Rose||Arizona State||L||15-22||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 21 1988||Hall of Fame||Alabama||W||28-24||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 2, 1989||Rose||Southern California||W||22-14||Bo Schembechler|
|Jan. 1, 1990||Rose||Southern California||L||10-17||Bo Schembechler|
(Courtesy University of Michigan Athletics)
Schembechler's Wolverines finished the season in the top three only twice.
Perhaps most tellingly, Bo never got past his 1985 second-place finish. As my friend put it, "Larry Coker has won more championships."
But Bo sure has a lot more friends.