But what are we to do?
Nose, meet grindstone.
It is a grim, cold morning in December of 2009, and Michigan's basketball team has essentially closed the door on its tournament chances by losing to a 4-4 WAC team consisting entirely of guys who got to the game via beanstalk. The hockey team languishes at .500 and escaped the basement of the CCHA by squeezing by a bad Ohio State team last weekend; they're not out of things entirely but it's looking grim for them as well. And the football team's promising start spun into a 1-7 Big Ten tailspin that had half a state reaching for whiskey, a gun, or both.
We are low. My main thought this morning was "how far back to you have to go to find Michigan fans as miserable as we are?" 1984 was the only plausible candidate that popped into my mind: the football team limped to 6-6 and the hockey team was still struggling through the first few years of the Red era. This was my guess on WTKA this morning, but Craig Ross emailed to remind/inform us that in '84-'85 the basketball team was 26-4 and Bill Frieder was the national coach of the year. That football team was also hamstrung by one obvious deficiency caused by injury, and it made a bowl. So that's out.
It was pointless to even look at other years in the Bo/Mo/Llo era, so it was back to the 60s we went, and after a couple of false positives (1967 featured a hockey team that was pretty good and made the tournament) I found it. The last year of equal misery. (Requirements: no tournaments for hockey and basketball and football goes under .500.)
Ladies and gentlemen, 1962-63:
|Choose the game you want to display|
|1||Ball State||December 1, 1962||Yost Field House||W-68-58||3,800|
|2||Creighton||December 3, 1962||Yost Field House||W-81-62||3,700|
|3||Butler||December 7, 1962||Yost Field House||L-69-70||5,500|
|4||TCU||December 13, 1962||Yost Field House||W-82-60||3,600|
|5||at Evansville||December 15, 1962||W-73-64||8,419|
|6||San Jose State||December 19, 1962||W-66-52||0|
|7||Houston||December 21, 1962||W-90-88||4,600|
|8||at Texas A&M||December 22, 1962||W-82-79||4,000|
|9||Yale||December 29, 1962||Yost Field House||W-82-71||2,600|
|10||Northwestern||January 5, 1963||Yost Field House||W-78-75||6,600|
|11||Iowa||January 7, 1963||W-88-67||7,500|
|12||at Ohio State||January 12, 1963||L-66-68||13,497|
|13||Minnesota||January 14, 1963||Yost Field House||L-63-66||6,700|
|14||at Detroit||January 30, 1963||Detroit, Michigan||L-70-83||7,134|
|15||at Michigan State||February 2, 1963||East Lansing, Michigan||W-72-71||10,577|
|16||Wisconsin||February 4, 1963||Yost Field House||L-78-81||9,100|
|17||Indiana||February 9, 1963||Yost Field House||W-90-86||8,600|
|18||Ohio State||February 16, 1963||Yost Field House||L-68-75||9,775|
|19||at Northwestern||February 18, 1963||L-62-63||4,000|
|20||at Purdue||February 23, 1963||Lafayette, Indiana||W-71-53||7,841|
|21||Iowa||February 25, 1963||Yost Field House||W-78-70||4,600|
|22||Illinois||March 2, 1963||Yost Field House||W-84-81||9,450|
|23||at Indiana||March 4, 1963||L-96-104||5,351|
|24||at Wisconsin||March 9, 1963||W-82-80||7,835|
Record 16-8 (8-6)
That's not terrible but it wasn't enough to make the 25(!) member NCAA field.
|10/13||@||*Michigan State (5-4)||L||0||28|
|11/24||@||*Ohio State (6-3)||L||0||28|
So there you go: anyone under about 57 has never experienced anything like what it looks like is going to go down this year. The last time this happened Don Draper's wife loved him.
For what it's worth, hockey won the national title the next year, basketball would make the Final Four with Cazzie Russell at the helm, and football would… uh… go 3-4-2. Two out of three ain't bad.
But what are we to do?
Nose, meet grindstone.
I'm not completely sure, but in the 1960's I thought you had to win your conference to go to the NCAA. Therefore even if the team was good, if it wasn't the best in conference, No NCAA for you.
Looking at the bracket, it seems it could be true, except that the Pac -10 at the time would get 3 schools in. Only one Big 10 team got in, Illinois, and I'm too lazy to look up what comprised the other conferences.
It wasn't until 1975 when the NCAA first permitted two teams from the same conference to participate in the NCAA tournament. Michigan was 12-6 in conference that year and got a bid, finishing behind 18-0 Indiana. Michigan lost in the first round to eventual champion UCLA in overtime.
I highly recommend the Final Four book from the NCAA. It has all this stuff in it.
For example, if you turn to page 140 in the 2009 version, you'll see that in 1963, Arizona State was part of the WAC (Arizona and Arizona State didn't join what's now the Pac-10 until the mid- or late '70s, I remember the Pac-8 growing up) and Oregon State was an independent (which surprises me).
