Mike Lantry, 1972
Since the stroll through 1986 came off pretty well, and since it’s the off-season, and since Seth asked for it, we step into the Quantum Leap accelerator, once again, and journey back into the glorious past to observe Michigan athletics as part of overall history. We emerge in a time that will be unfamiliar to most of us, including yours truly as this is the year of my birth; a time without PCs, and cell phones, and ESPN, and internets, and blogs. Journey back to the bizarre and colorful times that were….1971!
We are in the midst of Richard Nixon’s first term as president, where he shows a penchant for pointing at things. Vietnam is still going on and still unpopular. It gets even more unpopular when the New York Times publishes the Pentagon Papers, and all the dirty secrets of the war that past administrations have kept from the public are brought to light. On the international scene, the United Nations formally recognizes the Peoples Republic of China and also declares the first Earth Day, Idi Amin leads a coup and seizes control in Uganda, and IRA-led rioting in Northern Ireland grows worse against British rule.
Human exploration of the Moon continues with the Apollo 14 and 15 missions, with Apollo 15 featuring a crew of Michigan alumni (Space, Bitches….Space) and a sweet ride in the Lunar Rover. The Soviet Union also achieves a technological milestone with the launch of Salyat 1, the world’s first orbiting space station. Other milestones in technology include the release of the Intel 4004, the first commercial microprocessor. Texas Instruments introduces the first pocket calculator sounding the death knell of the slide rule. And, the first e-mails and chat rooms appear on the ARPAnet, the precursor of the modern Internet.
1971 is the year that many sporting legacies are born. Joe Frazier defeats Muhammad Ali in the “Fight of the Century” to set off one of the great boxing rivalries in history. The great Roberto Clemente leads the Pirates to the World Series title. In the NBA, future legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar leads the Milwaukee Bucks to their only world title. In other areas of sport, legacies are being solidified. UCLA continues its era of dominance under John Wooden, defeating Villanova to earn their 7thtitle in 8 years. The Montreal Canadiens win the 17thof what will be 24 Stanley Cups. In the world of golf, Jack Nicklaus wins the PGA, rounding out the first half of his record 18 major championships.
In our spare time we watched television on just three stations. We were offered edgy broadcasting like “All In The Family” and “The Odd Couple” and tamer fare like “The Partridge Family”. On the big screen we were following the exploits of Popeye Doyle in “The French Connection”, Alex and his droogs in “A Clockwork Orange”, and we meet Dirty Harry for the first time. On the music front, Led Zepplin IV is released, the Allman Brothers record At Fillmore East, Queen is formed, and Jim Morrison is found dead in Paris.
The music of Michigan was different during this time too. The Michigan Marching Band is an all-men arrangement under the direction of the legendary William T. Revelli and are introduced with the less politically correct “Men, take the field!” during football pre-games. Women would not be seen amongst their ranks for another year. Women are not seen amongst the ranks of any of Michigan’s varsity sports in 1971, as Title XI is still a year away from passage into law.
Bo Schembechler is in his 3rdseason as head coach of the Wolverines and fields one of his greatest teams and points at things while doing so. Lead by All-Americans Reggie McKenzie, Billy Taylor, Thom Darden, and Mike Taylor, Michigan went 11-0 during the regular season and won Bo’s 2ndBig 10 championship. Billy Taylor would finish his career as Michigan’s all-time rushing leader with 3,072 yards, a record that would stand for 6 years until broken by Rob Lytle. Mike Taylor would go on to play 2 seasons for the New York Jets. Reggie McKenzie would go on to a 13 year NFL career with the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks, blocking for the likes of OJ Simpson. Thom Darden would be a 3 time All-Pro in his 10 seasons with the Cleveland Browns and is still the career-leader in interceptions for the franchise.
The season was highlighted by a thrilling 10-7 victory over Ohio in Ann Arbor. The game’s memorable moment came late in the game when Darden came up with a win-preserving interception that Woody Hayes insisted to the referees should have been called pass interference. Hayes proceeded on a minutes-long tirade, ripping up yard markers, drawing 2 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and making an embarrassing spectacle that aired on news programs nationally…quite an accomplishment in the days before 24 hour media coverage.
