As if winning national championships was hard enough as it is, Michigan, along with all other cold weather teams, have an even more difficult row to hoe. This aspect of winning championships has been somewhat addressed on this blog before. (See: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/michigans-geographical-disadvantage) While recruiting might weigh heavily into this equation, it is not the main thrust of this article. This is just a
comparison between Warm Weather Teams and Cold Weather Teams. The results seem to be quite significant.
First of all, my comparison for the most part involves teams from 1940 forward. Prior to 1940, Warm Weather Teams won only 8 out of a possible 64 titles (12.5%). I don’t know if this date is the Official Demarcation point. Its just the one I chose.
I also made a somewhat arbitrary choice when it comes to categorizing the teams.
The following are the teams I designated as Warm Weather Teams:
Maybe Texas should be in that bunch, but I figured it gets cold enough in Texas for enough of the season to qualify as a Cold Weather Team. Ditto, Oklahoma.
The following is a list of the Cold Weather Teams:
In ten year increments since 1940, this is how it pans out:
30 Since 1940 Warm Weather Teams
39 Since 1940 Cold Weather Teams
40.6% Since 1940 Percentage of National Championships
30 Since 1950 Warm Weather Teams
29 Since 1950 Cold Weather Teams
47.5% Since 1950 Percentage of National Championships
26 Since 1960 Warm Weather Teams
23 Since 1960 Cold Weather Teams
53.1% Since 1960 Percentage of National Championships
21 Since 1970 Warm Weather Teams
18 Since 1970 Cold Weather Teams
53.8% Since 1970 Percentage of National Championships
18 Since 1980 Warm Weather Teams
11 Since 1980 Cold Weather Teams
62.1% Since 1980 Percentage of National Championships
13 Since 1990 Warm Weather Teams
6 Since 1990 Cold Weather Teams
68.4% Since 1990 Percentage of National Championships
7 Since 2000 Warm Weather Teams
3 Since 2000 Cold Weather Teams
70.0% Since 2000 Percentage of National Championships
Shared titles, as represented below, is a wash.
2003 USC (AP)*
1997 Nebraska (ESPN)
1991 Washington (CNN)
1990 Georgia Tech (UPI)*
1978 USC (UPI)*
1974 USC (UPI)*
1973 Alabama (UPI)*
1970 Texas (UPI)
1965 Michigan State (UPI)
1957 Ohio State (UPI)
1954 UCLA (UPI)*
1947 Notre Dame (Because, fock ND)
*Designated Warm Weather Teams.
So, we are left with the following:
Warm Weather Teams Winning Championships
1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
40.6% 47.5% 53.1% 53.8% 62.1% 68.4% 70.0%
(had trouble getting the above to line up)
The above would not appear to be the result of coincidence. So, assuming this trend is true, it does not bode well for any and all Cold Weather Teams, including Michigan. Will this trend continue? Who knows, but it could.
Like most of the people who might be reading this diary entry, you probably thought the term, "Michigan Man", was coined by the late, great Bo Schembechler. Most of us believe Bo invented this term when he found out Bill Frieder had accepted an offer from another university (Arizona State University) during Michigan's run for a national championship back in 1989. Ostensibly, Bo was so annoyed with Coach Frieder over taking the job at ASU that he fired him on the spot stating, "A Michigan Man will coach this team!”, or something along those lines. Steve Fisher was promoted to interim Head Coach, Rumeal Robinson made those free throws against Seton Hall, and we were cutting down the nets. Everyone was happy. Well, except for Seton Hall, that is.
Thus was born the term, Michigan Man. Or so we thought.
When I Googlestalked the term, Michigan Man, this was the first result: DNA Tests Prove Michigan Man, Searching for Origins, Was Not Kidnapped Toddler. Although the gentleman in question was a man, and did reside in Michigan, I do not believe he is the quintessential Michigan Man I am seeking at this point.
Hmmm. Googlestalking was not proving to be entirely helpful. The Googlestalk images showed a wide array of rather interesting images including a gay Michigan Man. MVictors followed with the fifth listing, but they just announced that former U of M Quarterback, Jim Harbaugh, is not a Michigan Man. The listings go on, yada yada yada.
Imagine my surprise while reading Jeffry D. Wert's biography on George Armstrong Custer (Custer: The Controversial Life of George Armstrong Custer) when I found perhaps the true originator of the term, "Michigan Man", Republican Senator Jacob M. Howard. I know--Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do.
