What if the ref held his flag??

Submitted by Ziff72 on February 17th, 2009 at 12:39 PM

I tread lightly seeing the bashing the Mallett post took, but I am always fascinated with how every little decision or event can send your life in a different tangent and how it effects everyone else. Since it was the game I have most wanted in my entire life, I submit what if the ref doesn't call Crable for a late hit??

Michigan with their offense on a roll drives down to defeat the Buckeyes and the 06 game surpasses the 69 game in Michigan lore as they "win 1 for Bo".

Michigan then goes down and pounds Mike Hart into Floridas quick but light defense and we harass C. Leak all night on our way to a NC.

A spent Lloyd Carr almost surely retires and Long, Henne and Hart head off to the NFL. Lloyd Carr with his legacy restored and 2 NC's in his pocket is allowed by Martin to virtually name his successor.

That by all accounts leaves Miles out and we end up with Debored at HC and Loeffler running the offense and English running the defense.

Heading into 07 the team looks much like 08 did. A lot of holes on offense with a young oline and a QB battle between the older Forcier and Mallett, but experienced WR in Arrington and Manningham.

My guess is today on Mgoblog we would be discussing 2 "down" years while we were in the Alamo and Citrus bowls and how we need to fire Debored. In the meantime we speculate on the greatness of our next stud QB Nick Montana as Loefller rolls out the red carpet for Joe and his son and the ND nation recoils in horror at the prospect of Montana's kid coming to Michigan. Most are pumped about Montana coming, but there is another faction saying we need someone more mobile like Gardner because Loeffler has been down in WV studying the spread from Rodriguez, who is riding high after winning a NC in 08, and we are looking to incorporate some spread concepts into our packages.



February 17th, 2009 at 12:53 PM ^

I know a dozen other things could have changed the outcome of the game, but man that flag haunts me.

It was one of those moments that was just inconceivable. Everything about that game felt right. For the first time as a Michigan fan I wasn't afraid of losing, because I just knew. The redemption of Lloyd after the (comically named, in retrospect) Year of Infinite pain. The silencing of doubters that Michigan was still an elite program. Bo.

man, that flag.


February 17th, 2009 at 1:01 PM ^

Funny thing is - from the thread, i knew exactly what you were referring to. Only problem is- we still needed to score and probably hold onto that lead. agh.

And Florida's D in '06 wasn't the Florida D that we saw the following year.

I wonder if this referee was the same guy at the OSU - Miami game... "umm ummm ...think...think...Pass Interference..."


February 17th, 2009 at 1:06 PM ^

The way Florida beat the piss out of Ohio St skews the reality as years roll away, but there was a reason Ohio St was a decided favorite and many thought Michigan and USC were better teams. Florida played a great game and deserved it, but they were a flawed team that if they played Ohio St 10 times it would be a different story. Mich had a decent chance of beating Florida as we had a different team than Ohio St. Not saying we would have won for sure, but I think we would have had a good shot...Florida had all the motivation going into that game and Ohio St got lazy.


February 17th, 2009 at 3:21 PM ^

Yeah I agree. We were a really good team that year. that was one of two games of the last 6 or whatever that we should have beaten OSU, thus avoiding this current death streak.

Also, USC IMO, was the best team in the country of the four. I don't think Florida would have blown us out quite like they did to Ohio State... but shoulda woulda coulda.

Finally - is it just me or did we not play out of the shotgun formation (enough) vs USC (either time) but against Florida we did. I dunno the USC games were a blur, and were basically the same game twice. All i recall is a ball deflecting off braylon edwards shoe for an interception, a lot of profanities, maybe a tear, and losing by two touchdowns.


February 17th, 2009 at 1:21 PM ^

I remember standing in the horrible end zone seats they give the opposing band dying the thousand deaths of the optimist as I watched that flag go and my momentary elation crashed back down to cold Michigan reality. None of us ever sat down as we watched the end of the game unfold, and a lot of us stood while the aOSU fans charged the field and tore sections of it off to throw at us.

The rest of the fantasy aside, that moment that flag flew will follow me to my grave.

...damn. You had to bring it up.


