JT Barrett and the 1973 Rose Bowl Controversy.

Submitted by CLord on December 1st, 2014 at 3:03 PM

As everyone knows, in 1973 Michigan stormed back and scored 10 points in the 4th Q to tie Ohio 10-10, with Michigan QB Dennis Franklin getting hurt with 2 minutes left in the game.  Twice in the last 2 minutes, Michigan’s field goal kicker missed the winning kick, but obviously had more scoring chances and ended the game the “stronger side.”  According to Wiki, even Woody Hayes admitted his team wouldn’t go to the Rose Bowl.

Two years prior, the Big Ten abolished the “no repeat” rule, which if in effect in ’73, would have prevented Ohio State from going back to the Rose Bowl since they had gone the year before.  All signs pointed to Michigan going, yet Ohio State was chosen by the Big Ten AD Committee, purportedly because Franklin was hurt, and since the Big Ten has lost the last 4 Rose Bowls, the committee thought Ohio State had the better chance to win. 

Bo was furious about this decision, and remained so until his death.  It was so controversial that documentaries and HBO specials were made about it.

JT Barrett went down on Saturday, and now throughout the airwaves we hear pundits voice the same issue – whether Ohio State should be downgraded for the first ever playoffs because they are weaker now without their QB. 

I went to school when Bo was still coach.  I saw the man up close many times.  Never a more intense human being had I ever seen, even when just walking by on the way to lunch.  If Bo were alive today, while he would feel bad for the kid’s injury, I would bet my bottom dollar deep down, with his competitive fire, he would have one thought in mind: schadenfreude.   Dennis Franklin busted his ass all season long to keep Michigan undefeated and bring Michigan back to earn not only a tie, but a chance to win against Ohio State before he went down.  Where were thoughts for Dennis Franklin by the AD committee in 1973?  They chose against him.

For Dennis Franklin and for Bo, I will be rooting against the Buckeyes this Saturday, and against their selection come selection show.

Am I alone?  Will I get negged for not showing more compassion?  I’m tired of the trust fund attitude of too many Michigan faithful who’ve lost the intensity and competitive fire that should naturally come when you’ve lost to your arch-rival 11 out of 12 years.  Hoke was the perfect embodiment of this softness – pathetically apologizing to Dantonio after getting pounded by State over a harmless stake gag.  Would Bo have apologized?  Not in a million years, and I’d bet he would’ve considered firing Hoke on the spot after that apology.

Let’s hope our next coach isn’t a nice guy, but a competitive mother effer who brings even half the intensity Bo brought with him, and demands excellence not only in comportment and execution, but in the level of competitiveness Michigan once had.



December 1st, 2014 at 3:07 PM ^

This is self-solving.  Ohio State won't get past Wisconsin with Cardale Jones.  

They'll watch the playoffs on TV like we will.  Maybe they can come over and we'll make some nachos.


December 1st, 2014 at 3:40 PM ^

Funny thing is Wisconsin is pretty much the team Hoke wanted Michigan to be, except where we'd have a better defense.  Odd that the coaches couldn't glean much of what Wisconsin has done with their rushing attack and manage to replicate it to some degree.  Tough to root for them either, but definitely rooting for the Cheese Heads on this one.


December 2nd, 2014 at 8:26 AM ^

Hoke's winning % at UM is ~0.600, just a bit below Alvarez's .614 at Wisconsin.


And Alvarez's first 3 years at Wisconsin? 1-10, 5-6, 5-6.  In his 4th year her went10-0-1 (so it IS possible to improve after a losing season) and won the Rose Bowl.  But 2 years later he was 4-5-2.


December 2nd, 2014 at 9:34 AM ^

Apart from his first year, Hoke is 20-18.  During that first year, perhaps of necessity, he let Denard be a little more like Denard and benefitted from the incredible talent (i.e., Denard) discovered by RR and a lot of good breaks.  After that, he made Denard less useful (square peg in round hole) and never got the best out of his players, in general. 

When Denard went down, he put in Bellomy (remember that?) with results slightly less favorable than Meyer was able to achieve when Barrett went down.  When Gardner was not performing well this season, he put in Morris with equally disastrous results.

Nice guy, but he needs to go.


December 1st, 2014 at 3:12 PM ^

I think Wisconsin will roll. They had problems with our rushing offense, and the Badgers are in another stratosphere. If they were going to win I think it'd have to be in an osu-msu style shootout, and I just don't see Cardale "Didn't Come to Play School" Jones being able to keep up. If osu somehow pulls it out and scrapes into the playoff, they'll get blasted by Bama in the first round. Either way, meh...


