Examining our history:it may be disappointing, but we are meeting the M football standard. This is who we are.

Submitted by wolverine1987 on December 30th, 2018 at 12:52 PM

Here is our yearly W/L record since 1979, including the last 11 years of Bo's M coaching career. This is a nearly 40 year span of time. In those 40 years, we have had fewer than 3 losses 11 times (one of those 11 times was a season with 3 ties under Gary Moeller). Of those 40 years, we have lost fewer than than 2 games 3 times. 3 of 40. So 28 seasons of 40 we have lost at least 3 games.

Many of you call this year "unacceptable," and are very angry, saying "we should expect more," and call BS on any expectation short of the play-offs and B1G title. Fair enough. But what standard are you using? It's certainly not the standard of the last nearly 40 years.

I'll never stop hoping for more, and if we ever won a NC again I'd be delirious with joy. I am disappointed with Harbaugh's record against top ten teams, and the OSU loss depressed me for days. We need more changes, especially on offense, this post season. But it's time to acknowledge the truth: we ARE meeting the program standard under Harbaugh.This is Michigan. This is who we are. A top 20 football program with great academics, a great university, and a program that is run cleanly and doesn't cheat. And loses 2-3 games a year. I only speak for myself, but these facts are setting my future expectations. 

1979    Bo Schembechler    8–4      
1980    Bo Schembechler    10–2    
1981    Bo Schembechler    9–3   
1982    Bo Schembechler    8–4    
1983    Bo Schembechler    9–3    
1984    Bo Schembechler    6–6         
1985    Bo Schembechler    10–1–1   
1986    Bo Schembechler    11–2    
1987    Bo Schembechler    8–4    
1988    Bo Schembechler    9–2–1   
1989    Bo Schembechler    10–2    
1990    Gary Moeller    9–3   
1991    Gary Moeller    10–2   
1992    Gary Moeller    9–0–3    
1993    Gary Moeller    8–4    
1994    Gary Moeller    8–4   
1995    Lloyd Carr    9–4   
1996    Lloyd Carr    8–4   
1997    Lloyd Carr    12–0   
1998    Lloyd Carr    10–3   
1999    Lloyd Carr    10–2  
2000    Lloyd Carr    9–3    
2001    Lloyd Carr    8–4   
2002    Lloyd Carr    10–3  
2003    Lloyd Carr    10–3  
2004    Lloyd Carr    9–3  
2005    Lloyd Carr    7–5           
2006    Lloyd Carr    11–2   
2007    Lloyd Carr    9–4   
2008    Rich Rodriguez    3–9            
2009    Rich Rodriguez    5–7            
2010    Rich Rodriguez    7–6           
2011    Brady Hoke    11–2   
2012    Brady Hoke    8–5   
2013    Brady Hoke    7–6          
2014    Brady Hoke    5–7     
2015    Jim Harbaugh    10–3 
2016    Jim Harbaugh    10–3   
2017    Jim Harbaugh    8–5      
2018    Jim Harbaugh    10–3          




December 30th, 2018 at 12:56 PM ^

No we have not. Record wise, you're right. Historically we've been big ten champs many times. We have none in the last 15 years. That is not who we were. Period


December 30th, 2018 at 2:35 PM ^

Alot of that is illusion...


Like lloyd's 5 Big ten titles..


He actually won 2 in 13 years....  the other 3 were split titles only one of which we were the representative. So Thats like saying Harbaugh won the big 10 east this year...

And in the 80' and 90's and early 2000's when Michigan and ND were on every TV set in the midwest and national recruiting wasn't a thing Michigan walked into Ohio and got whoever they wanted,... Michigan outrecruited OSU every year just to win 55% of the games vs them..




December 31st, 2018 at 10:39 AM ^

I'm ignoring those years because Jim Harbaugh was at Stanford and San Francisco. He had absolutely nothing to do with those years. Fans are shrieking about ten years of results when Jim has been here four 4 years. The ten years have been very rough, but let's not blame the current coach for all of them. 


December 31st, 2018 at 9:54 AM ^

Excuse me for not getting excited about beating a mediocre team on sanctions with an interm head coach that was replaced at the end of the season.  If that is something to stick a feather in your cap about then good for you.  To me, beating a sub .500 team with a fill in coach is nothing to be proud of. It’s not what this program is about. Getting blown out and letting your biggest rival hang over 60 on you is not acceptable. 