Michigan’s season would end with another disappointing showing in Pasadena with a 13-12 loss to the Stanford Indians (Stanford would not become the “Cardinals” until 1972 and not the “Cardinal” until 1981). Michigan came into the game ranked 3rdin the country and a 10.5 point favorite against the 8-3 Indians, but Stanford managed to edge out the Wolverines with a 31 yard field goal with 16 seconds to play. The 1971 Michigan team would finish ranked 6thin the AP and 4thin the UPI and is commonly regarded as the team that came closest to earning Schembechler a National Championship, although it is debatable that even a 12-0 Michigan team would’ve passed up eventual champion Nebraska.
Well, that concludes our nostalgic step through 1971. A time where clothes were bold and loud, phones were rotary dialed, and Michigan still didn’t sell out every home football game. It’s hard to imagine a time without video games, personal computers, and 24 hour news coverage, but those times existed. Here’s hoping that Michigan’s upcoming season sees Michigan back in the Rose Bowl undefeated against Stanford. I got a feeling Hoke would serve up epic payback topped off with a pointed finger.
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Ohio State vs. Michigan. Thor vs. Loki. Mark Dantonio vs. dentistry.
And now, I give you... Baby Bo and Fielding.
On Thursday we'll start with a new string of Charlie-related strips pairing our own Michigan fanaticism with good ol-fashioned childhood optimism and creativity.
I'd also like to announce that next week I'm embarking on a good ol' American family vacation... As such, the regularly scheduled Tuesday and Thursday strips will tentatively run on the official site with an automated publish, but I'm not going to be putting together the Tuesday strip here on MGoBlog. So no Tuesday post next week.
THE BLOCKHAMS™ runs (typically) every Tuesday here at MGoBlog, and at least
every Thursday on its official home page. Also, don't forget to check out our newest
feature, Friday Roughs, a spontaneous low-end comic based on trending
Michigan events, available on Twitter and Facebook every Friday.
College Football 101
100. Funny Press Conferences
You can't go wrong with funny press conferences. The interesting thing about press conferences is that they are the only time you hear from coaches and players. We fans tend to define coaches and players by their responses in press conferences. Brady Hoke said, "This is Michigan for God's sake!" That made Michigan fans like him right away. Les Miles seems like a funny and crazy guy because that's how he responds in press conferences. We don't know these coaches personally, so we shouldn't assume this is how they are. But anyways, here are my top five press conferences that are guaranteed to make you laugh.
This one's not for content.. Just for laughs.
- John L Smith Slaps Himself
- Urban Meyer: You're a Bad Man
- Brendan Gibbons Brunette Girls
5. Have a Great Day
Les Miles has many funny press conferences, but here is what he had to say about the rumors of him coaching at his alma mater-- Michigan.
4. John L Smith after Ohio loss
Not only did John L Smith slap himself after losing to Notre Dame, but he got just a little upset at his coaching staff after this one...
3. I'm a Man; I'm 40
Although some people think this is not funny, it truly is. What is really happening is OSU coach Mike Gundy stepping up for his player-- or at least his idea of it. He calls out the reporter and says some things that you usually wouldn't hear at a press conference.
2. Steve Spurrier and Ron Morris
This is just halarious! Steve Spurrier called out Ron Morris and basically said, "I'm going to do individual interviews for everyone except Ron Morris because he sucks." He goes on and on and on. This is a classic.
1. We Need More Dogs
NOTHING BEATS THIS! This is awesome! I don't need to say anything. Just watch the video.. Meow
Hope you all got a good laugh out of this!
Check back tomorrow for some good content. It's the first rivalry. Also, Michigan Football 101 starts tomorrow. See who or what is #101.
The offseason is really starting to drag and recruiting is relatively calm after a frenetic start. At times like this, I have only one question: Has Indiana picked up a 2013 commit yet?
No, no they haven't.
Changes since the last rankings:
5-16-12: Nebraska picks up Greg Hart.
5-17-12: Iowa picks up Nic Shimonek.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||24/7 Avg||ESPN Avg||Avg Avg^|
^The average of the average rankings of the four recruiting services (the previous four columns). The figure is calculated based on the raw numbers and then rounded, so the numbers above may not average out exactly.
NOTE: Unranked recruits are counted as two-star players.
On to the full data after the jump.
College Football 101
Welcome to the College Football 101 series. For those who are counting down the days, college football kicks off in 101 days. Every day until then, I will write about one topic per day. As the days get closer, the topics will get better and better until we get to #1 on August 29th, which is one day away from kickoff.
The series will consist of:
- Top 25 Programs
- Top 15 Rivalries
- Top 15 Bands
- Top 15 Stadiums
- Top 10 Coaches
- Top 10 Plays
- Top 5 Heisman Trophy Winners
- Top 6 Miscellaneous
In addition, I will do a very similar series starting Wednesday called Michigan Football 101. Both of these series will hopefully get all of you college football fans, specifically Michigan fans, excited for the season. So here it is!! 101 days until College Football Kickoff...
