I get really sick and tired of opposing fans trashing the phrase "Michigan the Harvard of the Midwest". They think that we are just being pretentious Douchebags but that is not the case.
The saying comes from when John F. Kennedy (who went to Harvard) gave an address on the steps of the union while campaigning for President. (As an aside this is also where he stated his intentions to start the Peace Corps) He started the address with:
"I want to express my thanks to you, as a graduate of the Michigan of the East, Harvard University."
So this is the origination of the saying so that is what you tell people who just think that we're being pretentious. Here's the link:
Finally, Michigan should be better than a top 25 school. It's ridiculous that our school can have grad schools in the top 5 in virtually everything and yet the undergraduate programs are not ranked higher.
End of completely off topic rant.