Favorite Michigan season...with a twist

Submitted by Yostal on January 19th, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Threw this out on Twitter tonight, but I thought I would get MGoInput.

The premise is simple: What is your favorite Michigan season?

The twist: Michigan cannot have won a Big Ten championship in said season.

My choice is 1995, which is my senior year in high school. 

  • Lloyd's first season.
  • The 17 point comeback in Virginia.
  • The awesome that was Mercury Hayes.
  • The underrated Scott Dreisbach
  • Jarrett Irons at linebacker
  • The epic 5-0 game against Purdue which has to be a Fandom Endurance II badge, minimum*
  • And last, but certainly not least, Biakabutuka dials 313 against Ohio State.

Sure losing to Penn State and Michigan State sucked.  Sure getting beaten by Northwestern hurt a little less when you realize they were in the middle of a Cinderella season.  Yes, it's hard to accept that there was no Notre Dame game on the schedule a year after Remy broke their hearts, but 1995 is a pretty great year.

*-Did anyone actually break down the Fandom Endurance Badges and the standards for which one earns one?  I know Northwestern 2008 is Fandom Endurance III because it was freaking cold, in the middle of a miserable season, and it was Northwestern, but I am wondering if the Central Michigan "Return to your Cars" game is Fandom Endurance II?  Does the weather play a more central role than the opponent, which is to say, could a horrible weather game that Michigan won lessen the degree of a badge?  Thoughts?



January 19th, 2011 at 10:29 PM ^

No argument on how amazing 2006 was, but I can't put 2006 in my favorites because of the triple whammy of

  • Bo dying the day before the Ohio State game
  • Losing to Ohio State
  • Getting passed over for Florida after Urban Meyer campaigned for his Gators.

Getting housed by USC in the Rose Bowl didn't help that either.  Best vs. Favorite is a tricky thing.

I certainly cannot begrudge anyone who would pick 2006, but I can't do it.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:49 PM ^

It's interesting that you should mention that.

One of my friends theorized that Bo's death affected Lloyd a great deal and it's not so much that he lost the will as much as he was trying to honor his mentor by letting his team's play on the field do the talking.  It's what Bo would have done and he was trying to follow that lead.

This may be something else we never know.  Unless Lloyd writes a book.  Which I don't see happening.  Even though I would so read it.

Mr Mackey

January 19th, 2011 at 10:28 PM ^

i agree completely. that season was magical, with the ohio state game being one of the greatest games i've ever seen, even though we couldn't win it. The week leading up to the game, with Bo passing away and all the incredible hype that the game actually lived up to, will never be forgotten. Absolutely amazing year.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:26 PM ^

1997- National Championship and the beginning of a 10 game winning streak over PSU. It was fun to see their hatred boil up over the years. You would think someone kidnapped their first born.

Michigan Manders

January 19th, 2011 at 10:34 PM ^

Yeah we definitely weren't Big Ten Champions that year; we only made it to National Champions.

Anyway, 2010 due to Denard Robinson and I only really got into Michigan football in 2007 (though I'm now the biggest fan out of my entire family, where my parents both went to Michigan and my sister is currently a senior there.).

The Baughz

January 19th, 2011 at 11:00 PM ^

For me, it was 2006 by a long shot. We werent really ranked that high in the preseason polls. Then we went into South Bend and whipped that ass and that put us on the radar so to speak. Yes, we lost to oh st, but it was the first time both were undefeated, and ranked 1 and 2. It was the game we all dream about. Unfortunately, we didnt come out on top, but I will never forget that day. Taking a shot in remembrance of Bo before kickoff with 20 friends/family all rooting for Michigan, It was the most electric atmosphere for a Michigan game that I was ever apart of. (Not counting actually being at the Big House of course). It was a day I will nevr forget.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:37 PM ^

Someone suggested last night that the 1994 team was snakebit in an incredible fashion:

1). The Kordell Stewart ...look we don't need to go back over this, but it's also funny that Penn State hates this game, because if we had won, it would have helped the perception of their strength of schedule and they would have been national champions.

2). The playcalling was suspect.

3). The team may have just "given up" near the end.

And yet, with four losses, Michigan still finished the year ranked #12.

Benoit Balls

January 19th, 2011 at 10:45 PM ^

but you did so much more succinctly that I was preparing to do. nice job

*as an aside, am I alone in thinking after losing that year to the Buffs, that mentally, the team didnt believe they could beat Penn State? That game should have been"The Clash of the Titans" or so it seemed at the beginning of the season, but once the loss to Colorado happened, the wind was kinda out of the sails?


January 20th, 2011 at 6:18 AM ^

Wheatley took the first snap to the house and Mich followed with another score shortly thereafter to go up 17-16. 

PSU & Mich then traded touchdowns (I forget the order), with PSU converting the 2pt try and the game was tied at 24-24.

Penn State went up 31-24 on a pass from Kerry Collins to Freddie Scott.

Mich took its final possession near its own 30.  Wheatley took the ball to mid-field on a heroic run, almost breaking loose to take it all-the-way after breaking multiple tackles and rumbling, bumblin, stumblin.  We got to the PSU 40, but we turned it over on downs to end the game.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:58 PM ^

Never really hit the ground running that year with Wheatley starting out injured.  The D really underperformed that year as well.  There some good talent on that D...Ty Law, Trevor Pryce, Steve Morrisson, Jason Horn, Irons, etc.  I remember that 94 PSU game vividly.  I remember getting home from the game and watching it agian on tape.  Keith Jackson was in his prime that year...called a hell of a game.

