The best team I can remember was the 1991 ('92 Rose Bowl) Washington team. Michigan was loaded with Desmond, Weatley, Elvis, Erik Anderson, Derick Anderson, Skrep...
They wooped us.
The best team I can remember was the 1991 ('92 Rose Bowl) Washington team. Michigan was loaded with Desmond, Weatley, Elvis, Erik Anderson, Derick Anderson, Skrep...
They wooped us.
I think that 2007 Oregon team gets overrated a bit. Mike Hart put up 130 yards or so on the ground at 5.1 a carry. Does 2007 Michigan get 5.1 per carry against this Alabama team?
Let's also not forget that Michigan led that game 7-3 at one point and easily could have been up 14-3 if not for a Henne pick on the goalline on the first drive. Plus If I remember correctly (and it's very possible I do not) Michigan was only down 18-7 when Henne went out. Mallet played the entire second half of that game plus a good portion of the second quarter. I still think Oregon wins, as their offense was absolutely deadly, but Michigan probably could have kept it a little closer.
I'm not sure, but I think we actually outgained Oregon in the first half that day, despite trailing 32-7. Or maybe it was just the first quarter. But yeah, we did move the ball on them, but the red zone was a disaster.
The name everyone will spell wrong forever. Even the A2 News would do it. They made a lot of typos. I worked there and we would see the mistakes and be amazed.
We won't know until we find out if this year's Michigan team is any good or not. There is a possiblity that the 2011 team significantly overachieved and that this year's team is not that great. Only time will tell.
The 2 '91 teams mentioned (FSU and Washington) will always get my vote because they both totally dominated a stacked Michigan team that went to the Rose Bowl and sent tons to talent to the NFL. FSU in particular was a wakeup call that Michigan had to start recruiting more speed because they just ran us off the field. I don't think I had ever seen that happen before that game.
The '69 Buckeyes were an awesome team, but in The Game even they could'nt overcome six turnovers against a very decent M team. So under those circumstances you couldn't really call them one of the best teams M has ever faced.
The '91 FSU team had, among other great players, a CB named Terrell Buckley who returned one Grbak pass for a TD. That team was good, but M kinda let that game get out of hand.
The '89 USC team that M faced in the 1990 Rose Bowl was an excellent team both on O and D. Definitely one of the better teams M has ever played.
The '94 Penn State team was one of the best ever to play in M Stadium. That they did not play for the national title was a national tragedy.
But today even the '69 Buckeyes are ancient history. And going back any farther to the Army or ND teams of the 30s and 40s is completely apples and oranges. So I'd vote for the '94 Penn State team as among the best M has faced in modern times. My recollection is that their O-line was all 5th-year seniors, they had Kerry (?) Collins at QB, good RBs, and one very good WR (Scott?) from Michigan. The D was very solid as well.
To answer the OP's question, I would have to say, "Yes, in recent memory".
It's been a while, I believe, since we played a team that was deep, technically sound and physically dominating at the level of this Alabama team. We managed to put up what would amount to a middling performance in comparison to their opponents last year, which bodes well for the rest of the year in a way, but we did seem outclassed.
That being said, I don't know if we were outschemed, and as someone above mentioned, it's been the combination of those two things which have made certain games especially painful in the past. Actually, I would even perhaps go as far as to say that just being outschemed by a team that we could likely beat in another scenario has been painful as well.
2007 Oregon definitely comes to mind as a game where we were basically outschemed by the spread - watching Dennis Dixon essentially have his way with the defense to the tune of almost 400 yards by himself was heart-wrenching, especially so after what had happened the week before against a similar offense packed with lesser talent.
I would also cast a vote for 1991 FSU as being one of the best teams we ever faced - looking at that year's roster and the talent that we had (and how much went to the NFL of this roster), you wouldn't think a 51-31 loss at home was likely, but if I remember, Michigan threw 4 INTs, two of which werre returned for TDs, one of them by a defensive end. Seven different FSU players scored TDs actually in what was an offense that was sound, fast and stacked just about everywhere (granted, this one has had a while to mutate in memory). Especially in the second half, they literally ran away from us.