February 17th, 2009 at 1:27 PM ^

What bothers me most about the flag was what happened the next week. In another hotly contested rivalry game, a USC player MAULS the UCLA QB along the sidelines, just like Crable did. Not only was there not a flag, but that hit was touted as the best of the season. Hell, ESPN still uses that highlight in their college football intro video on Gameday!!!

We'll never know how the game would have turned out. Certainly that flag was enormous, but who knows? I hated the fact that on that play Troy Smith was essentially a running back and if Crable makes that hit on a RB he doesn't get the flag called. He still shouldn't have done it and they still should have stopped them (blah, blah, blah), but it was incredibly frustrating to have that ref make such an impact on the game.

This is fun! Here are some other what-if scenarios that will make you want to stick your head in a toaster:

--- What if Jason Forcier doesn't transfer when Mallett arrives? He would have been a mobile Junior QB under Rodriguez and held down the fort before his brother arrives.
--- What if Herbstriet and Bill Martin didn't botch up the Les Miles situation and he was hired?
--- What if Antonio Bass doesn't destroy his leg?
--- What if that punk Pryor picked Michigan instead of OSU?
--- What if Rodriguez would have kept English and some of the defensive coaches for at least one year to ease the transition?

Ugh....that's enough.

Six Zero

February 17th, 2009 at 2:29 PM ^

Whenever I hear anyone talk at all about that game... the first thing that comes into my mind is "CRABLE!" spoken in a very Seinfeldian way, a la "Newman!"

Whenever it comes up, even my wife is trained to say "We should have won that one. For Bo."

Anyone remember the News' Indiana Jones art from that Saturday morning?? I have it on my other laptop... maybe when I get home tonight I'll post it for your remembrance.


February 17th, 2009 at 2:31 PM ^

The shennanigans later, as the voters almost universally said that they felt Michigan was a better team and that if USC had won and stayed #2, UM would've stayed ahead of Florida in the final poll, but that they wanted to see something different.


February 17th, 2009 at 4:00 PM ^

This is one of my favorite forms of argument, not just in sport but also in life. The one play that probably decided a game, that one girl in college that you stopped calling that could have been "the one", that one time you decided to drive home from the bar after a few too many, etc.

Yes, this Crable play ranks right up there with the '94 Hail Mary and the Webber TO as one of the most unfortunate sports plays that I can remember.


February 18th, 2009 at 10:15 AM ^

I would rather have a vasectomy with out anesthesia than have to Remember Kordell and the Webber TO. The Crable hit was not as painful, to me at least. But it did suck royally.

Happy Thoughts....Andre Weathers vs Stanly Jackson in '97. Woodson vs Stanley Jackson in 07(or Woodson vs Suckguys). T. Biaka(I am not spelling the rest). OK, I am starting to come back to "meh" from the pain.

Pain relief: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRKr1aDPaHc


February 17th, 2009 at 4:44 PM ^

If Marquise Walker didn't drop the damn touchdown pass right on the numbers thrown to him at the Big House in Tressel's first UM-OSU game, Michigan wins that, Tressel never wins his first game against Michigan (despite how terrible M played). O State consequently doesn't reel in the ridiculous recruiting class they had after a 6/7 win season and doesn't win the nat'l title the next year.

Damn you Marquise!!!

The Other Brian

February 17th, 2009 at 5:06 PM ^

This sucks.

Before I clicked on this, I literally said out loud to myself, "God, this is about the Crable hit, isn't it...please don't be about the Crable hit...*click*....AWWWWWWWWWWWW DAMMIT!!!"

I hate myself.


February 17th, 2009 at 5:12 PM ^

that flag certainly haunts me when I think of that (all things considered) outstanding game. The one thing that comes to mind most often though to me was on (i believe) UM's second drive. OSU had tied it at 7, and we had a 3rd down and Henne overthrew a WIDE open mario by 5 yards. He would have scored and taken the lead, but didnt, and instead we go down by 2 touchdowns before making our comeback...

thats what i think about the most...regardless of the impact it would have had, but every game there's a lot of moments that can change the game.

Mr. Maizenblue

February 17th, 2009 at 5:18 PM ^

I remember driving home from Columbass and praying we would stay at #2.

WE DID! The next poll out had us STILL #2. We were jumped twice that year after that game.

