August 23rd, 2013 at 10:31 PM ^

Uh, if Hoke keeps recruiting like he is and we continue to make strides on both sides of the ball, we'll be up there with the best teams in the country. The former appears to be happening. The latter, we'll have to see. I'm not ready to declare [facing Bama again] a loss by any means.


August 23rd, 2013 at 11:59 PM ^

If you look through all the major BCS type teams they pretty much all have a marquee game lined up through 2019.  The reason I looked was I was trying to figure out who could replace ND and that last minute pull out by the Golden Domers made it hard to replace with anyone of equal value until 2020.  From memory I think Georgia had a pretty cupcake non conference but their "major rivalry" with GA Tech would stop a home and home, but maybe they'd consider a 1 off.  LSU is tied up 2 of those 2015+ years but had 2 years open, and there was one other school.  But you'd be surprised how many teams already have locked up schedules.  Oklahoma is a team I'd love to see Michigan play since Texas is out of the question with 2 home and homes with Notre Dame.  But they have a home and home with OSU and Tenn and LSU lined up the next 6 years after this one, etc.  Again that was home and home analysis so if we schedule this we might be able to get someone to come play for a one off but personally this neutral site stuff is against my view of college athletics where it's about the traditions, pageantry, unique home crowd stuff, etc.  But I realize the only tradition that matters nowadays is $$$$.

Ty Butterfield

August 23rd, 2013 at 8:51 PM ^

Yeah sounds great. There will be another whole scuttlebutt when DB refuses to bring the band or ask for donations up front to pay the expenses for the band. Also a primetime game at a "neutral" site where Michigan will probably get embarrassed on national TV.


August 23rd, 2013 at 9:46 PM ^

The fact is that you need cupcakes. A good schedule is a mixture of a couple of elite teams, a pack of middling teams, and several bad teams. Historically that has been the case for most teams.


This idea of "taking on all comers" is macho bravado that ignores the physical toll such games put on a team.


August 23rd, 2013 at 8:53 PM ^

The ONLY way I would want this is if it was not a Southern school.  I have no desire to play an away game of that magnitude to start the season.  USC would be fine and intriguing, or even a Texas school, but no Florida school and no SEC.  And if these kickoff games are going to be a thing.  The Midwest and Northeast have got to get it going, since that's the only time they can get a big time warm region school to come.


August 24th, 2013 at 9:00 AM ^

I wonder if that could become a "thing" where teams play every few years at a nearby NFL stadium and not just during kickoffs. Stadiums are smaller but it is a different environment and a great deal of fun.


August 24th, 2013 at 8:46 AM ^

The article even quotes somebody as saying that they envision more than just the Chick Fil A game and Cowboys Classic. I don't see why they couldn't do the same thing in Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, or East Rutherford. Atlanta has a huge tourism boost from the CFA game, SEC championship, and CFA Bowl and will soon be part of the playoff sites. Why doesn't a B1G city try this?


August 23rd, 2013 at 9:01 PM ^

Fuck that.  I don;t want to support lining the pockets of some CEO whose only connection to CFB is to make money off of it.

Home and homes please, even if it brings in less money.  How great would it be to take a roadtrip to the great campuses of the nation that we never get to see?!


August 23rd, 2013 at 9:04 PM ^

If recruiting pans out as most of us expect it to, I will not be afraid for Michigan to play anybody. Would love to play Miami or Florida St from the ACC. I would also love to play LSU, Texas A&M, Florida, or even Alabama in 2015. I don't think Michigan would get embarrassed.

Section 1

August 23rd, 2013 at 10:15 PM ^

Very, very few.

Bo's teams had a habit of making pretty good teams look like cupcakes.

Anyway, not too much credit or blame rests with Bo.  It mostly rests with Don Canham.