December 1st, 2014 at 3:14 PM ^

I mean, yeah, OSU probably should get left out without Barrett.  It sucks, but the playoff isn't a reward for having a good season.  It's trying to get the best 4 teams.  Which OSU is not, or at least there is not enough data to say they are, without Barrett.  It's not fair to, say TCU's, players who have shown they are a known quantity to put the unknown Jones led OSU team ahead of them.  Nor is it fair to viewers who want to see the best football.  It would be travesty on the level of ND being number 1 even though all empirical evidence suggests they shouldn't be, and then getting deservadly pounded by an actual elite team.


December 1st, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

osu will not make the playoff because they will lose to Wisco - and that is solely because of Barrett's loss.  And, even if they beat Wisco they still won't make playoff because of Barret's loss.  so, yeah, 1973 karma is a bitch....


December 1st, 2014 at 3:16 PM ^

osu will not make the playoff because they will lose to Wisco - and that is solely because of Barrett's loss.  And, even if they beat Wisco they still won't make playoff because of Barret's loss.  so, yeah, 1973 karma is a bitch....

M go Bru

December 1st, 2014 at 3:25 PM ^

He is the only coach available out there with Bo's intensity.

He will take shit from no one!

Can't wait for Jim to backslap Urbie and Dumtonio after a game!

Remember when JIm stomped Pete and USC by 30 points. Try to imagine when he does this to Urbie and Dumtonio. No more playing not to lose ala Lloyd Carr. We need to put the fear in the rest of the Big Ten!


December 1st, 2014 at 3:53 PM ^

Apples and oranges.  OSU gets to play another game with Jones before the teams are selected. Michigan did not.  If Jones performs well in the B10 Championship and they win, then they should go to the playoff. If they lose, the point is moot.

And I personally think OSU has a better resume than both TCU and Baylor with a Wisconsin win. If all 3 win out, wins over bowl eligible team would be: OSU 9, TCU 5, Baylor 4. Not even close.


December 1st, 2014 at 4:11 PM ^

First of all, I am a Buckeye fan.  And I think our chances of winning Saturday with Cardale at about 15%.  I would have given us a 60% with a healthy JT.  That being said......if the Bucks win against a very tough Whisky team (#2 in defense, #8 in rush defense, #8 in pass efficiency defense nationally), then they deserve to go.  I won't be heartbroken if they lose, after all......they lost two Heisman candidate QBs in one season.  I don't expect pity from you guys but maybe a little realism.  If they win......they probably deserve to be in the final four.  And if they win and don't get in, I will accept it.  If they won with JT and didn't get in, then I would be really pissed, but that's not the case.

But, holding a grudge from 41 years ago and trying to equate the business of college football in 1973 to 2014, that's just plain silly.



December 1st, 2014 at 4:57 PM ^

Holding a grudge from 41 years ago is the POINT of college football. I'd think a Buckeye fan would get that.  Even after the last decade of almost unfettered success against Michigan, every time I am seen in M attire by an OSU fan they make some unbidden comment about hating Michigan.  And what's to hate right now?

Give the faux reasonableness a rest, or indulge it on another board.  


December 1st, 2014 at 7:04 PM ^

Yes, I sure remember those days.  They were awful.  And I sure have enjoyed the last 14 years. 

But I am also an OSU fan that has a deep respect for Mich.  I want both teams to be undefeated and untied going into The Game.  I root for you guys in Bowl games.

So.............hate all you want.  I don't.


December 4th, 2014 at 6:38 PM ^

As a fellow Buckeye, I get you.  I too miss the old, deeply scary Michigan that made me watch The Game with my hands half-covering my eyes.  And no, they'll never get how some of us have also suffered through this reign of nightmarishly bad Michigan coaching.  They won't get it because they are our One and Only, whom we loathe and revere in equal measure.  

What are we going to do, if the Michigan suckage continues? Who will be our Rival?  Wisconsin? With their wholesome cheese-fed faces and that adorable badger? Never going to happen. MSU? That would just feel like creepy, quasi-legal incest. Penn State keeps texting and calling, but we are just not that into them. Michigan, on the other hand, will always have another school to hate. They can't grasp our abandonment issues.

But, also, yeah dude. This is a Michigan fansite. Irrationally over-the-top despising and malignant ill-wishing of Ohio State is kinda endemic here, just like the reverse is at eleven warriors. And yeah, neither group makes sense to me either, but it is what it is.

Mosie Ledbetter

December 1st, 2014 at 6:33 PM ^

Forty-one years ago and I recall it like yesterday.  It was my senior year.  Despite three previous outstanding regular seasons in 1970, 1971 and 1972 in which they lost a total of two games, Michigan had gone to one bowl game.  So by finishing 10-0-1 in 1973 and outplaying Ohio, who had gone to the previous Rose Bowl, it was a foregone conclusion that Michigan would get the invitation.  At the game I somehow found myself sitting in the student section next to the family of an Ohio senior player.  At the end of the game they were crushed, knowing that their son wouldn't be making it to another Rose Bowl (or any bowl for that matter, since the B1G didn't allow teams to go to any other bowls).  As they trudged out, they wished us luck in the Rose Bowl and even gave me some suggestions about things to do in Pasadena

Then, the next day I was in a KMart shopping for a car stereo when I heard (or at least thought I heard) that Ohio was selected by the B1G ADs to go to the Rose Bowl (hey to Burt Smith!).  I stood there stunned for a minute or two before walking out of the store and going to a friend's house, where I heard the story again.  It was real.