101. Boise State
A quick look at Boise State:
- Founded: 1932
- Nickname: Broncos
- Location: Boise, Idaho
- School Size: 19,664
- Stadium: Bronco Stadium
- Conference: Mountain West (subject to change anytime soon with the realignments)
- Conference Titles: 16
- National Titles: 0
- Overall Record: 377-145-2 (.721)
- Mascot: Buster Bronco
- Interesting Facts: The field, Lyle Smith Field, has blue turf.
Boise State is an interesting school. It is one of the few schools that is not in a BCS conference but is a threat. It is not a big school, but Boise State has made a name of itself since it defeated Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Ever since Chris Petersen called a Hook-n'-Lateral to send the game to overtime and a Half Back Pass for a Touchdown followed up by a Statue of Liberty for the 2 Point Conversion to win the game-- and a proposal from Ian Johnson to his cheerleading girlfriend-- Boise State has attracted many college football fans.
Since 2006, the Broncos are 73-6 (.924). There are two people who hold almost all of the credit for that-- Chris Petersen and Kellen Moore. It just so happens to be that 2006 is the year Chris Petersen took over at head coach. Not only do they have a winning percentage of 92.4% under Petersen, but they are 4-2 in bowl games. This proves that Boise State has not only won all these games, but it can win the tough ones, too. This makes you wonder why they haven't played in the national championship game. They have had three undefeated seasons in the past five years, yet haven't played in the big game. Hopefully, the BCS can fix its problem, form whatever superconferences it needs, and give a team like this a chance to win a championship in a playoff.
Kellen Moore has the most wins as a starting quarterback in college football history. That is saying something! You think of all the great QBs-- Peyton Manning, Doug Floutie, Tim Tebow, Vince Young-- and Kellen Moore has more wins than any of them. His record at Boise State was 50-3 (.943). The lefty QB graduated this year and hopes to make the Detroit Lions this summer. Where does that leave Boise State? The Broncos have lost 14 starters-- six on offense and eight on defense. Junior Quarterback Joe Southwick is likely going to be the starter in 2012. He completed 15 passes on 19 attempts in the Spring Game and has taken over the leadership role. Boise not only lost its passing game, but senior Chandler Koch takes over for Doug Martin at Running Back. They are expected to fill the shoes of their predecessors according to Chris Petersen. They are definitely in a rebuilding year. Also, it doesn't help that they open up with Michigan State in East Lansing on a Friday night. Although many analysts are putting that game on upset alert, I don't think Boise State has a chance against the Spartans. It should be very interesting to see how Boise State does this year without its best player in program history.
Although they may be in some trouble this year, any team with a blue field has to be interesting. Personally, I find it interesting to watch them on TV because the players somewhat blend in with the field. My Dad says it hurts his eyes, but he's getting old :) but most people love it! How can you not like it? The stadium only seats 37,000 people, it's a relatively small school, and it's not a school full of much tradition. The Smurf Turf defines Boise State football. The first thing you think about when someone says "Boise State" is the blue field.
Boise State is not a well-known program simply because it has not won a single national championship. The Broncos are one of my Top 25 Programs because they do have a good winning percentage, they have a blue field and they have proven themselves over the years. They aren't scared to schedule tough teams-- they beat Georgia in Atlanta to open the season last year. The Broncos can prove themselves once again by beating Michigan State on the road to open up the season this year. Chris Petersen has certainly done an excellent job at Boise State, and it is going to be very interesting to see how well he does with his Broncos in this rebuilding year.
Boise State 2012 Schedule with predictions
- @Michigan State L
- Miami (OH) W
- Brigham Young W
- @New Mexico W
- @Southern Miss L
- Fresno State W
- UNLV W
- @Wyoming W
- San Diego State L
- @Hawaii W
- Colorado State W
- @Nevada L
My Regular Season Presiction: 8-4
Check back tomorrow to see what #100 (#6 Miscellaneous) is on College Football 101.
The Countdown begins... Only 101 days until college football! Hang in there!
Ok, so I was bored and messing around in Photoshop CS6 with some Moon photos I took a week or two back. The result was this...I like it as a nice widescreen background. Anyway, I hope ya'll like it and can use it as an off-season background until the rest of the MgoArtists start pumping out the football wallpapers.