Benoit Balls

January 19th, 2011 at 10:31 PM ^

I was a junior in high school down here in C-Town, we had Wheatley and Law, and we beat #5 tsio 28-0. All the Buckeye fans were awfully quiet that following Monday. And growing up that was (and still is) the best part of beating OSU...I had 9 months of being able to simply reply to any of their insane ramblings  with "Scoreboard". Oh how I miss those days 


January 20th, 2011 at 9:33 AM ^

I was a freshman at Michigan and that was definitely my favorite year.  That OSU game was crazy - my shins were bruised for weeks after that game from jumping around the stands with my buddies and falling all over the place.  It was outstanding.

Mi Sooner

January 19th, 2011 at 10:42 PM ^

was worse than the northwestern game from a crappy/shitty weather standpoint.  All I remember from the purdue game was that my dad and his two sisters (yes, my aunts) were in a car just before game start.  i being much younger and stupid said, 'give a ticket, i'm going'.  my dad's youger sister said, well if you're going i'm going.  we walked across the golf course in a blizzard; got tot he club house in stinging sleet; got to our seats with the wind blowing like snot with rain.  it took me days to warm up again.  it was warmer with less wind than the Northwestern game.


funniest moment in the purdue game was watching mercury hayes going for a pass in the game; he dove for the ball and did a belly slide through a mud puddle/lake along the north east out-of-bounds side line.  i really felt for him -- that just had to suck.  he hydroplaned on the surface of the puddle for about 10feet before sinking into the deepest part of the lake, err puddle.  the stadium was grass during that era and not good grass either.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:39 PM ^

1 1/2 Part Bourbon Whiskey

1 tsp superfine sugar

1/4 part grenadine

Shake over ice

Pour unstrained into rocks glass

Top with

4-5 Parts Bo Merlot

Twist of the yellowest lemon you can find

True Blue in CO

January 19th, 2011 at 10:42 PM ^

After starting 1-2, the Michigan passing game began to materialize with John Wangler and Anthony Carter. Throw in the running of Butch Woolfolk and a defense that improved as the season went on. Learned the terms like McCartney's Monsters and Chorus Line Defense from Ufer. Great finish beating Art Schlichter at OSU and wearing down Washington to win Bo's first Bowl game. Great Joy that season.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:44 PM ^

My sophomore year.  Brady was the man, although it took a little while for the staff to realize it and give him the job full-time.  Almost every game that year went down to the wire, usually in our favor.  That may have been our best passing team ever.  Brady at QB, a great pass-blocking OL, David Terrell, Marquise Walker, Marcus Knight and DiAllo Johnson at WR, a few good TEs (Shawn Thompson, Bennie Joppru), Aaron Shea at FB and A-Train at RB.  The D had some awesome talent in the front seven (Rob Renes, James Hall, Josh Williams, Dhani Jones, Ian Gold) but was a little thin in the secondary.  If only William Peterson hadn't been kicked off the team... 


January 19th, 2011 at 10:47 PM ^

Good early win over ND 26-22, tough win on the road over Wisconsin, terrific comeback down 10 at Penn St in the 4th, Brady to Quise with about 5 minutes left to beat OSU, OT win over Bama for our only BCS win, not bad...


January 19th, 2011 at 10:48 PM ^

I'll take 1999 over 2006 almost anyday.  Beat OSU and beat Alabama in the Orange Bowl.  Great comeback win at Happy Valley too.  2006 was nice but losing to OSU and losing the Rose Bowl takes the shine off 2006 some.

1985:  10-1-1.  Beat Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl and finished #2 in the rankings at the end of the year.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:52 PM ^

1985. No. 2 in the land, beating Nebraska in a great Fiesta Bowl game. Also beat tsio.  Jim Harbaugh was a hell of a leader. The year that signaled the early tremors of the shift towards a more pass confident offensive style using a pocket gunslinger type quarterback.   Seen also in 86, but coming to full flower under Moeller and then Lloyd.


January 19th, 2011 at 10:56 PM ^

I would say 1999 because they finished the season with wins over Ohio State and also had the memorable game in the Orange bowl vs. Alabama.  Plus the first time I got to watch a game inside The Big House was that year against Notre Dame.


January 19th, 2011 at 11:22 PM ^

i concur with 1999.

Interesting story: Brandon Short (one of Penn State's starting LBs that season, next to Arrington) is now a good friend and former colleague of mine, and when we first met I started talking about my undergraduate years at Michigan -- including the comeback win at Happy Valley that the MMB attended.  I had to bite my tongue on my own enthusiasm for that game because he clearly was a bit sour about it all.

Good guy, just didn't want him to hate me for more than three minutes.


January 19th, 2011 at 11:23 PM ^

I have to say 2006, but I enjoyed 2008 just as much. At the time it was a very hard season to be a Michigan fan, but looking back I realize that that season was so chaotic you had to enjoy it. During the year I thought we could get no lower, but that made Lloyd's finale against Florida that much better.