1st, USC beat ND on the Bush push, we KILLED ND! USC moves into the 2 slot Michigan #3

2nd, USC loses to UCLA, it was a lock!!!!!! No!!!!!!!!!!Florida beats Are Kansas and we get jumped again!!!!!!!

The one thing about that year that makes me more mad than being jumped twice, was hearing Mr. Gary Danielson, in his first year doing SEC games, saying that Florida WAS the best team in football and deserved to jump Michigan.

Still can't figure out a 3 point loss to #1 on the road and you get jumped TWICE!!! See now my evening is ruined. THANKS!


February 17th, 2009 at 7:15 PM ^

I'm as big of a UM fan as anyone, but UM did have a close game with OSU while Florida blew them out in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated. And you have to admit that UM's performance against USC in the Rose Bowl was not that of a team that deserved to be in the NC game.

If Florida had lost and UM had beaten USC, then we would have had a reason to complain about not having a rematch.

My immediate reaction was, "why didn't Carr adjust to Tressel's spread formations in the first half?"

Carr got outcoached by Tressel, as he did the last three or four years of his stay at UM. That's why Carr isn't still at UM. The game had passed him by. And, of course, he lost his ability to beat Tressel.

I wish UM had employed a competent coach from 2004-2007. The kids deserved a lot better. So did we.

Six Zero

February 17th, 2009 at 5:32 PM ^

Here's that picture I mentioned earlier today:

from the Ann Arbor News

Among everything else that could've been... the girl that drew this would be receiving so much money from all the prints we'd have all bought from the News if they'd won.


February 17th, 2009 at 5:43 PM ^

Sometimes I find myself thinking of that hit at the most random moments... I always try to picture myself as Crable looking through his mask and I wonder if I would have avoided Troy Smith or not?


February 17th, 2009 at 6:49 PM ^

Sorry to all those who I gave the war like flashbacks with cold sweats and screaming that wasn't the intent of the post. It is interesting where a thread goes. I thought I would get some people to tell me my logic string was out of whack or get some obligatory Debored bashing. I guess I found out that game terrorizes everyone else the same way it does me, I think Brian pointed out at the time how life isn't hollywood as we needed that game for Bo and we got a double fisting in the crapper instead.


February 17th, 2009 at 6:59 PM ^

i knew what this thread was about before i even clicked on it. i am so glad that there are other people out there that show my pure dislike for that call. i have a friend back in windsor that swears up and down that it was a helmet to helmet hit and he claims to be a huge michigan fan, WTF!!!

i remember right before the mich/osu game this past season espn classic showed the 06 game and i forced myself to watch it. just for the simple fact that i had to see the hit one more time just to make sure that i was being a michigan slappy thinking that there was nothing wrong with it. well i was right there was nothing wrong with that hit. what was crable to do??? hes 6'-5" and smith is what 5'-10" at best??? crable led with this shoulder and his helmet just happened to make contact with smiths. once again a big ten offical having to "steal" the show.

but what a shitty 2 years for crable, first this "hit" and then the next year he misses a block. but for the life of me i can't remember what happened after he missed the block.....:)


February 18th, 2009 at 12:35 PM ^

That was a tough call, but honestly, watching that game I felt like we weren't as good as OSU and that we had been fortunate to be in the game at the time. We got three defensive takeaways but otherwise got shredded defensively. Even if the ref had held his flag, it's not like it was a given we would've won. We were behind at the time. If we had gone on to score, we may well have had another Texas-type finish, with us scoring to go ahead and then OSU scoring the game-winner.

Personally, OSU '05 is more painful to recall. We had a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and blew it.


February 19th, 2009 at 10:06 PM ^

Until Crable got that flag, we were clearly going to get the ball back, march down the field, score, and win. We had the momentum.

Crable, agh, what a knack for the huge mental mistake.

His greatest play at Michigan was in the MSU game where he missed the RB 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage, then ran 75 yards the length of the field to make a touchdown-saving tackle. Typical.


February 24th, 2009 at 10:50 AM ^

He dropped a punt for a Florida touchdown in the SEC title game, later prompting Gary Danielson to go on a rant about how Florida was so much better than Michigan.

Arkansas could have won that game without Fish dropping it.