My 5 worst Michigan Defeats (1988-2008)

Submitted by MichiganManFro… on August 14th, 2008 at 1:38 PM

1.) The worst day of my life! Appy state!

2.) 2006 Ohio State

3.) 1994 Colorado

4.) 2005 ND

5.) 2005 Texas Rose Bowl/ 2006 USC Rose bowl


 I probably forgot some?

Whats ur worst?



August 14th, 2008 at 1:44 PM ^

again, only order is the one that they pop into my head:

07 OSU

all three Rose Bowls this millenium

94 Colorado

Appy State (would be higher, but I didn't actually watch that one.  still, it's the one that I most wish never happened, except for 06/07 OSU.)

MSU clock game (01?)

MSU BS pass interference no-call ('91?)

Citrus Bowl vs. Tennessee ('02?)


August 14th, 2008 at 2:06 PM ^

 The 2006 OSU game sucked, but I can stomach a three point loss to a great team on the road.

 1.)  Tie App State and Oregon.  I didn't see App State  (no BTN) but I got to see the next game in all its terrible agony.  Oregon could have easily put up 50 if they wanted to.  Terrible day.

2.)  Dusty Fukcin' Mangum.  FUCK.

3.)  2007 Rose Bowl.  Could have ended the year in a great way, instead they get shelled.  That "great" defense was exposed as a fraud.  Just really left a bad taste in my mouth.

4.)   2001 Northwestern.  Great game ends in pure heartbreak.  Damn you A-Train. 

5.)  Colorado 1994.



August 14th, 2008 at 2:24 PM ^

1) Colorado 1994. Please don't rush three and let that little bastard throw the ball 70 yards...then it was really quiet.

2) MSU 2001. Spartan Bob. Oh yeah, Jeremy LeSeuer getting a personal foul on 4th and 15 with 2 minutes left in the game.

3) MSU 1991. Eddie Brown tackled Desmond Howard on the two point conversion. In my opinion he still caught the ball (lost it when he hit the ground). Rocovered an onside kick and came inches away from completing the hail mary on the last play.

4) Illinois sometime in the mid 90's. Ricky Powers fumble while Michigan was running out the clock. Johnny Johnson drives the Illini for the winning TD. Lou Tepper still sucks.

5) OSU 2007. Once The University of Ohio State got to 14 they stopped trying. They knew Henne couldn't throw. The game was over as long as they didn't turn the ball over. 35 punts later they were right.



August 14th, 2008 at 2:07 PM ^

Was a fun game to watch! A shootout against a great team that came down to a last second kick. Not sure I could rank that as a worse defeat.


August 14th, 2008 at 2:34 PM ^

I didn't mind losing that one very much.

Worst five would be tuos 06 and 05, 05 was my senior year and it was brutal because we had the damn game and just blew it.  06 was bad because it was #1 vs. #2. 

After those 2 I really hated the 05 ND loss, the alamo bowl game vs. nebraska was the most I ever swore in my life, bigger problem with the refs than the game though.  I'd say the last one would either be SC in 07 rose bowl or Oregon 07 just because we played terribly in the 2nd half against SC and most of the game against Oregon. 

Blue Durham

August 14th, 2008 at 2:35 PM ^

My 5 (if we really have to be limited to 5) worse defeats.

1) 1988 Miami (Fla.) 31-30.  Bo snatches defeat from the jaws of victory.  Had 16 point lead with about 7 minutes left.  Miami doesn't even have to call a time out during their comeback! 

2) 2006 Ohio State 42-39.  Aghhhh, what the fuck happened to our dominating defense!!!!  Oh yeah, Troy Smith.

3) 1981 at Wisconsin, 21-14.  1st game of the season, practically unanimous preseason ranked #1!  Cover of Sports Illustrated - welcome to the curse.  Wisconsin rivaled Northwestern for worst in the Big Ten until this year (and game).  Anthony Carter, Butch Woolfolk, Stan Edwards, Steve Smith on offense, great defense.  So much talent, what a waste.

4) 1991 FSU 51-31.  M ranked #3, FSU #1.  FSU was huge and fast.  M totally overmatched.

5) 1972 Rose Bowl vs. Stanford, 13-12  Bo's best team he ever had, undefeated going in.  Killed everyone going into the game except OSU.  FG with less than half a minute for Stanford to win the game.