My anger hasn't subsided over the years, so yes I still hold a big grudge.  But it might be ameliorated just a tad if Ohio mangaes to beat Wisconsin and then gets snubbed because of an injured QB.  


December 1st, 2014 at 10:16 PM ^

This from a fan base that sent death threats to its own tight end when he dropped a game winning touchdown pass in the 2005 home game with Texas? Now that is just plain insane.  The grudge is not from 41 years ago, its every year, all year for about a 100.  Is it not enough to just win and shut up?

Der Alte

December 2nd, 2014 at 9:05 AM ^

I attended the '73 game. I watched Archie Griffin run up and down the field. Fortunately he did most of his running between the 20s, but he looked as if he would break one for long yardage every time he had the ball. As is the case in this rivalry, both teams fought tooth and nail to win the game. Vietnam vet Mike Lantry was one of the better FG kickers to play at Michigan. But he missed the winning FG (as well as one earlier, I believe), and Denny Franklin suffered a broken collarbone (as I also remember). Stuff happens. I left the stadium saddened at the tie, but without any additional animosity toward tOSU --- that is, no more than I usually have. I still thought M would get the Rose Bowl bid.

Was it the next day that the athletic directors voted to send tOSU to the Rose Bowl? I recall a livid Bo on television asking "how our sister school to the north" voted. Later then-MSU AD Burt Smith admitted he voted to send tOSU and, in my biased and prejudiced recollection, said he did so because he thought that vote would advance MSU's interests over those of Michigan. So most of the Michigan venom from that debacle was aimed at Burt Smith, not the Buckeyes; they were just the lucky recipients of a gift originating from the rivalry between the two Michigan schools.


December 1st, 2014 at 5:07 PM ^

OSU is probably going to lose to Wiscy, so this will probably be moot.  That said, even if they win against Wisconsin their resume is just too weak, and unless teams like FSU, Alabama, Oregon, etc. all lose kinda badly, I don't see them in the picture.  


December 1st, 2014 at 5:20 PM ^

I don't know why people keep parroting this "weak schedule" argument against OSU.  If OSU wins this weekend, they would have beaten 9 bowl eligible teams. Compare that to Baylor's 4 (if they beat KSU) and TCU's 5. All three would have beaten 3 top 25 teams (if everyone wins out). TCU has the "best loss". Baylor has the "best win". And OSU beat the highest ranked aggregate opponents.


December 1st, 2014 at 5:13 PM ^

I don't see it happening. Our run defense has done little to convince me they are going to slow down Gordon. Unless they have been doing some kind of long con rope-a-dope, which I doubt, it will be the kind of result that will bring you happiness.


December 1st, 2014 at 5:41 PM ^

Good post. I thought about that during the game Saturday when Barrett was being carted off. I don't think they get past Wisconsin. I think Wisconsin goes all-Gordon on their asses and puts up too many points for an inept Ohio offense to keep up with.

Team 101

December 1st, 2014 at 6:12 PM ^

When he went down I was hoping he'd get back up and play becasue you want to beat their best.  But when I heard he was out for the season the first thing I thought of was 1973.  The difference is that tOSU has a game this week to prove they can play without JT and they will go to a decent bowl even if they can't where the 73 Wolverines were never given a chance or an opportunity to play.


December 1st, 2014 at 6:39 PM ^

As someone who would drive the fictional "12-0 FSU shouldn't make the playoff with a suspended Jameis" bandwagon, I find it hard to argue for JT-less OSU. Unless Cardale drops 42+ on Wisconsin.


December 1st, 2014 at 11:07 PM ^

Every team has banged up players.  How many studs did we miss this year?  Morgan, Green, Peppers, etc?  It's not the injury, it's just the sweet justice that Ohio fans, yes 41 years later but that be damned, feel what Michigan fans, players and staff felt in '73 at being deprived a rightful and earned seat at the top bowl table due to a late season QB injury.


December 2nd, 2014 at 9:50 AM ^

that I do not feel that vindictive. 

I remember feeling cheated in 1973, and I always want to beat OSU, but as another poster said, I want both teams to be undefeated heading into the game.  I will tend to root for OSU in its bowl game, as well. 

It's MSU I simply cannot root for, but that may be a result of growing up in Detroit, going to Michigan and enduring MSU alums, who have tended to be bigger jerks (in my experience) than the many OSU alums I have gotten to know, largely as a result of being a partner in a law firm that had more OSU undergrads in its ranks than undergrads from any other school and more Michigan law grads than law grads from any other law school.