Say what you want about Harbaugh's personality, but there is no doubt he is a Bo disciple.
Say what you want about Harbaugh's personality, but there is no doubt he is a Bo disciple.
Interesting read -- good to see Bo ripping into Harbaugh there lol
It is good to see that Bo and the Big Ten's contributions are recognized. That before air raid, spread, veer, wishbone, etc, the midwest was the hotbed of football innovation.
*MidBest....there really isn't a better region in the world.
That was a good read. Thanks for posting it.
The game is seeking the new balance between size and speed. It's possible to have large, physical players who are fast enough to get the job done.
I had to smile when the article mentioned the "read option" being derived from the time of Ricky Leach and Denny Franklin. The player being "read" might have been different, but the concept of a QB keep on an option sweep was the bread-and-butter of Michigan football back then.
Of course, it helped to have the great offensive lines of that time, and a tailback like Harlan Huckleby and a fullback like Russell Davis. :-)
I appreciate it. Nice read.
I miss Bo.
It's good to see that his coaching tree has reached the apex of football
Really enjoyed it.
And thinking about it, there are some very good college teams that have not departed from that style of football, and you can certainly see it working for certain SEC teams whose coaches had B1G experience.
Thanks for posting. I heard that in the Ten Year War that there was a total cumulative of only five passing touchdowns for both teams combined. That was a different era indeed.
I had never seen that video. Thanks for posting. It showed that Bo was more than just a tough disciplinarian. Bo was also charismatic, personable, and funny. You can tell his players really liked him, but also knew when it was time to be serious, and respect him.
Nice not-so-thinly-veiled RR shot there.
when Rich came to town, a large contingent said this was not Michigan football. In my mind if Rich had gone big it absolutely was a return to the Michigan football before the Harbaugh, Grbac, Henson, Brady et al Michigan football people were relating to. Steve Smith in 1983 was the last incarnation of the option football mentioned in the article.
The transition to Rich was totally mis-positioned. He was in the extended coaching tree. He was running an evolution of what Bo ran. Of course Rich is equally at fault for throwing out baby and bathwater when he arrived. He could have "grown-up" his spread option (ala Florida) and maintained more of the former staff - particularly the defensive staff, but he seemed to cling to WVU Big East football when that wasn't going to work in the Big Ten.
This is where OSU and Meyer have done it right.
Mother of God, that may be the coolest video I've ever seen.
that Hoke & Co. are ahead of the curve, with the return of the son of MANBALL. Now if they can only execute it.....!
even if we did lose that damn Rose Bowl.
I'm not sure if Bo is credit-worthy for any offensive play calls or game plans currently in the NFL, but he certainly was a kindred spirit with Jim Harbaugh. Intense, competitive and a bit of an a..hole. I say that with all due respect as he treated his players with respect. Perhaps not the refs so much however.
Didn't Bo's brand of football go back to the very foundation of college football? He had a few wrinkles here and there, but it's not like he was coming up with anything that new back then. I don't know, prove me wrong... educate. I just always perceived him as a hard-nosed fundamentals coach who liked to burn calories yelling at refs... not a master innovator or tactician.
That photo takes me back to a frustrating loss, but also to the best OSU game I ever attended (Harbaugh to Kolesar 77 yd TD pass in 4th quarter to preserve the dwindling lead). What a great year. Bo came about as close to winning a Nat'l championship that year as any in the 80's... last second loss to Minnesota at home (inexplicable) and 2nd half let down against ASU in the Rose Bowl.
last second loss to Minnesota at home (inexplicable)
I have a friend who is a half generation younger than me. He wonders why I have this persistent fear close games will swing away from Michigan.
Well ... I grew up on disappointing and inexplicable losses by dominant Michigan teams to lesser teams ... Minnesota, Purdue, etc.
The pain lingers.
Great photo of the "dynamic" between Bo and his players.
Bo was definitely old school. I had to laugh during the Notre Dame game when people were commenting on Brian Kelly yelling at his players, and somehow saying that Bo would have never done that.
Oh, yes he did.
That was a good read and it warmed my old belly. I'll take good Americans like the Harbaughs over Communists like Chip Kelly and RichRod. ARRRRGGHHHHH!
isn't Harbaugh running a variation of Communist Football with Kaepernick?
"Lorig said Harbaugh had a part of spring practice called "Bad-a-- Period," in which he would play massive players at different positions, like letting a defensive lineman take a shot at receiver."
This part made me chuckle because it sounds like something Jim Harbaugh would institute for some reason, but I like the name he gave it. It does make me wonder how many players ended up at different positions as a result of this "period", however, but I bet a few did.
This was an interesting read really - thanks for posting this.