Tim Waymen

August 14th, 2008 at 4:05 PM ^

What happened there?  Why did we lose to Minnesota? I know much of Michigan's history in terms of wins and losses, but I don't know about what transpired in the actual games themselves, as I have only been a fan since freshman year in 2003 (those losses to Oregon and Iowa both really sucked).

Blue Durham

August 14th, 2008 at 4:26 PM ^

Michigan was not ready for the Minnesota game in Ann Arbor, which the week before the game at OSU.  Michigan was undefeated and #2 in the country.  Minnesota was 5-4 and lost several squeekers 63-0, 52-23 and 33-0.  Michigan was favored by 25 points.  Minnesota won it on a 30 yard FG on the last play of the game.  Totally looking ahead to OSU.

A dejected Jim Harbaugh, sitting in the locker room after the game and talking to reporters, guarentees that Michigan would win the game at #7 Ohio State.  Bo nearly crapped in his pants when he heard.  That OSU games was one of the best ever.

OSU led in the 1st half 14-3; at the half 14-6.  Michigan went on a 23-3 run and held on to win 26-24 and OSU's kicker Matt Franz barely misssed a 45 yard FG on the last play of the game.  Best game I ever attended. 

[edit] After the OSU game, Bo said that he would guarenteed the win to but he didn't have the guts to do it.


August 14th, 2008 at 4:21 PM ^

And why did Bo always lose Rose Bowls?  I remember when I was young, I used to flip through this sports almanac lying around my house.  I noticed that 1971 season, eleven straight wins and a one point loss in the final game. I always wondered about that game.  I listened to an interview with Bo once where he mentioned that season.  He said there were three or four other undefeated teams that year ranked ahead of Michigan in the polls, so they might not have one a 'ship even if they won the game, but that still sucks.

Blue Durham

August 14th, 2008 at 4:39 PM ^

Bo has a lot of explanations (excuses) to this in his book "Bo" and his standard is that "the OSU took too much out of the team" and that they place all of their emphasis on the winning the Big Ten.

Horseshit.  Bo was often out-coached and lost to teams that were inferior.  Almost always, it was the offense that let the team down.  The offense points bears this out:  1969 season (3 points), 1971 (12); 1975 (Orange Bowl) (6); 1976 (6); 1977 (20 - yah! but still lost); 1978 (10); 1980 (23 - yah, we won!); 1982 (14); 1986 (15); 1988 (22 - yeah, won again!!); 1989 (10).  Pretty pitiful numbers and always WAY below the season's average.

Bo found out repeatedly that he couldn't cram the ball down the throat of the Pac-8/Pac-10 champion.  Either the other team hung around to win the game at the end, or they built a decent lead and Bo never had teams that could mount a comeback.  Didn't have much of a passing offense until the 1980's.


August 14th, 2008 at 2:44 PM ^

people always mention that game, but for some reason it really didnt bother me. fsu was unbelievable that day. some games you just have to applaud the better team

Blue Durham

August 14th, 2008 at 2:47 PM ^

I was at that game, and I could not believe how huge FSU's OLine was.  But I have never seen a Michigan team so outmanned at home.  Also, expectations were a little higher due to being highly ranked going into the game.


August 14th, 2008 at 3:20 PM ^

Yeah, we were exposed.  Terelle Buckley taking Elvis' first pass for a pick six was great.  Still, I agree that this one isn't in the worst category.

'88 Miami was when I was a High School senior and had just received my acceptance letter to Michigan.  For as much as I love Bo, this was a major choke.

'90 MSU has to be one of the worst b/c we were ranked #1 in the country at the time and it was just a bullshit no-call on Desmond.

The Colorado game was the best seats I ever had at Michigan Stadium.  After the completion, the stadium was silent.  Nobody knew what to do.

Appalachain State is on the list not because it was such an upset, but because it was emblematic of arrogance and all the times that we overlooked or didn't put away an "inferior" team.

Spot number five, I'll generically allocate to "every game that we should have won but pissed away for various reasons."  Getting outplayed, or beaten by superior talent, might burst a bubble but shouldn't be too hurtful.  Losing a game you should have won just leaves you wondering "What if...?" for years that follow.