December 30th, 2018 at 1:01 PM ^

Some of those Bo years include losses to top-5 teams like Bowden-era FSU and Notre Dame, yes? 

The thing about the Harbaugh era that is kinda disappointing is that we WIN pretty much all the expected games but lose against similar or top ranked competition. This is a disturbing trend. Some of the losses are coin flip close like FSU in bowl and vs Ohio but they are still losses. 


December 30th, 2018 at 1:05 PM ^

Someone should tell Michigan to stop advertising itself as the winningest program in the land and just settle for being above average.

If you want lower expectations then quit fucking emailing me for donations and quit recruiting and marketing yourselves like you’re a championship program. 

Only then will fans stop giving a shit about expectations  

This post is dumb. 


December 30th, 2018 at 1:35 PM ^

Back away from the keyboard and chill, you'll be back just like the rest of us. Michigan is the winningest program in football - your whiny attempt at revisionist history doesn't change that one iota.

Drink a beer, smoke some weed, order some new ball lifters off Amazon...hell, watch our basketball team. They're pretty good and might change your shitty attitude a bit.


December 30th, 2018 at 3:29 PM ^

Well to counter two of your points, first, show me where exactly M markets themselves like Bama or Clemson or "wanting to be that." The football coaches discuss that, because every coach in America does the exact same, but that's not marketing, and M does not sell seats that way. Second, I'm saying NC expectations and then anger are completely misplaced, because that hasn't been reality for 40 years other than one solitary year. I hope for NC's, but I don't expect NC's because I live in the world where M exists, not some phony Bama or Clemson expectation. 


December 30th, 2018 at 1:07 PM ^

Thank you for looking up those records because it puts it all in perspective.  This is the hard cold reality of Michigan football.  I keep hearing the same things - from the ticket, national media, friends / family - about how we SHOULD be better.  No ... We WISH we were better.  And that’s the rub of this season - we are who we are vs who we want to be.  

Jim may very well bring us a B1G championship and / or the CFP.  But that would be overachieving for our team - not the yearly standard.  I, for one, am just going to enjoy the ride. 


December 30th, 2018 at 1:14 PM ^

Bo and Carr didnt have 3-4 gimme games against Western Michigan, an academy and Rutgers and Maryland in conference. 


The 1994 team that went 8-4, went 2-2 against top 10 teams. Should've been 3-1 if not for a hail mary by Kordell Stewart. 


Harbaugh is 1-9 against top 10 teams for his career here.


Michigans had a much tougher path to 10 wins before conference expansion. 


If Bo had the benefit of being able to lose 1 game and still play for a natty, how many playoffs would we have been in? He also beat Ohio State 50% of the time. 



Stop sugar coating Harbaughs failure




December 30th, 2018 at 1:52 PM ^

Bo and Carr didnt have 3-4 gimme games against Western Michigan, an academy and Rutgers and Maryland in conference. 

No, but Bo had plenty of "Big 2, Little 8" games where the game was essentially over at halftime (and in the 70's you could walk in for free at halftime -- the ticket takers left at halftime for all but the OSU or MSU games).  We didn't have Rutgers and Maryland but we had their equivalents several times over. Maybe one or two of the Little 8 were decent, the rest were punching bags for UM and OSU.

In Bo's 70's typically 0 or 1 of the Little 8 would be ranked in the Top 20. In the 80's 1 or 2 would be. 

By the early 90's it was more like 4-5 ranked teams, and as high as 7 Big 10 teams in the Top 20 (in 1999).

The 2000's averaged 4 ranked Big 10 teams and in this decade it's been 3-6, of course with more than ten teams in the conference.

Bo enjoyed a softer overall schedule than subsequent coaches. Not that he wasn't a very good coach, but let's not revise history.

Durham Blue

December 30th, 2018 at 3:01 PM ^

The parity in CFB is head and shoulders greater than it was 20 or 30 years ago.  Today it's much more difficult to beat the old doormats NW, IU, Purdue and Wisconsin, for example, than it was in 1988.  The Wisconsin of today would demolish the Wisconsin of 1988.  Hard fought games take their toll on a team as the season wears on.

I'm as disappointed as anyone finishing the season with two straight losses but I also do not believe we are in bad shape as a program.

Blue Warrior

December 30th, 2018 at 1:17 PM ^

The gap between Elite college football teams and Michigan is huge. Our recruiting classes are solid so I have to blame it on schematics and coaching. Changes need to happen.