By 1966, Oregon State had joined the AAWU (a previous name of the Pac-8, I assume) ... bad luck for them. I'm guessing they joined in '65, because they missed the tournament then, appeared in the Texas Western year ('66), and aren't seen again until ... hey, 1975, after the ACC rule was put into effect (because of the ACC championship between NC State and Maryland in '74, basically knocking the #2 team in the country out of the NCAA tournament).
1978-79 apparently was when Arizona and Arizona State joined ... the conference's name changes to Pacific-10 from Pacific-8.
I love that book. Can we talk about Cazzie Russell now?
those two, plus six from the AAWU formed the Pac 8; Arizona and Arizona State joined in 1978 to form the Pac 10.
Oregon State was in the Rose Bowl in their first season in the Pac 8.
Which was a 34-7 Michigan victory, I might add.
Edit: well, bjk said it sooner and much better than I a bit below here.
a Big-10 thing, like the no-two-successive-years-in-the-Rose-Bowl rule for football through 1971? USC repeated over and over again during those years. (Meanwhile, the OSU faculty council kept the B-10 champion Buckeyes home after the 1961 season in order to keep things in perspective. Can you imagine that happening anywhere today? Yes, the responsible faculty members were harassed afterword.)
Wow, I felt pretty good when I got up this morning. Now, not so much.
1984 was pretty bad. Even without the Harbaugh injury, Michigan wasn't a very good team. Before Harbaugh got hurt, we got our asses kicked by Washington at home and IIRC MSU was leading us when he went down in that game.
I kinda agree that even if Harbaugh had played all year, it was not a Rose Bowl worthy squad, but they werent awful either.
They started the year beating top ranked and defending national champs Miami. The MSU game was close, but UM was losing when harbuagh went down, so I'd like to think they could have won the second half and the game had he played.
Even with him, however, i dont think they could hold a cnadle to the Iowa or OSU teams that season.
Hoops was amazing that season.
this is a great post, but makes me so sad. it's going to be a long winter
So much for another dong punch....thanks, I needed that. Rolling in the fetal position is how I like to start every day.
Maybe we should talk about Michigan academics? Might bring back some painful memories for some of us, but that, at least, remains excellent.
with mild seasonal relevence (Bad Santa/NSFW language):
I chose to display the Feb 2 contest at Michigan State where the Wolverines emerged victorious 72-71. Good times.
We've talked about what we want to call this year on the board before, but my vote is for:
The Year of Academic Compensation.
The explanation is simple. The only thing we can bring up in a discussion about which university is superior at this point is the fact that the academics at Michigan are top-notch. And women's volleyball, I suppose.
hopefully it will be deep enough to keep any sports related news from reaching me until 2012.
then, hopefully the Mayans are right and the world will explode
My dad played on that basketball team. Or, to be precise, he played sporadically while primarily heating a seat on the bench.
Tell your dad "thanks for the dong punch" for me.
I'm just kidding, that's actually awesome.
I'm still thanking him for repeatedly dunking on me on our driveway court as a child. He's 6'8". I'm 6'3". I blame my mother.
I know not everyone that is a Michigan fan cares about Detroit sports as much as I do, but for those that do, this is even worse because the Tigers just lost the Division after leading since May on the last game of the season (a record), the Lions continue to be the worst franchise in the NFL, the Red Wings are having their worst season in decades with no end to the injuries in sight, and the Pistons are struggling through their re-building phase with 3 of their top 5-6 players injured. This year makes considering '"When it rains, it pours" is a complete understatement' a complete understatement.
There is no escape anywhere.
wondering the same thing - when were all three sports so bad. Depressing.
I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with the hoops team. Talent has increased from last year with Morris and Vogrich, but they're young. Can losing Lee and Merritt really be the difference? I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around that, but what else is different?
I still can't believe NW, Minn and msu are going bowl games getting national coverage and M is not. Can't watch ESPN, am sick of the bowl stories, Heisman race, BCS and now can't even enjoy UM bb.
Good post and nice history lesson.
Although the door is hardly closed on the hoops tourney chances. They have an entire league slate with at least one chance a week to get a resume win.
I know it looks bleak now, but there is still a lot of season left. Teams in UM's position right now end up making the field every year.....but, boy oh boy, JB needs to find a way to turn it around......right now, they dont seem capable of playing a full 40-minute game.
So, I am a little down on the team right now and down on their tourney chances just based on the way they're playing, but that does not mean a legit road map still does not exist to make the field.
I guess Bubble News aint going away after all.
Does that mean you'll keep posting your basketball diaries?
Does that mean you'll keep posting your basketball diaries?
The men's club lacrosse team should be excellent again this year. That's all I got.
