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.