Poll: Greatest Michigan Football Game of the 90s?

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on September 22nd, 2011 at 5:55 PM

I've been wondering this and am doing this piece for a project I'm working on. What was, in your opinon, Michigan's greatest game (win) of the 1990s?

It's been picking at me all day. Virginia in 1995 was an exciting finish and a great comeback, But I still can't say it was better than 1995 or 1997 against ohio. 

Your opinions on the greatest game of the 90s greatly appreciated.




September 22nd, 2011 at 7:44 PM ^

What about the 1997 Rose Bowl game against Washington State University ? I know it doesn't have the glitz and glamor of the tSIO game only a few weeks earlier but it did cap a perfect season and resulted in a National Championship for Michigan.  To this day, I can still remember Bob Griese choking up in the press box as he watched his son finish off the undefeated campaign.   


September 22nd, 2011 at 7:57 PM ^

All of those were awesome.  Shows what a great decade that was.

But the one that sticks in my mind, because of historical significance, is still 1997 OSU.  Big 10, National Championship, and the Heisman all on the line. 


September 22nd, 2011 at 7:58 PM ^

I think you have to go with '97 OSU.  The anticipation was incredible.  Here we'd ruined two straight undefeated campaigns by OSU and now they had a chance to do the same to us.  David Boston had publicly trashed Woodson and predicted a big win.  There was the Heisman race wrapping up between Woodson and Manning.  Would Woodson come through?  Would Michigan complete the dream regular season? 

And then the game itself was a classic defensive struggle with the occasional big play (Woodson's long reception and his punt return) being the diference.  Our final 4th-down stop was maybe the most exhilerating feeling I've ever had as a fan.  The Rose Bowl was almost anticlimactic after that.


Benoit Balls

September 22nd, 2011 at 8:23 PM ^

but from a purely selfish standpoint, I'd have to put the 1993 OSU victory, where an unranked, 4 loss Michigan team beat #5 OSU 28-0, right near the top. Living just outside of Cleveland, I was surrounded by OSU fans, who took every opportunity to talk smack and tell me about how badly OSU was going to beat Michigan. The following Monday was one of the most fun days I ever had in high school. I walked around all day with a big stupid perma-smile on my face, and for the next 9 months, all I had to say was "Scoreboard"


September 22nd, 2011 at 8:34 PM ^

I was at that game.  Some local Columbus OH TV station had given out plastic roses that the buckeye fans brought with them, since a win and the Rose Bowl were all but guaranteed in their minds.

After the game, the plastic roses were discarded all over Michigan stadium.  I still have one to this day.



September 22nd, 2011 at 8:42 PM ^

93 Rose Bowl -- Wheatley 235 yards on just 15 carries (15.7 avg.)

95 OSU -- 313

97 OSU --  "I make plays baby.  Hey I make plays that's all I do.  They do all the talkin'.  I do the walkin' baby."

97 PSU -- Finest defensive performances you'll ever see from the Wolverines

Ali G Bomaye

September 23rd, 2011 at 11:39 AM ^

I second the 1993 Rose Bowl against Washington.  Wheatley was simply incredible, and it avenged our Rose Bowl loss to them the year before.  Plus, it clinched the undefeated dream season of 1992.

Before his shoulder injury, Wheatley was the fastest player in pads that I've ever seen.  I never tire of watching his first run in this video - the first play of the second half of that Rose Bowl.  He blows by two safeties, each of whom has a 15 yard head start on him, in the space of about 30 yards:


Zone Left

September 22nd, 2011 at 8:51 PM ^

I remember an interview with Beano Cook prior to the 1997 season where he said something to the effect of:

     "Michigan is going to have a really strong team this year, they may only lose one game. However, that game will be against Penn State. They may as well call off the game, give Penn State the win, and let the Michigan band march around on the field for an hour. That way everyone will go home happy."

I have no idea why that's stuck with me so long.

That said, the best game for me was definitely against OSU in 1997 and it's not close. None of the others are so sweet without that win. That defense was so, so good.


September 22nd, 2011 at 8:56 PM ^

Surprised no one has mentioned Notre Dame, 1991.  Elvis to Desmond on 4th and 1.  Maybe not the greatest game overall, but heck of an ending!  Was at that game with my brother...good times.


September 23rd, 2011 at 9:13 PM ^

Me too.  I drove up from DC to that game and I was late.  I listened to our first drive on the radio where we marched efficiently down the field but had to settle for a field goal.  

I arrived as PSU was starting their drive.  My enrty to the stadium was at field level.  I go through the gate, turn into the stadium and what do I immediately see a few feet in front of my eyes?   McQuery "The Rooster" getting plucked on a sack as Penn State tried a trick play to slow down our lightning quick D.  Didn't work a lick.  Set the tone for the whole rest of the day. 


September 22nd, 2011 at 9:15 PM ^

I listen to the Revenge on Colorado on AFRTS on board a ship underway.  The penn st game was right after I got back from 6 months away from home and one of my navy buddys who was a penn st fan came over to watch it.....He didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did. 


September 23rd, 2011 at 10:49 AM ^

The revenge against Colorado happened the year before in Boulder.  That was the Fail Mary game.  1997 was just a regular pounding, which I loved.

As far as my favorite win of the 90's, that's a really tough one.  There's 7 wins over Ohio State, a couple Rose Bowl victories (one of which got us a national title) some great wins over Notre Dame (Grbac to Howard, Remy Hamilton) 4 bowl victories over SEC squads, victories over Wisconsin's Rose Bowl squads...hmm.