The Barwis Effect

August 14th, 2008 at 9:50 PM ^

"people always mention that game, but for some reason it really didnt bother me. fsu was unbelievable that day. some games you just have to applaud the better team"

Agreed.  I was there that day ... it was actually an enjoyable game to watch.  


One of my worst in-person defeats would have to be the 1996 Northwestern game.


Scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, Northwestern stormed back to stun the Wolverines, 17-16 on a last second FG.


August 14th, 2008 at 2:45 PM ^

I can name a number of "bad" losses, but none was worse than The Horror for me.  As an undergrad at UM, I never had a chance to go to a game because I had band practice every Saturday (and I rarely went out as it were).  The first game I actually went to was the App State game.  That was just surreal.

OSU in '06 was bad though, too, especially since the bar I was watching it at was had the game on both satellite and antenna, so there was a delay between the two sets of TV's in the bar.


August 14th, 2008 at 3:11 PM ^

(5) 2007 Rose Bowl

(4) 2007 App St

(3) 2007 OSU (always disappointing when your punter is your games MVP)

(2) 2006 OSU (always disappointing when you lose such close, big game)

(1) 2005 OSU (we were up 11 with 8 minutes left and lost) 

Blue Durham

August 14th, 2008 at 4:57 PM ^

I sort of agree about 1969, but it was his game plan and his asst. coaches and philosophy.  And the result lines up with most of his subsequent results.

Regarding OSU, not quite as crappy, but close.  They did win in 1968 and were National Champions.  But both Woody and Bo had same approach to the game, so, yeah, I guess it isn't surprising that they would have similarly crappy records.


August 14th, 2008 at 5:12 PM ^

So basically ultra-conservative play calling did Bo in?  Also, wasn't the Pac-8/10 regarded as more of a passing conference than Big-Ten, Big-8, SEC, Southwestern Conference, etc.?  That's obviously an adjustment from playing pound the rock Big Ten ball the whole year.

Blue Durham

August 14th, 2008 at 5:22 PM ^

Pac-8/Pac-10 was more balanced, particularly USC.  They had a parade of backs from Mike Garrett, OJ Simpson, Marcus Allen, Charles White, etc. ad nauseum.  But they also had good QBs that threw the ball, and not just on 3rd down.

I loved Bo and what he did and brought to the program.  Wouldn't trade him for anybody.  But I always thought that Bo's biggest shortcoming was that he rarely made a defense respect the pass on 1st and 2nd down (unless 2nd and long), unless Michigan was way behind and had to throw.  Good teams will stop that, and although the Big Ten champion was almost always the favorite, the Pac-10 champion was a good team and would have repeated success in stopping OSU and Michigan back then.


August 14th, 2008 at 7:35 PM ^

when you're actually there. watching on TV isn't usually as bad.

1995 NW. We were undefeated, it was my first year in Ann Arbor, and my sister was at NW. oh yeah, and they were stealing our signals.

1998 Notre Dame. So much for defending the championship. We were winning, and squandered away the second half. It took 4 hours to leave the stadium, my car over heated in the traffic jam. didn't get back to Ann Arbor until like 4 am.

listen to the commentary at the end of that clip. disgusting.

1998 Syracuse. So we sucked against mobile QB's that year. We were down 17-0 before I could even get in the stadium

1999 Illinois. This was one of the worst teams we ever lost to. We had a huge lead late and just screwed the pooch.…

and the only game on this list that I wasn't at personally

2005 minnesota. We're playing for overtime, they're playing for overtime and we give up a 61 yard run. This is the game that made me lose faith in LLoyd Carr.

Honorable mention: the msu clock game. a. there was a BS flag to get them down there. b. the clock. c. flagrant HOLDING.


August 14th, 2008 at 8:21 PM ^

I know this is supposed to be a football list, but rather than list 5 games that have all already been mentioned, I'd like to mention this year's hockey Frozen Four game vs. Notre Dame. The North Dakota game the year before also sucked, but the last one was worse because Sauer had somehow become the best goalie in the CCHA during the regular season and then gave up two atrocious goals and a third weak one in twenty minutes. That game crushed me as bad as any non Appalachian State football game has ever done.

Jim Harbaugh S…

August 14th, 2008 at 10:40 PM ^

1. Appy state - Michigan Against the World had the best description of this game "complete and udder shame."  I can't say it any better than this.

