Didn't Joe Paterno vote us lower, too? I seem to remember that coming out as well, that he at the very least didn't have us at #1.
Question re: Phil Fulmer and the 1997 Vote
I don't know about Paterno, but I believe a bunch of coaches voted Nebraska #1 as a retirement present for Tom Osborne (the timing of his retirement announcement could not have been more manipulative). But Fulmer voting us anywhere lower than #2 is absurd.
Well, yeah. His quarterback (Scott Frost?) got in front of the cameras after their bowl game and ranted about how Tom Osborne deserved the national championship and all of that stuff, and sure enough, when the votes came in in the middle of the night, that's what happened.
I don't know whether or not Fulmer putting Nebraska #1 and us #4 ultimately put them over the top, but it didn't help us at all. Remember, Nebraska had 32 first place votes and we had 30. He wasn't going to put us #1 anyway, so likely the blame more goes to Paterno (who I'm pretty sure voted us #2) than Fulmer.
I think that was actually Jason Peter who said that.
Nebraska had no right to ask for sentimental votes after that totally bogus flea-kicker win at Missouri. Most of the rest of the season was running up the score on a lot of overmatched Big XII opponents.
Michigan had no such lucky escapes that season - their closest game was against Iowa (I was there) and they flat-out won the game straight up by dominating the second half.
That year reminds me of the Heisman race this season - you've got an unquestioned superstar workhorse back, and you've got a guy who has had flashes of brilliance alongside games of mediocrity, was a non-factor in several key wins and got outrushed by his backup several times. Then you've got a defensive player who is the most feared football player in the game, who would be on a 10-2 team with any semblance of an offense.
And we're supposed to go for the flashy favorite because his team's story is the one the media likes the best.
Frost is the real culprit in my mind. I don't remember Phil and Joe Pa with disgust like I do Scott Frost. He is the real enemy comrades! The way that he cried and begged for his slimy coach on national TV did, and always will, make me SICK.
This hate has been in me for 11 years now, I seen not reason to change it.
He talked about how tough the Nebraska team was and that's why they deserved the title.
Scott Frost had a chance to prove his toughness two years earlier, when Lawrence Phillips came into his room and dragged out a screaming Nebraska coed. Frost did nothing. He never has been and never will be in a position to talk about toughness or manliness. His lack of manhood was established when he cowered in terror before Lawrence Phillips and let Phillips drag and beat a woman.
I find that hard to believe considering Joe Pa got jobbed in 94' against the same Tom Osborne n crew.
but my recollection is that Joe Paterno admitted that he didn't give Michigan his number one vote the week after Michigan killed PSU (28-0?), and said it was because an assistant had filled out his bracket for him. I would bet that his end-of-the-year ballot had Michigan at #1, though.
but there is a lot of noise about the fact that he voted us 4th and did so with the sole purpose of making sure that Nebraska won the coaches poll.
Personally in 1997, I don't care if a coach voted us #1 or #2, even though I truly believe Michigan would have wiped the floor with Nebraska, but there is no sane person who watched college football in 1997 who could say that Michigan was the 4th best team.
BTW, Fulmer, thanks a bunch for having your Tennessee team put up such a great fight in that Orange Bowl against Nebraska. The French put up a better fight in WWII.
True; I think i read somewhere that on Tuesdays the Nebraska defensive line gets together and chases Peyton Manning just to relive the good old times.
Let us not forget Sean "Monotone" McDonough, who (possibly at the request of CBS, the SEC network) spent a large part of the broadcast belittling Michigan's season accomplishments and glorifying Nebraska's.
Scott Frost's whining was pitiful, too. Wistrom is a smug power tool as well.
That was a really talented Michigan team. Many of its players had (and are still having) long NFL careers.
I sort of doubt Fulmer's vote was the only difference between #1 and #2 for Michigan. Even though (if he did it) it was a shitty thing to do. But I always remembered that as a going-away present from the good ol' boys club for Tom Osborne.
Hey that is the wrong thing to say about Fulmer. You forgot an adjective. You meant to say that Fulmer is fat asshole.
It looks like you forgot an indefinite article. You meant to say that Fulmer is A fat asshole.
Maybe it was a comma he forgot, after "fat."
unemployed. Karma works like that.
Fulmer voted us fourth (presumably, I also don't have a source right off hand) but it didn't cost us the coaches poll NC: Nebraska had more #1 votes than Michigan so they would have won anyways. We would have had two more points had Fulmer voted us #2 instead of #4, but we lost the vote by four points.
As I recall, Nebraska finished ahead of UM in first-place voting by two votes. The way the poll works is that 1st place gets 25 points, second place 24 points and so on to 25th, which is one point. So if everyone who voted Nebraska #1 voted Michigan #2, Nebraska should have beaten Michigan in the coaches' poll by two points.
When the points were totalled up, Nebraska had four more points than Michigan. Either two people voted Michigan #3, or one person voted Michigan #4. Matt Hayes (boy, has he been forgotten or what?) called for the coaches' poll ballots to be revealed but obviously that did not happen.
I was pissed and still am, but it was of little consequence because the AP ballot is the one I accept as the true poll. This whole incident just confirmed to me how the coaches' poll was cooked, non-transparent, rocked with conflict of interest and wildly unreliable. It sounds nice to think that coaches, the guys who know all about football, will rank each other, but a cursory look into it shows that the system really sucks and serves as a revenge tool.
as well. Either one coach voted M 4th, or 2 voted M 3rd for the numbers to come out the way they did.
For the record, his pants did not have a vote in 1997.
i recall that it was fulmer who voted us #4 behind FSU.
Thanks for the responses. I guess the answer is that we don't know exactly how Fulmer voted or whether it cost us half the MNC, but we can agree that he's a dick.