Even though it's not a rivalry game, I'm going with 1997 Penn State.  Highly anticipated match between 2 undefeated teams in November, on the road in a very hostile stadium.  That game was pure magic.  Both offense and defense dominate. 


September 22nd, 2011 at 9:55 PM ^

Michigan's defense just went down and spanked the number 1 team in the country right in the horseshoe. OSU looked so frustrated in the 4th quarter!  I can't wait until our defense returns to the levels of the mid and late 90s!

Naked Bootlegger

September 22nd, 2011 at 10:06 PM ^

1995:  Michigan defeats Mike Alstott/Purdue 5-0 in sloppy conditions at the Big House.  This was during the infamous turf years, I think.    1995 had some pretty interesting games, especially considering this was a 4-loss year.


/S...this game sucked balls.   It was worse than sticking a fork in my forehead repeatedly for 3.5 hours.   Luckily, Pam Ward did not call this game.


September 22nd, 2011 at 10:14 PM ^

At this time the internet did not have much content. Listening to radio sports show was the best way to get info on Michigan.  I just remember irate callers, calling in and wanting Carr fired for losing 4 games in both '95 and '96.  '96 we should have only lost the PSU game at home, all the other losses had their moments where we should have won!  Oh well, at least it all came together in '97!

Gulo Gulo Luscus

September 22nd, 2011 at 10:38 PM ^

but no one has mentioned colorado '94.  losing efforts shouldn't qualify but witnessing that is a one of a kind thing.  truth be told, i think UM (8-4) would have gone on to a great season instead of the buffs (11-1 with only loss to eventual champ nebraska) if we had pulled that out.

that said, i cried a lone tear when mercury hayes caught that ball in the corner.  i was 12 years old and that was definitely the moment i realized michigan football was as close to religion as i would ever know.


September 23rd, 2011 at 10:31 AM ^

it was an unreal day.  We attended Iowa and OSU, both of which were insanely memorable games. The OSU game was the best fan experience I've ever had, hands down.

the PSU game was different though. We came out SO fast and furious it was shocking.   From the hit on the kickoff to Woodson's seam route, we sat on the couch slack-jawed.




September 22nd, 2011 at 10:53 PM ^

Heisman pose, Michigan wins 31-3.  A very large contingent of Ohio fans left en masse at the end of the third quarter.  They were probably happy they did since many of them were sitting in Desmond's end zone.

It may not have been the closest game in Michigan history, but it sure felt great to be there.


September 22nd, 2011 at 11:10 PM ^

for it to be the best game of the 90's.


One that NEVER gets brought up is 1994 Penn State at Michigan,  best Penn State team in the Big Ten era by far.  Blew everyone off the field except Michigan ( Illinois lost by 4 but scored 14 points in the final couple minutes to make it close ultimately cost PSU the MNC)

Beautiful weather day, PSU rolled out to an solid haltime lead, on the second play from scrimage of the 2nd half Ty Wheatley burst through the line and went 65 yards for a TD.  Michigan Stadium exploded and it was one of the best 2nd halves I've ever witnessed.


Too many NFL players to mention, some remarkebly still playing.


For my entertainment dollars, one of the best afternoons I've ever spent in Michigan Stadium.


Look Up_See Blue

September 23rd, 2011 at 12:58 AM ^

1997 osu.  I was in the student section at the ripe age of 15.  Stormed the field after the game, stole a chunk of field from the South endzone after almost getting busted by a cop trying to do the same thing in the North endzone.  Then I ran all the way home without stopping.  I lived in a neighborhood off Liberty by the Eberwhite Woods at the time.  After all that I get home and no one in my family is home.  I put my Michigan Stadium chunk of endzone grass in a small flower pot and ran around the house going crazy by myself.  The following Monday at school my friends told me they saw me on TV.  That was the best sporting event i've ever been to in my life.


September 23rd, 2011 at 5:06 AM ^

Any Ohio State game sticks out above and beyond anything. Of those, I can't pick between '95 (BIAKABUTUKA!!! or '97. Probably the former since Woodson had a great game then too, and it was damn enjoyable to be there, ruining OSU's bid for a perfect season. The '97 game had higher stakes but I spent the whole game feeling nervous and hating their LBs. It didn't help that it was wet-cold and I had a fever.

There's also the '91 game against Indiana when I Desmond Howard and then Desmond Howard and I was all Desmond Howard and became a lifelong Michigan fan.

Then there's Michigan's only BCS bowl win, but that took place the day after the '90s ended.


September 23rd, 2011 at 10:20 AM ^

I was in school during the Virginia game and the OSU 95 game. Both amazing. I went to the 97 OSU and 98 Rose Bowl. I think 97 OSU has to be the winner but the 91 OSU game is up there too. It was first Michigan game I ever went to and where Desmond clinched the heisman. He had a great game. We beat OSU and one of the signature plays in the history of Michigan football, Desmond returning that punt, was made.


September 23rd, 2011 at 10:44 AM ^

My wife and I were in Key West with another couple and watched the game at one of the bars.  Sitting next to us was a table full of ex Nebraska football players.  After the games were over they came over and said "congratulations you guys are the best team".  To top it off Brian Griese's brother Jeff was in the same bar and came and sat at our table for awhile.  All in all a hell of a day.