When the Civil War broke out George Custer was a student at West Point and had not quite finished his studies there. (He was a terrible student with a plethora of disciplinary and academic problems—he even flunked his Calvary class.) But, war being war, the army needed men and Custer was a man, so off he went. Eventually Old George fell under the command of this Alfred Pleasonton guy who saw to it that his charge got elevated to the rank of General. (long story) However, this was kind of a interim or temporary assignment, kind of like what Steve Fisher got. In 1864, when it came time for the Senate to confirm Custer’s Generalship, a problem arose. Now, George Armstrong Custer was actually born in Ohio, and he was a Democrat just like his loud mouth father. Apparently, this did not sit well with the Republican Senator Howard. To quote Wert’s book, (page 132, second paragraph): “About January 5 or 6, Alfred Pleasonton confided to Custer that he had heard a rumor that Republican Senator Jacob M. Howard of Michigan, a member of the Military Affairs Committee, opposed the nomination because of Custer’s “youth” and of the fact that he was not “a Michigan Man.”
Custer subsequently wrote some letters to some influential people and sucked up enough to get his Generalship confirmed and he and Libby Bacon (his new wife) lived happily ever after. Well, until those Indian guys butchered him up, at least.
So, the true origination of the term, Michigan Man, did not come from Bo. He unwittingly (I am sure) stole it from Republican Senator Howard.
And, just in case you are wondering, Custer did lead the Michigan Wolverines. It says so right there in that book. The more you know!
First chitownblue starts a thread that makes fun of our highly regarded point system and then manipulates his GANG into giving him the most neg bangs. Brain Cook needs to bust out that ban hammer and bring it down heavily on one of Chitownblue's heads. I am serious. What didn't I do to be negged 58 points for a single response? What is up with that? Am I not obnoxious? Am I not tacty? Am I not a rude, disrespectful, annoying priack?
So, if you too hate Chitownblue, pos bang him for every post he has ever made. Drive his point totals into the stratosphere. Otherwise you are just a punk and a sissy and you probably munge Bea Arthur in her grave.
potato salad motherfuckers.
Ok, so I am watching Lame Day on the TV and I see Desmond Howard and he is wear a BRIGHT GREEN TIE! I could hardly believe it. Even Herbie had to go and point that junk out on national tv! I'm thinking, WTF? Desmond should know better than that--so he must have done it on porpoise! And, if he done it on porpoise, wtf is up with that?
Now, I have heard from some peoples that Desmond does not like RR. Maybe that has something to do with it, I dunno. Maybe Desmond has mad love for RR, I dunno. But wearing a bright green tie on Lame Day when UM plays Spartina is at the very least RUDE.
So, Fuck Desmond Howard.
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Recently I posted a diary entry considering the 2008 Capital One Bowl game entitled, Worst Victory Ever—stupid idea, I know. But, I thought it might be a good idea therefore, to submit another diary entry, Best Loss Ever. I got many suggestions for this game. The 2005 Rose Bowl loss to Vince Young and Longhorns was a popular suggestion. The 1980 losses to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />South Carolina (George Rogers) and Notre Dame were also considered. That BYU bowl game where they cheated and held on every play, is another. While these games definitely have their merits and are very good losses, they just did not scream Best Loss Ever. For me, at least, there can be only one:
The 1968 50-14 loss to Ohio State was my choice for Numero Uno.
That is all the video I could find….
Let’s consider that 1968 Michigan team for a moment. It was coached by former Michigan All American, Bump Elliot, who in 1964 won the Rose Bowl and was just generally a pretty good football coach—not to mention a Michigan Man—whatever that is. Bump was 8-1 (In 1967 they won only 4 games.) coming into the OSU game that year. His defense had given up only 105 points so far that season and had two shutouts on the books. He had guys like Jim Mandich, Phil Seymour, Stanley Broadnax, Dan Dierdorf, Dennis Brown, John Gabler, Garvie Craw, Jim Brandstatter, Dana Coin, Thom Darden, Glenn Doughty, Don Moorehead, Barry Pierson, Cecil Pryor, Marty Huff, Ron Johnson and Tom Curtis. They were ranked #4 in the country. Is that good enough?
On the other side were the State of Ohio University Buckeyes. While no one will ever know exactly what a Buckeye is, we know they had a good football team in 1968. Woody had become existential due to pressure from the boosters and fans and was willing to run a play besides the Robust 27 or 28. (See: 1968; The Year that Saved Ohio State Football, by David Hyde. ." It's essentially a re-creation of that season starting with the 1966 season, when Woody Hayes had a losing record, was burned in effigy, fans started chanting, "Good-Bye Woody" in Ohio Stadium.) Woody had brought in some crazy high school coach who believed OSU might be a bit predictable (i.e. George Chaump) and thought maybe the I formation might help. Woody also brought in Lou Holtz. I believe Earle Bruce was there, too. Bill Mallory was there, but you guys are probably too young to remember Old Bill.
This was also the team of the Super Sophs—for real. You are young and probably don’t remember Rex Kern (who had major back surgery in June that year), Jack Tatum (who ended up on defense due to a toss of the coin) Jim Stillwagon, Bruce Jankowiki, and Jim Otis. I just can’t bring myself to name any others. Anyway, Woody tried something very radical that year. Instead of just taking all the good players and putting them on the offense, he tossed a coin with his coaches and let them choose players, you know, like in pick-up football. I guess that junk worked because that team kicked butt for three years.