Yes...Fulmer or whoever it was tried to screw Michigan, but Michigan had already been hosed by enough other coaches that it didn't end up making the difference.
We don't know how Fulmer voted, but whoever voted us fourth (or the two people who voted us third) did not cost us the national championship.
We can definitely agree that Fulmer's a dick--he's done enough other stuff even if he didn't do this, and I'd be very surprised if he wasn't the one who voted.
We can also all agree that the Coaches poll is silly. Everyone votes with their conference or for whomever makes their team look better. The AP poll is far from perfect, but it's definitely the better of the two.
It's a poll consisting solely of the most partisan people in college athletics who do not watch that many games played by other teams.
..and often are too busy to fill out the ballot themselves, so they pass it off to an underling
Although to be fair, if it were the other way around and the Coaches voted us #1 and the AP #2, we'd be here ranting about media bias and the coaches being the only ones who know the game well enough to vote for a national champion.
It was a pretty shitty thing that happened to us, but when you look at all of the various organizations and fringe groups that hand out a National Championship trophy (and there are many), Nebraska got exactly one. The rest are in Schembechler Hall.
We'd still be wrong though.
UT and Peyton Manning laid down and died for Nebraska. Manning proved that he didn't deserve the Heisman in that game. Inexplicably, UT fans still whine about Woodson having possession of "Peyton Manning's Heisman."
That is why UT killed Michigan in their bowl game a few years ago. UT saw it as a rivalry game, while Michigan saw it as a reward for an OK season.
As we found out during the RR hiring witch hunt, there is nothing as vindictive or with a longer memory as a southerner who feels he has been wronged.
There were several coaches who had UM downgraded and had FSU #2 on their baloots.
As far as the Nebraska players lobbying, what I recall is when reporters cuaght up to Marcus Ray the day after. They asked him where Michigan should be and if he'll watch the Nebraska game.
He basically said we went undefeated, we should be #1, but I dont care about the Nebraska game tonight. I have Laker tickets.
It was classic.
Based on the points, there were at most 2 coaches who downgraded Michigan (2 put Michigan to #3 or 1 put Michigan to #4).
I would be very surprised if it wasn't just one coach. I'm still pretty shocked that there is one coach out there who's that classless so I doubt there's a second, but that's only my wanting to have trust in basic human decency, not anything more firm than that.
A number of things I hated about Nebraska getting a national championship that year:
1) they cheated to be undefeated (got away with kicked ball)
2) they played on a different day [yeah, I miss having all the major bowls being on New Year's Day, and that was the end of it)...
3) ...so Brent Musberger was able to contribute to the buildup, oh wouldn't it be great to give the retiring Osborne a national championship - FUCK NO! I already hated Musberger, and this really got me wanting to pound him to a pulp.
4) I hated Nebraska, too.
5) and fuck all the coaches who downgraded us and the horses they rode in on.
Musberger has always been on the other side of any discussion involving UM. I remember in '06, before (or maybe he was AT) the USC-UCLA game, when he was on TV saying with a straight face that a UM-OSU rematch was out of the question, but a UM-ND rematch sounds really good. After the way UM handled ND. I forget the adjectives he came up with to describe how perfect that matchup would be, but I threw up a little in my mouth, which I often do listening to BM. (I always lobby to turn the sound off on games he announces.) I admit it; I loathe him and his antagonism to Blue.
The coaches -- I expect them to vote their own self interest, even if it means downvoting the True and the Good.
If Michigan wins the Rose Bowl by ten to 14 points--they win the whole enchilada. 21-16 with WSU being clockgated? Shit--UM should have won that game going away.
But Noooooo--Lloyd has to do the old slow hand and let the defense win it.
Anyone familiar with Nebraska and Tom Osborne knew they were going to pummel Tennessee--Dr Tom NEVER left it to voters. You beat the fuck out of somebody because, well, they're there.
And as for timing of retirement notice: Didn't Bo Schembechler announce his retirement at about the same time (of the offseason, different year, I KNOW) Osborne did?
Where Does The True Blame Lie?
With Rich Rodriguez, obviously.
Our record was better than theirs. The official record book will show Nebraska with an asterick next to the Mizzou game because it ended in overtime. Michigans record is unblemished.
And on top of that, Phillip Fulmer is an ass.
1) it wasn't just Fulmer's vote by itself that did it - the story I heard was that he proactively lobbied other coaches to change their final vote so that Nebraska won it - he was workin the phones from Knoxville lobbying anyone who would listen after Woodson beat out Peyton Manning for Heisman.
2) LC did nothing to help his team during all this - he never once went public at all, he just sat in his office and said "whatever happens, happens" which was his style.
Also, don't forget that Nebraska had that bogus overtime win against Missouri plus they played Troy and Akron that year and also had a bye week - Michigan played all Division 1-A teams and had no bye week.
Don't forget these: Not only did Nebraska need the kicked ball against Missouri (on the same weekend Michigan destroyed a top 10 Penn State team), there were also TWO common opponents for Michigan and Nebraska that year:
-Michigan won 38-3
-Nebraska won 49-21
-Michigan won 27-3
-Nebraska won 27-24
Also don't forget that Michigan played that season without a bye week. The Colorado game was a late start to the season. 11 games, 11 weeks, 11 wins. No overtime.
God I loved that team.
And yet I always liked the way Brandstatter got up at the Celebration of Champions thing they had at Crisler and talked about how Michigan "didn't beg" and "didn't ask for anyone to vote for them."
Michigan didn't have to lobby after the season they had. Those had nothing to apologize or quantify for TV cameras. It was out on the field. Yeah, the ending of that game was a circus, but even at that... Let the Frosts and Peters' of the world whine for their coach as he's going out the door. We'll just enjoy the rest of the trophies. And everything else Woodson and others brought home that year.