This Alabama team is tough and very good on the line of scrimmage. Their offense is very limited and their defense has yet to play a good team that passes the ball effectively. I think that the Miami teams we played in the 80's, the FSU team of early 90's and several OSU teams were better. I think the reason this question is asked is how they dominated us. That was because they were better, and that we have serious issues all across the board on offense and defense.
I love Denard and what he does for this team, but he struggles greatly in the passing game. Whether it is reading the D or just knowing when to scramble. He seems to lack the necessary intuition on when to leave or move within the pocket. Our running game is very average due to the lack of a dominating Oline and or great RB. Our Dline is 2 years away, our LB's are 1 year away and our DB's are 2 years away. JMHO
We just have to weather another year or so before we are back to where we want to be. I love how BH is recruiting and addressing the team issues.
While they ended up fizzling, that team was unstoppable with Dennis Dixon at the helm, and in hindisight a mark of Oregon's dominant future. That game was also the ultimate kick when you're down, coming when it did an all. However, it did come against a team that was missing their starting QB, RB and LT. I still think they ought to be in the conversation.
As for this year's 'Bama - they looked very good. But (and I hate this) I don't know how good we are. The most impressive thing was their O-line, but we knew our D line was a weakness, and I'm not sure how much of that was them being good and us being bad. I guess we'll find out.
Otherwise, I think they are beatable. We did have some success on them on offense, and I do think we didn't exploit what their D gave us as well as we should have. Herbie and Musberger were lauding McCarron, but I thought our pass D did okay - not good, but we had our moments on them when they dropped back. A team with a better passer and a running game not reliant on only their quarterback will have success on this D. A team with a better front seven may not stop their running game, but can force McCarron to win the game. He didn't win the game against Michigan - his numbers were comparable to Denard's.
I certainly think there's an arugment that this is the greatest talent deficit I've seen between Michigan and an opponent on the field (of course 2008 and 2009 may make that not true either), but I don't think this is the best team we've played. Team 133 is not as good as, say, team 127 or even team 132. The fact that the '06 Trojans thoroughly dominated what I thought at the time was the best Michigan football team I'd ever seen in the Rose Bowl makes me want to say they are better.
Alabama may prove me wrong. And they certainly deserve the benefit of the doubt. But I'd like to see how both of our seasons turn out before calling them the best I've seen Michigan play.
Alabama has the best collection of personnel I have ever seen on a college football field. They don't have a QB who is going to put up gaudy numbers, but they are so big and fast at every position that they don't need one.
This team would push the FSU '91 team up and down the field almost as badly as they did Michigan. Considering how training methods have changed in the last ten years, I think this team would physically overpower any college team in the 1900's, and the closest one I've seen to this one is the USC team that trounced Michigan in the 2007 Rose Bowl, providing a crushing end to what had been a good season.
Although I wouldn't argue with anyone who says this Bama team is tops, I can't help thinking that the last two USC teams M faced in the Rose Bowl (2004 and 2007) were as good as any team we've faced. I realize the final scores didn't look so bad. But, jeez, those USC teams were like mini-NFL squads. They were in complete control, and both teams knew it.
But of course the answer to the OP's question can't really be answered until after this season. I assume the question isn't really about single-game dominance, which isn't the best barometer -- Mississippi State, despite its dominance in the Gator Bowl, was hardly the best team M has faced. Context matters. If this Bama team runs the table, then they may well be the best opponent ever; if Bama ends up going 9-3, perhaps Saturday's loss will say more about Michigan's weakness than Bama's strength.
I remember turning to my buddy in the first quarter of the 2007 Rose Bowl, with the score still at 0-0, and saying "We're doomed."
To that point I had only seen USC on television. Seeing them im person, I just felt we were completely outmatched physically. And that was one of the best Michigan teams of the past 10 or 15 years.
Also, after I said, "we're doomed," my buddy's girlfriend looked back and me and said, "you have poopy pants." FWIW.
That was the most frustrating game I ever saw. Both teams wanted to run, but neither could. The score at halftime was something like 3-3.
But then in the second half, USC adjusted and went to the air with success. Instead of countering them with our own air attack which was pretty decent with Henne at the helm, we kept trying to run it up the middle. Lloyd and DeBord just would not adjust the way USC was willing to do, despite their original intentions. Game over.
USC in the 07 Rose Bowl. We may have been upset we were not in the MNC game but they still totally dismantled us.