On a more positive note, I just found a caramel in my pocket and only one side has the wrapper torn away! So I can just bite the other side. MMMMMmmmmmm that is one good half caramel.
its unreasonably cold right now.
that the basketball team can get things turned around. One has to believe that eventually at least a few of those missed shots (especially from the 3-point line) will start falling. I mean, that sub-30% 3-point FG percentage can't continue for the rest of the season, can it?
It sure as hell can. This team is what it is, which is the same thing both of Beilein's previous two Michigan squads have been: the worst-shooting team in the Big Ten. Go to the Big Ten website and look up the stats from the last two seasons and this year for overall FG % and 3-pt %.
And then combine it with worst-in-the-conference rebounding and horrible overall defense this year, and you've got a recipe for a team that won't even make the NIT.
Lord help us. If things don't get markedly better soon Beilein's offseason will suck just a little less than RR's.
Isn't that what we said about turnovers in football at the end of last year?
Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
flood plain, when the river of losses finally swells and inundates our homes and living rooms?
Leaving only raw sewage to view on our HD-flats?
Hopefully this river of losses recedes and follows it's normal path in the Ohio valley area...
I'm ashamed that already this early in the season I don't bother watching the bball games for fear of us getting embarassed.
On a side note, any word on when the next AD will be named?
As I listened to David Merritt speak of a lack of back-court leadership I could not believe how much I missed him and CJ Lee...unexpected, profound - but true. Do we really have to wait for signing day for our next shot of hope?
+1 for the Jim Price reference.
Dan: "Today's Belle Tire Power Alley player is Cindy from Flint."
Jim: "Nice area."
At least we can look forward to watching the Tigers next spring.
Wait ... nevermind.
the Wings and Pistons. Ah, crap.
Uh, how's the swim team look?
for another 50 years.
July 1 – A heavy smog develops over London.
• .July 28 – A locust swarm threatens New Delhi.
• September 1 – Typhoon Wanda strikes Hong Kong, killing at least 130 and wounding more than 600.
• December 22 – "Big Freeze" in Britain: There are no frost-free nights until March 5, 1963.
• December 30 – An unexpected storm buries Maine under five feet of snow, forcing the Bangor Daily News to miss a publication date for the first and only time in history.
• January 26 – Ranger 3 is launched to study the Moon; it later misses the Moon by 22,000 miles (three months later, Ranger 4 crashes into the moon).
• January 30 – Two of the high-wire "Flying Wallendas" are killed, when their famous 7-person pyramid collapses during a performance in Detroit, Michigan.
• September 26 – Civil war erupts in Yemen.
• September 30 – CBS broadcasts the final episodes of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, marking the end of the Golden Age of Radio.
• October 14 – Cuban Missile Crisis begins: A U-2 flight over Cuba takes photos of Soviet nuclear weapons being installed. A stand-off then ensues the next day between the United States and the Soviet Union, threatening the world with nuclear war.
• December 11 – The last execution by hanging takes place in Canada.
• June 11 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin become the only apparently successful escapees from the Alcatraz Island prison. There is no conclusive evidence that they survived the attempt.
• August 4 – Marilyn Monroe accidentally overdoses on a mix of sedatives and Champagne a few hours before midnight.
• August 5 – The South African government arrests Nelson Mandela in Howick, and charges him with incitement to rebellion.
• November 28 – Former queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands dies, aged 82.
• Undated: American advertising man Martin K. Speckter invents the interrobang, a new English-language punctuation mark.
January 1 – Western Samoa becomes independent from New Zealand.
January 1 – The Beatles have their first and only audition for Decca Records
February 15 – Urho Kekkonen is re-elected president of Finland
March 2 – Wilt Chamberlain scores 100 points in a single NBA basketball game.
May – The Hulk debuts with The Incredible Hulk #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.
May 1 – Dayton Hudson Corporation opens the first of its Target discount stores in Roseville, Minnesota.
June 30 – The last soldiers of the French Foreign Legion leave Algeria.
July 2 – The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas.
July 12 – The Rolling Stones make their debut at London's Marquee Club.
July 19 – The First Annual Swiss & Wielder Hoop and Stick Tournament is held.
August 10 – Marvel Comics publishes Amazing Fantasy #15, which features the superhero character of Spider-Man
November 3 – The term "personal computer" is first mentioned by the media.
I'm going to watch "The Wire" again. Just to make myself feel better.
we haven't lost to a 4-4 WAC team it was a MWC...both are bad news though, but at least the MWC is stronger that WAC.
Can we get a liveblog of the tourney in Syracuse and the first round game against Rochester Institute of Technology? Oh GOD NO!
BTW-- At least we still have our favorite, world respected golfer Tiger Woods to cheer for. Man, if somebody had it all going for him with his sports skill, hot wife, children in good health..... WHHHHAAAAA????????
3 straight shutouts vs sparty, purdump, and minnesota? OUCH
is the winter of our discontent.
marking his ascent to the throne.
What was Richard’s last name?
If this was 1984, it would be "nose, meet cocaine spoon."