A sampling of out-of-conferfence opponents in the Schembechler Era:

  • 1969:  Vanderbilt, Washington, Missouri
  • 1970:  Arizona, Washtington, Texas A&M
  • 1971:  Virginia, UCLA, Navy
  • 1972:  UCLA, Tulane, Navy
  • 1973:  Stanford, Navy, Oregon
  • 1974:  Colorado, Navy, Stanford
  • 1975:  Stanford, Baylor, Missouri
  • 1976:  Stanford, Navy, Wake Forest
  • 1977:  Duke, Navy, Texas A&M
  • 1978:  Notre Dame, Duke, Arizona
  • 1979:  Notre Dame, Kansas, Cal
  • 1980:  Notre Dame, South Carolina (featuring Heisman winner George Rogers), Cal
  • 1981:  Notre Dame, Navy (nine Conference games)
  • 1982:  Notre Dame, UCLA
  • 1983:  Washington State, Washington
  • 1984:  Miami (YTM), Washington
  • 1985:  Notre Dame, South Carolina, Maryland
  • 1986:  Notre Dame, Oregon State, Florida State
  • 1987:  Notre Dame, Washington State, Long Beach State
  • 1988:  Notre Dame, Miami (YTM), Wake Forest
  • 1989:  Notre Dame, UCLA, Maryland

What is really, truly astonishing about this list is that Bo Schembechler teams almost never faced out of conference tomato cans!  No UMass, no UConn, no Delaware State, no Eastern, no Ball State, no, uh, Appalachian State.

You could look it up.


August 23rd, 2013 at 11:50 PM ^

UVA, Tulane, Navy, Long Beach State, Vandy, Wake Forest, Cal, Duke, Arizona, Baylor, Mizzou, CU,A&M, Washington State, Oregon, Oregon State....these were ALL tomato cans.Many of these programs are as bad as any MAC school. (Wake,Duke, Vandy)

You have made the mistake of conflating recently acquired reputations with past play. That is not wise.South Carolina was a bad  program for decades.(excepting George Rogers Era)So was A&M. So too could be said of Oregon, Colorado, UVA,Arizona, etc.

Then we have to factor in that many big ten teams were simply atrocious. Northwestern, Minny, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois with MSU, and Purdue having intermittant success. Iowa under Fry was a solid program, but the Big Ten was awful. That is a big reason why Bo and Woody dominated for so long.

You are going to have to formulate a better argument than that one because it fails when one views the programs as they were then and not as they are now.


August 24th, 2013 at 12:58 AM ^

College football was a different sort of landscape back then. We've heard lots of talk about "parity" and the supposed effects of scholarship limitations, and it sounds like a broken record. Except that it is a very real change in the structure of the game.

Back in "the day," it wasn't unusual for certain teams to be so consistently terrible that they were more likely to have one or fewer conference wins than to break .500 in conference. Teams like Kansas State, Oregon State, and Northwestern were awful for decades. Most conferences had a couple of power teams and a bunch of mediocre ones.

So Michigan could play major conference teams without worrying that they would have a good season. My Dad would take me to a game every year when I was a boy, and we typically picked a less significant game since we couldn't watch it on tv and the tickets would be cheap; often this meant a non-conference game. Playing a major-conference team was common. Losing to them was unthinkable, because they were terrible. 

Things have changed. Teams like K-State and Northwestern won their conferences in the 90s, and now it is generally understood that almost any team in a major conference is capable of emerging as a contender if managed correctly. Any team Michigan might schedule 5-10 years down the road could be terrible or could be outstanding. If, for example, they had come to an agreement in 2005 to play Stanford (then in the PAC basement and thought by some to be a permanent fixture) in a home-and-home beginning this year, imagine how surprising their current strength would be. Similarly, imagine that Michigan had gone ahead and scheduled a long-term series with Colorado in 1996--would've seemed great at the time, would be a laughable matchup today.

Section 1

August 24th, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^ your view, virtually the entire college football landscape was populated with tomato cans during the Michigan coaching tenure of Bo Schembechler.