I don't think USC was that much better than us that year. We played them to a 3-3 tie in the first half after neither team could establish a running game. In the second half, they blew the game wide open by exploiting our weak secondary while we continued our futile effort to run the ball against their front seven. Coaching lost us that game, not talent.
For now, I'm going to say '91 Washington. That was probably the best team in the history of Washington Football. Steve Emtman was a beast, and he was named co-MVP of that game. He also finished fourth in the Heisman voting and got an invite to the ceremony, which is rare for a non-skill position player.
It's tempting to say FSU '91, but they fizzled toward the end of the season and lost to both of their in-state rivals. Alabama may very well turn out to be the best, but we won't know until the end of the season.
I don't think anyone has mentioned the '05 Rose Bowl loss to Texas. No, it wasn't a beatdown but that was a loaded Texas team with Vince Young running all over us. 2006 USC was also extremely good, and a better team than 2007 Oregon. Hope I'm getting my years correct.
Even though I was young that '91 FSU game sticks out. Whew what a team.
For a whole there the team that win the national championship was the team that beat us in a bowl the previous year
For one game, it is the most complete and physical team I have ever seen them play
He was the best offensive player I have ever seen and the only reason we were close was because we were good.
Actually, screw that ALabama this year is just so loaded in the trenches...
Vince Young was the single most dominant college player I think Michigan has ever faced in a game. The rest of his team? Good, but not dominant. He was a one-man wrecking-ball of a player. Unstoppable.
I think 1991 FSU and 1991 Washington (1992 Rose Bowl) would be next in line.
Alabama is the best opponent we've played, IMO. I've never seen a Michigan team, *with so much promise*, get dominated the way we were dominated on Saturday. I would then say that the 1991 Washington Huskies are a close second. The 2003(?) Iowa Hawkeyes team was pretty good too.
It was the 2002 Iowa team that manhandled us at the Big House 34-9. They were good, but they lost to Iowa State that year and got destroyed by USC in the Orange Bowl (they played in the Orange Bowl because Oklahoma and Washington State played in the Rose Bowl for some reason).
I was hoping to name a team that nobody else has said. 2001 Tennessee fell early, as did 75-76 Oklahoma, and 07 Oregon. (Oregon is the most underrated team in this discussion - as somebody else said, if Dixon stays healthy he wins the Heisman Trophy in a landslide on his way to a National Championshp. And that was a GOOD Michigan team they embarrassed in the Big House, The Horror aside.)
But yes, that 2002 Iowa team. That's the one I thought would slip through the cracks here. They beat Michigan 34-9 in the Big House. At the time, that was the bigget loss Michigan ever suffered in the Big House. Bigger than FSU in 91. (It was since surpassed by the aforementioned 07 Oregon team.) They did lose to Iowa State, inexplicably. But they went undefeated in the Big Ten, because due to scheduling they didn't play the eventual National Champion Ohio. (Compared to Iowa's 34-9 beatdown in AA, Ohio beat Michigan 14-9 in Columbus that year.) Also, Iowa played in the Orange Bowl because Ohio had the Big Ten's automatic bid (both were 8-0, Ohio was better in the non conference) and played in the National Championship game. That left Iowa as an at large, and the Orange Bowl got to pick before the Rose Bowl. (Since they lost Miami, which was the #1 team in the title game.) That was when they added the rule that's still in place, stipulating that when a bowl loses a team to the title game they get first shot at any other team from the same conference. (I defend the BCS more than most, but they're definitely reactive as opposed to proactive. That rule should've already been in place.)
Anywho, this is a tough question to quantify. This seems to have turned into a "Most Dominating Performance Against Michigan" question, which isn't necessarily the same thing as "best team" they've played. And there's also the issue of weighing what they did against Michigan compared to what they did that entire season(which holds back the 2006-07 USC team, as they lost games they shouldn't have that year, and also the Iowa team I mentioned)...and even bigger picture, what the players did in the NFL has been brought up several times. But that's an issue of "most talented" vs "best" team, which also aren't necessarily the same thing. If you're just talking about the most talented, one team that will (rightfully) never get mentioned is the 2007-08 Florida Gators. They were talented as hell - they won the National Championship the year before AND the year after and had loads of NFL talent. But they disappointed that year during the season and, of course, lost to Michigan. But there's no denying the talent on that team.