December 30th, 2018 at 1:21 PM ^

Exactly, people on the board think we were at Alabama levels before falling off to where we are now. Statistically, Jim is above the rest of coaches, but below Bo. (I ran some numbers).


We have won only 7 major bowls in 50 years. Only 64% of the seasons in those 50 years ended up with a 3 loss or better season. So this season is pretty much "average" for Michigan.


December 30th, 2018 at 1:21 PM ^

Of those with much, much is expected.  If one were to plot our W/L record and our annual recruiting class ratings against Sparty, Wiscy etc I’m confident M would look to be grossly under achieving.  

Hell, Purdue (crapping the bed like M notwithstanding) and Minny look comparatively  more ascendant than M.  And how many times did any of the Bo, Mo, Lloyd regimes win 10 in a row only to get blown out giving up 100+ in their last 2 games? Sure 10-3 seems decent, unless you actually watch. 


December 30th, 2018 at 1:47 PM ^

From 2005 - 2015 Michigan had 2-3 relevant seasons because of retiring Lloyd, Dick Rod, and Hokey Pokey.  This means the average kid born from 1999-2002 being recruited to the school would be 5-8 years old when this down turn started.  Although some will study up on the history, parents' wisdom, and the look at recent results, they view Michigan with as an above average football school.  They are kind of nice, but they are no Bama, OSU, LSU, OU, etc.

What does this mean - Harbaugh needs to have numerous 10 win relevant season.  This will result in the low 3-star becomes a high 3-star, the low 4-star become a high 4-star.  Then you will start seeing better results against the top 10.  It is going to take some more time, and some luck.  I am hoping for 11-12 win seasons the next 2 years.  Slow and steady improvement - think of Tom Osborne at Nebraska.


December 30th, 2018 at 2:18 PM ^

Doesn't matter what profession you are in.  When you pay world class wages, you expect world class results.  Bringing in Harbaugh, and stepping up with coaching pay and facilities improvements, many of us thought that would translate into a level playing field with the elite teams in the country.

In reality, our expectations were too high.  Harbaugh is a very good coach. I am not sure if many  teams outside of OSU can run with SEC recruiting.  Even the West Coast teams, loaded with a talent rich region, is struggling to keep up with the SEC.

At the end of the day, as long as Michigan keeps up their standards for students and run a clean program 10 wins will be Michigans benchmark.  Every now and then, the planets will align like 97 and Michigan will win the B1G and possibly compete for a National Championship.  I guess, I am good with that. I want Michigan to run a clean program, even if it results in a few less wins.


December 30th, 2018 at 3:34 PM ^

Totally agree with your whole post. One aspect of the expectations I have is recruiting--OSU has a massive advantage over us--Ohio. A comparatively huge talent advantage in numbers of quality HS players, vs. what we have available in Michigan--where we compete somewhat with MSU for players, and OSU has zero real competition in their home state, other than the 1-2 guys we can get each years from there. 


December 30th, 2018 at 2:23 PM ^

Title is so right. Nitpicking the details you could say were better or worse than that standard but essentially, we are a 10-3 program that doesn’t win a lot of big games. Kind of like our history over the last 50 years. Could be better, could be a lot worse. Oh well...


December 30th, 2018 at 2:32 PM ^

Just really sucks to be a U of M fan right now. It was supposed to be a great year. Instead it ends up with two bad losses and giving up 100 points in two games even with a "NFL pipeline defense" and a "great" coach who would lead the football program back to the rainbow.

Can't beat a top 10 team, and can't hardly remember the last win over the Buckeyes.

62 points to the Buckeyes!!

Where's my whiskey?

the Glove

December 30th, 2018 at 2:32 PM ^

Many people keep referring to conference championships in the past. How many of those conference championships were co-champions? Also, with multiple teams. That can't happen these days. It makes a little bit of a difference.


December 30th, 2018 at 2:48 PM ^

Interesting data. Over that time frame, only one other 4 year stretch where we won at least 10 games in 3 out of the 4 years.  To say Harbaugh is doing an awful job and needs fired immediately seems a little over dramatic.  I want championships as much as the next guy, but that doesn’t mean the season is a total failure if that doesn’t happen.  From what i remembe from pre season expectations, this team performed at or surpassed what most people expected.  Try to keep some perspective.  


Having said all that, playcalling and general game management has been really bad.  That is the area Jim and staff need to answer for and improve upon the most, IMHO.