The eight-tenths of the Big Ten.  (The non-tomato cans were Michigan and Ohio State, is presumptively your position.)  Bo had it easy, playing all nine other conference teams every year.

The entire Pac-8, save for USC were tomato cans to you.  (Never mind Stanford and Washington beating us in the Rose Bowl.)

Mizzou, the team that curbstomped Bo's first team in 1969, was another tomato can, you say.  I expect that the entire Big Eight were tomato cans, apart from Oklahoma and Nebraska.  Ditto the Southwest Conference, excepting Texas.

Naturally, the entire ACC were tomato cans.  We lost to one of those tomato cans, the North Carolina Tarheel team featuring Lawrence Taylor.

Bo must have been gutless, to fail to schedule the best SEC teams, like we do so regularly now.



August 24th, 2013 at 11:13 AM ^

These would have been the rankings as of the game played against UM.

1969:  Vanderbilt, Washington, Missouri (9)
1970:  Arizona, Washington, Texas A&M
1971:  Virginia, UCLA, Navy
1972:  UCLA (6), Tulane (18), Navy
1973:  Stanford, Navy, Oregon
1974:  Colorado, Navy, Stanford
1975:  Stanford, Baylor, Missouri (5)
1976:  Stanford, Navy, Wake Forest
1977:  Duke, Navy, Texas A&M (5)
1978:  Notre Dame (14), Duke, Arizona
1979:  Notre Dame (9), Kansas, Cal
1980:  Notre Dame (8), South Carolina, Cal
1981:  Notre Dame (1), Navy
1982:  Notre Dame (20), UCLA (12)
1983:  Washington State, Washington (16)
1984:  Miami (1), Washington (16)
1985:  Notre Dame (13), South Carolina (11), Maryland (17)
1986:  Notre Dame, Oregon State, Florida State (20)
1987:  Notre Dame (16), Washington State, Long Beach State
1988:  Notre Dame (13), Miami  (1), Wake Forest
1989:  Notre Dame (1), UCLA (24), Maryland

The lack of a ranking doesn't automatically mean that a particular team was a true tomato can; the 1974 Stanford team finished second in the PAC 10 that year, with its only conference loss to eventual #2 USC. Given our struggles against PAC10 opponents in the Rose Bowl, I think it's dumb to label a PAC10 opponent a tomato can anyhow. The real tomato cans Bo played during his first decade were other Big 10 conference teams, which is something Canham had no control over. Once ND was added to the schedule, the OOC strength went dramatically up. If I recall correctly, the Long Beach game was a fill-in due to another stronger OOC team deciding to cancel its scheduled game with UM, but I can't find any corroborating evidence. I do remember that Bo was sort of disgusted at having to play them, since they were a true tomato can in every respect.


August 24th, 2013 at 12:24 PM ^

Nowhere did I call Stanford or Washington tomato cans. I called Oregon a tomato can, which they certainly were. Between 1970 and 1980 Oregon's best record was 5-6. That is very similiar to what EMU has done. Cal was equally wretched.

Arizona was historically bad. They were a very bad program for a long time. Granted, UM only beat them by 4, but Arizona was still a bad team.

You could criticize my inclusion of Baylor because they did have some level of success. It was inconsistent, but they did achieve it under Grant Teaff. 



August 24th, 2013 at 2:36 PM ^

to Eastern Michigan University?

From 1970 to 1980, Oregon had 30 guys drafted, with 11 in the first four rounds, including Dan Fouts, Ahmad Rashad, Russ Francis, and Mario Clark. Not stellar numbers, but better than Iowa, IU, NW, Illinois of that time period.

EMU hasn't had that many drafted in its entire history, and in that time five have gone in the first four rounds.

Wolverine Devotee

August 23rd, 2013 at 9:40 PM ^

Who remembers the Mirage Bowl/Coca Cola Bowl?

It was played in Japan and they practically had to beg teams to come and give up a home game. sparty and wisconsin had to play there in 1993.