For me, it's 1991 Washington or 2003 USC. Both were loaded with talent, had the dominating seasons the talent suggested they should have(ironically, they both only won a split National Championship - although USC's split was only on a technicality, one poll was obligated to vote for LSU), and both convincingly beat very good Michigan teams. I might go with Washington just because they were undefeated(USC lost to an average Cal team in OT) and probably looked a little better against Michigan.
EDIT: A team that nobody named? 1984 BYU. They won the National Championship, FFS!
(Yes, I'm kidding.)
And interesting to note that not one of my top 5 beatdowns came from a Big Ten foe:
1. Oregon and Dennis Dixon. 39-7.
A week after The Horror, Oregon toyed with a loaded, senior-laded Michigan team with Henne, Hart, Arrington, Manningham, Long, Graham, etc. to the point that Oregon mercifully stepped off the gas pedal in the third Q or it would have been far worse than 39-7. This was the game that caused Bill Martin to consider it an acceptable option to throw all Michigan tradition out the window to bring in a spread guru, thinking Michigan would one day “Oregon” everyone. What Martin failed to realize was the real reason Oregon destroyed us was due to the complete and utter incompetence Ron English displayed at scheming a defense to defend the spread. In the spread neutralization scheming ethos, Pat Narduzzi would be at one end of the spectrum, and English and his massive incompetence would be at the other. I give English 90% of the responsibility for The Horror, and for the ass pasting we received from Oregon.
2. Alabama Saturday.
Alabama “Michigans” Michigan. For years Bo, Mo and Lloyd would run their conventional, bruising, pro attack where Michigan would beat 80% of the schedule on shear talent disparity alone, and then run into trouble facing more creative teams with equal or better talent (Tressel, USC, etc.). The difference is that Saban is Lloyd 2.0 in that he is a better schemer, and he is getting better talent, but the principles are the same – conservative bruising style, and the talent will make the difference. This gets #2 simply because Bama faced a broken Michigan team in transition, nowhere near its soon-to-be potential.
3. Syracuse and Donovan McNabb. 38-28.
One of the few times I felt utterly helpless watching a game. One player, McNabb, single-handedly toyed with an otherwise good Michigan defense. It was at this time that I began to question Michigan as antiquated for not incorporating a running QB into their mix.
4. Washington '92 Rose. – Emtman and the Husky cheaters (they were found to have committed major violations during this period) exhibited the best defense I had ever seen Michigan face.
5. Tennessee bowl game. – We weren’t that great that year, but it was still a big beat down.
I remember thinking a few days after the horror sunk in that we were going to be demolished by Oregon. I had thought to myself if we can't handle that type of spread how in the world would we handle a team in the top 25 like Oregon who would run it better. Prior to last Saturday that Oregon game was the only game I had ever stop watching before the end of the game, but I did re watch the Alabama game on Monday night to see what the hell went wrong.
Alabama is obviously fantastic.
We have a frame of reference as to other M teams from past years, because we can see how Michigan stacked up against other competition.
In the case of this 'Bama team, we have no frame of reference because neither team has had another game this season.
If you adjust for the different eras, that team might have been as good. They mauled opponents up front in a way much like what we saw on Saturday, and all of last year.
But if you time-transported their players to the present and lined them up against Atabama they'd get tossed around like rag dolls. They had what, for the time, was an enormous O-line--topped by Rufus Mayes at 260. Michigan that year only had one player on the entire roster over 240 (Dierdorf, of course).
So I guess it depends on what you mean. It's easy to forget what great athletes we're watching now, in pretty much every sport. Nutrition, training...there's no comparison even without the PEDs.
Hey, I found this place from a blog link stuck around thought I would join in. All the comparisons in this thread sound good but this is although very talented a young Bama team. If you follow recruiting it's easy to see why but Hoke is doing it amd you guys are M you'll be back. I admit I have SEC pride not enough to chant lol but if you hear a GO BLUE! from down south during ND, OSU, or PSU games it's me.
Again nothing to hang your head about... something I haven't even seen mentioned and lucky for us if Rich Rod doesn't turn Bama down.....ugh I don't even