2. Oregon '07 - I had to change the channel it go so bad, and I never had to do that before.  I think I felt worse after this game than the Appy state one.

3. OSU '05 - I really thought we had them, what a let down.

4. ND '05 - Just a pathetic display of offense, terrible game managment - this loss really set the tone for the '05 season.

5. OSU '07 - Just a pathetic attempt, I've never seen a Michigan team look so piss poor. 


August 15th, 2008 at 7:50 AM ^

2007 was like getting punched in the balls with brass knuckles for three hours, but I think 2003 was ultimately more depressing. In 03, M still had a shot in the 4th despite not being able to punt and general incompetence throughout the game. If you go back in time and change the outcome of the game, and leave the rest of the season the same, M has a really good shot at being in the thick of the national title hunt. So, with the benefit of hindsight, that's the one that sucked the worse for me.


August 15th, 2008 at 8:54 AM ^

Uggh.  My stomach hurts just making this list.

1.  Worst in-person loss.  1996 vs. Northwestern.  We were up 16-0, ranked #5 and undefeated 5-0.  17 unanswered points later, we go home embarassed.  Long drive home from that one.

2. 1991 vs. Florida State.  They blew us right off the field, they were faster.  Much, much faster.

3. 2002 vs Ohio State.  14-9.  We got screwed out of a touchdown.

4. 2006 Ohio State.  #1 vs. #2.  Shawn Crable --Why the late hit?  Why?  42-39.  ARRRGGH!



August 15th, 2008 at 6:03 PM ^

4. 2006 Ohio State.  #1 vs. #2.  Shawn Crable --Why the late hit?  Why?  42-39.  ARRRGGH!

Not a late hit -- it was helmet-to-helmet.  Remember?  Especially since the next week it was UCLA and USC, and of course the highlight reel clip from that game was a -- you guessed it -- helmet-to-helmet hit that was not called.


August 15th, 2008 at 9:23 PM ^

As a Syracuse alumnus as well, this was a beautiful, beautiful beating.  38-7 before the Lloyd kept his first team in to score garbage points on the SU second string late in the 4th.


August 15th, 2008 at 9:42 PM ^

Holy hell, that is a point less than Oregon.  I've heard how that game was a beating, but I had no freakin' clue it was that ugly.  Did McNabb just abuse Michigan like Dixon did? 

Maybe McNabb is Dixon's father?


August 15th, 2008 at 9:58 PM ^

That was my freshman year at SU. The week before we lost to eventual national champion Tennessee on what is still the worst call I have ever witnessed. We had no idea what to expect in Ann Arbor. It was surreal walking in to the Big House rooting for the opponent, but it was a sweet, sweet day.  McNabb was out of his mind.


That said, on the other topic of non-conference scheduling, I'd love to see another home and home with between my two alma maters. 


August 18th, 2008 at 9:15 AM ^

I was wondering when the pain of the Syracuse game would make the list.  That was actually worse than the FSU game (I was at both).  McNabb was insane.  This was far worse than oregon, because our 1998 team was actually good.  Typically Lloyd choke job against ND and a road loss to OSU resulting in a Big Ten Co-Championship as I recall.

There is no reason to EVER schedule a home and home with Syracuse again.  Dreisbach, that was the single worst town I have ever been to.  And I'm from the Detroit area.

The Syracuse fans make Spartans and Buckeyes look like saints.  The stadium is an dome...  I guess that they are aspiring to be Minnesota.  Some drunken jackass and his crew came very close to punching my girl friend (now wife) as we left the stadium simply becuase she was wearing Michigan attire.  Simply the worst football experience of my life. 

When I let the emotion of get out of my judgement, the things that were the problems with my Syracuse experience were three items.  The game was scheduled for 8pm, so most of the fans in attendance were very drunk, leading to some very poor behavior.  Two, the HVAC dome sells beer during the game, continuing the downward spiral started by the late start.  And three, the game was very close, coming down to Michigan stopping Syracuse on their final drive, as I recall.  Combine the beer with the close finish, and there were certainly some upset people.

About the dome, as crappy as that stadium is, it should be mentioned as one of the loudest in the country (when the team playing there is competitive).  I have not been to any of the loud SEC stadiums for a game, but I've been to Columbus, and there is no comparison.  The Carrier Dome is significanty louder.