The Buckeyes were solid in 1968. They rolled up 440 yards and 32 points per game. Their stingy defense only allowed 15 points and 292 yards per game.
The largest crowd in Horeshoe history would be attending this game; 85, 371. Almost forgot, they were undefeated and hadn’t lost a game. No sugarcoat.
But what the heck. Bump had a good team, as well. Woody was starting 11 sophomores for Heaven’s sake! I am sure Bump was feeling all confident and stuff on his way into that game. Up until halftime it was a fairly even contest. Then, along came this Jim Otis guy and suddenly Michigan looks like a high school team. We all know the story about Woody going for 2. We also know the story of Woody socking that Clemson player in the grill. Let’s leave it at that.
I wonder if Bump went home that day and said to his wife, “They are going to fire me over that one! We gave up 420 yards on the ground! ON THE GROUND!” Well, they didn’t. Bump was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director, a very important job with huge responsibilities I am certain, like posing for photos with the new coach.
So, here is my argument for this being the Best Loss Ever: It brought us Bo. If Michigan had actually won that game, or even kept the score close we might have had to muddle through ten more years of Bump—and maybe that would not have been all bad. No, on second thought, that would have been a disaster and would not have given us the Ten Year War and all that other junk we Michigan fans so adore. In fact, I might argue that loss did more for Michigan Football than anything that happened ever. I’d be wrong, of course, but you get my point.
OT: Think about it. When has total humiliation impacted your life in such a positive way? Discuss. SpartanDan—you go first since we are all sure you have much experience with this sort of thing.
You see often the laments of fans over Michigan loses that shoulda, woulda, coulda been a victory. If only this, or if only that. (Cordell Stewart) (Crable!) (Charles White!) (Sheridan!) (Troy!) (Vince!) (Dixon!) (Edwards!) (Rocket!) Whatever. While such games exact a pain that never seems to dull, those do not hold a candle to the 2008 Capital One Bowl Game. That game, at least to me, is the most wrenching.
Allow me to explain.
Michigan was not supposed to win that game. The Michigan defense had yet to prove it could slow down yet alone stop a spread offense, and the Urban Meyer brand Florida Spread scored over 40 points 9 times that season and 49 points 6 times. Tim Tebow won the Heisman, the Maxwell, the O’Brian and the AP Player of the year. They had Percy Harvin, who when healthy, was supposedly unstoppable. And, this is basically the same team that came back in won the NC the following season, though who they played slips my mind at this time. AND the game was being played in Florida. Many Florida fans live in that state. Indeed, the Gators would go on to have a very good game. 399 yards of offense, 3 td passes, Harvin had over 200 yards of total offense himself, NO TURNOVERS, and aside from their secondary they had a great game.
The Blogosphere was crackling with loss scenarios. Most of them gruesome. Even the Michigan Otherwise Fanatics are casting doubts and sighing the sigh of death. That loss at the end of the season to that team with the really good players is still stinging. Lloyd is leaving. Rich Rod and twenty miles of bad controversy have arrived. (Even though the proverbial dam had yet to burst.) The curse of a billion kittens and swimming fowl hung in the air like the exhaust from a city bus on a hot summer day.
Then finally the teams stepped onto the field. The Gators are talking trash. The Wolverines bark right back. Wow. I truly wasn’t expecting trash talk in the Cap One Bowl, but yeah, its on.
And ON it was. 524 yards of offense, 10 of 15 3rd down conversion, 28 first downs, 373 passing yards, 151 rushing yards, 32:18 time of possession. And…
Adrian Arrington 9 153 2 37
Mario Manningham 5 78 1 24
Carson Butler 1 65 0 65
Greg Mathews 7 62 0 18
Well, that is SPREADING in around.
41 points. Hart’s two fumbles excluded, its more like 55 points. Remove those two interceptions and who knows.
Thanks to the fine work by U of M Historian (with an assist from Wiki) it is possible to travel back in time and see a good portion of the Capital One Bowl. It is a good idea, as well. Stats don’t show one-handed grabs, around the back grabs and in traffic grabs--and a bunch of most excellent other plays.
Worst win ever? Yeah, because I can’t stop wondering the what if’s on this team. Morgan Trent ran down Percy Harvin and made numerous big plays and big hits! Heck, the D gave up some yards but they were hitting like monsters and making everybody pay. The O gave up four turnovers and never quit--in basically, Florida‘s backyard. Everybody was catching the ball and blocking downfield. Carson Butler went 65 yards! Henne was 25 of 39. Hart was pounding like a sledge hammer on sandstone. The line were blocking like they were defending Mt. Olympus. It was pizza power gone mad! All these things, all this great talent blooming in the last game of the year, and the last game ever for U of M by many of these guys. And not one Big Ten title between them. Oh well, stuff like that happens I guess.
Besides, 4.25 million is a chunk of change to bring home.