This was a great read, but I think it does gloss over the fact that when those Big 10 power teams of the 70's came up against more athletic west coast teams, they often found themselves out-matched. The criticism against Bo's teams were that they were one-dimensional, that if you could prevent Michigan from running the football, they didn't have an effective counter. Most teams in the Big 10 were not capable defensively of stifling a Michigan running game under Bo, aside from Ohio State, so the one-dimensional nature of the offense didn't usually matter.
It's not a coincidence that Bo's first Rose Bowl victory (and first bowl victory of any kind) was with his first bona fide dropback passing QB throwing to an All-American WR.
While that may be true, you cannot discount the fact that PAC 10 teams of that era benefitted from "home cookin" in more than one outhouse bowl games. The Charles White Phantom Touchdown immediately comes to mind for me.
There's also the general home-field advantage enjoyed by west coast teams in the Rose Bowl.
Add to that the lack of good indoor practice facilities at Michigan in that era. The west coast teams enjoyed better outdoor practice weather.
Still, the general point is valid -- along about the 1970's the Big 10 started having a decided disadvantage in the Rose Bowl. The game was swinging towards faster, more athletic players over slower, massive players. What we're seeing now is a swing back towards a new equilibrium, where speed is still valued but balanced with size and power.
In time the defenses will accomodate (unless rule changes simply invalidate football defense) and the game will seek a new balance again.
The Pac 10 was not all that more dynamic on offense during the '70's. That did not kick in until the '80's.
What the Pac 10 did have was more athletic players during the '70's. The NFL was not exactly overrun with Michigan players during that period.
During the 20 years that Bo coached at Michigan, the Big 10 went 4-16 in the Rose Bowl game. You can attribute some of that to shitty refereeing or a quasi home field advantage, but a disparity that large ultimately points to differences in talent levels between the West Coast and the Midwest. When Bo's teams started to play a more athletic brand of offense in the 1980's, his bowl record improved to a pretty respectable 5-5.
It's great for the WSJ to comment on how Jim Harbaugh is channeling Bo Schembechler offensive philosophy, but he's also got Colin Kaepernick under center who is capable of hurting a defense with his feet just as much as Frank Gore. If the 49ers were gong to be strictly manball, Alex Smith would still be starting there.
And more to the point about this trend starting in the 70's, the Big 10 had only one Rose Bowl win in the decade between 1970 and 1980 ... Ohio State in 1974.
>> If the 49ers were gong to be strictly manball, Alex Smith would still be starting there.
Which is why I am always arguing this "manball vs. spread" discussion is never an either/or proposition. It's a question of balance of the different attributes. That's what Harbaugh is doing. That's what New England has been doing. That's what Borges is doing.
The point of the WSJ article is that the pendulum is swinging back just a bit.
Thanks for posting. Good old power football. I love it.
Rip Dark 26
Rip Dark 26
Rip Dark 26
Repeat as necessary. Love it!
But he was always willing to change up his offensive formations and style of play without sacrificing the basic philosophy of runnjing the ball, controlling the line of scrimmage and dominating your opponent. And the fact of the matter is, while he recruited a lot of big guys, he didn't always have big Olines. I mean there were years when he had walkons starting.
When I think of Bo as a leader, I don't think of him as an offensive or defensive coach, just a master motivator and good tactician who coached under Woody and others, and learned that devloping players with good fundamentals and solid ability was the key to victory, regardless of how you lined up and played each down. I saw Bo as a general, a commander who approved strategy based on his general approach to each game and gameplan.
I know that he constantly tweaked the offense, and that what Harbaugh ran as quarterback was different than what Dennis Franklin and Wangler ran, even if a lot of the formations merely disguised a basic run play off tackle and through the center.
Michigan used drop-back, pro-passing attacks during the Moeller and Carr years, while running maybe four basic run plays that were meant to look different depending on the personnel grouping in the game.
There are a number of ways to attack a defense: outnumber them at the point of attack, out-leverage the defense by formation and size of players, which all teams do either by situation or by matchup based on their available personnel and skill.
The advent of certain passing offenses, the West Coast and the spread, were strategies designed to put fast guys in space against heavier and taller defenders and force them to make plays away from support and leverage. These trends were developed by teams seeking to combat both recruiting talent obstacles and the reality of playing bigger more skilled teams.
In the NFL, speed and size is relative. Even in the Big Ten, speed and size issues are both the bane of the league's reputation, and what sustains its play over the course of a season. If any team has proven that or if any matchup demonstrates it better, it was Wisconis versus Ohio on Saturday. Braun vs. speed. It was, for the most part, a pretty even match, except one team executed better than the other.
And, in the end, it doesn't matter how you line up, it's how you play the game. That's what Bo always believed regardless of how he structured his team physically and schemewise on offense and defense. The Harbaughs are simply stewards of their own experience, which explains why they do what they do. Bo was a pretty good teacher and motivator. And so was Jack Harbaugh.