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.