I've been reading a book about the history of the Notre Dame and Michigan rivalry, which some of you may have read. It is called "Natural Enemies" by John Kryk and it is great. If you haven't read it yet, it is definitely worth checking out. It reads almost more like a history textbook than a novel like "Three & Out."
While reading, I came across one of my favorite pieces of UM history, which I have noticed a lot of fans don't know about. The fans here at MGoBlog are pretty knowledgeable, but I thought I'd make a post just in case some people didn't. You can read the relevant section at the top of page 6 here: http://books.google.com/books?id=IBzFV5QGSv0C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false.
"[I]n 1881 . . . Michigan traveled east to play the best teams anywhere--the mighty trio of Yale, Harvard, and Princeton. The Wolverines lost all three hames but the scores were respectable, especially considering the games were played within the span of a week. The Easterners, in fact, were so impressed they later invited Michigan to join the Eastern College League, but Michigan's faculty would not permit the Wolverines to join such a faraway association for mere athletics."
This was a bit before the Ivy League precursor (which would initially include Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, and Cornell) was formed. The major takeaway is that effectively Michigan was asked to join the Ivy League and said no. The Ivy League obviously isn't an "academic conference" and we are clearly a bit better than their athletic standard. Nonetheless, it is a fun fact to have on hand.