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08/16/2018 - 11:59am Yes, yes, yes, but NCAA…

Yes, yes, yes, but NCAA decision or not, those games were actually played.  It's nice having the cushion that the vacated wins provides, but I'd rather be ahead of ND straight up.  And honestly I would not be surprised if those wins are restored at some point.

01/10/2018 - 12:32pm In 2011, with Northwestern at

In 2011, with Northwestern at the Michigan 37 with 7:00 left and driving for the tying touchdown, Jordan Kovacs ripped off Dan Persa's helmet without tackling him on fourth down.  The officials blew the play dead because the ball carrier's helmet came off.  First down going the other way, and Michigan salted it away.  Seemed to me pretty fishy that a defender can make the play dead by ripping off a helmet without getting flagged for a blow to the head or facemasking.

01/10/2018 - 12:25pm In 2003 in the opener against

In 2003 in the opener against Washington Braylon Edwards pretty clearly dropped a 4th-and-2 pass at midfield with 26 seconds left (and it was abundantly clear from his own body language that even he thought he dropped it as the defender hit him).  But Michigan pounced on the ball, the refs ruled it a fumble and first down before Washington went on to get flagged 15 yards for too many men on the defense, and Phil Brabbs became a hero as time expired.  It was a bad call then, and never would've withstood replay today.

10/16/2017 - 9:21am Since 1969:
Playing as AP

Since 1969:

Playing as AP #7:  19-7-0, .731

Playing as AP #15:  13-3-1, .794

09/06/2017 - 10:43am Epstein was a great kickoff

Epstein was a great kickoff man, a good punter, and had a strong leg, but he was only ever okay for accuracy. He was only 26-for-42 on his career, with 3 missed extra points.  And never forget the 2000 game at UCLA, the 23-20 loss, in which he missed a 46-yarder, a 24-yarder with 3 minutes left, and an extra point.

11/30/2016 - 2:24pm I am not at all confident

I am not at all confident that the vacated records will stick upon ND's appeal.  ND's initial response to the sanction actually sounded pretty good to me, better than similar statements by other schools in other situations... (1) this was a situation of a student on the very fringe of the school's football officialdom helping out players in a few isolated incidents, and once officialdom found out about it they shut it down and did everything right to report, cooperate, etc.; and (2) according to ND at least, there's no precedent for vacated record in that kind of situation.

If (2) is indeed true, I'd bet vacating of wins doesn't stick.  This wasn't like OSU systematically turning a blind eye to tattoo-gate and then Tressel trying to cover it up.

In the lead-up to ND's game against Duke earlier in the year, I wrote a diary (link) about the historical race between U-M and ND for all-time wins and winning percentage.  I'd hate to see that historical relationship now made moot for something like this; I'd much prefer to see U-M now maintain and widen its advantage through domination on the field.

And I LOVE the idea of ND simply being the #2 also-ran to U-M.

11/08/2016 - 1:46pm Yeah, I definitely thought

Yeah, I definitely thought about this, and didn't spend enough time thinking about it to come up with something good.  The question should probably be something like, "At what point are you ahead by more than one score with an unreasonable amount of time on the clock for the opponent to be able to come back to beat you?"  But it's tough to determine just how subjective one should be; second- and third-string players come into play, as well as momentum and morale.

For instance, in weeding out the garbage-time scores... take a look at this year's MSU game.  Michigan went into bleed-the-clock mode early-ish in the fourth quarter, up by 20 points.  The game was, for all intents and purposes, over.  MSU scored with 7:31 remaining to close the gap to 13 points, 30-17.  In the flow of the game at that point, this was probably a "garbage-time" score, given also the quality of the teams.  It wasn't a meaningless score, however; MSU was only down 13 points with half of the fourth quarter left.  Teams have come back from farther behind with less time on the clock than that.  However, I did consider the touchdown with 0:01 left on the clock to be a garbage-time score, because that score truly was meaningless.

(Actually because of the final go-for-two debacle, this year's MSU game didn't play into the adjustment to the calculation for garbage-time points, because Michigan beat 17 points at the same time it beat 23 points... when Michigan's total hit 24 with 0:39 left in the second quarter.)


10/29/2016 - 6:02pm The Paul Bunyan trophy has

The Paul Bunyan trophy has never been exchanged on the field/sideline (at least not in the past several decades).  It's always been done out of sight in the locker rooms.  Between statue, base, and wooden stand, it's huge.

10/23/2016 - 12:22pm Ready to go.

Ready to go.

10/14/2016 - 8:00am FWIW, the graphic in that

FWIW, the graphic in that link is wrong as to ND's numbers.  It lists ND's record as 894-316-42, .7308.  They forgot the hurricane last Saturday.  ND now stands at 894-317-42, .7302.

Also, this is stupid.  Need to play big-time football to be listed with the big-time schools.

10/12/2016 - 11:49am Whoops, my bad lol.

Whoops, my bad lol.

10/12/2016 - 10:12am What makes it even more

What makes it even more amazing is that most of Michigan's non-conference games in the Point-a-Minute era were less than the regulation 70 minutes (two 35-minute halves).  The teams would agree before the game to play 20- or 25-minute halves, etc., and the losing team would often concede at some point in the second half (as Stanford did in the first Rose Bowl).  What allowed Michigan to run up such high scores in many shortened games was the kickoff strategy back then... the team that was scored upon had the option to either kickoff or receive.  In that era with games often massively turning on a turnover or penalty, teams usually chose to kickoff back to their opponent who had just scored, to try to keep the ball out of their own end.  Michigan spent huge chunks of those games on offense.

10/12/2016 - 10:11am vs. Illinois in 2010; 69-67,

vs. Illinois in 2010; 69-67, 3OT.

10/12/2016 - 9:57am Interesting that none of

Interesting that none of those are close games at all, and most feature goose eggs, whereas if you'd expanded your criteria by one more point to include games in which Michigan scored 69, there'd be a 69-67 game up there.

10/04/2016 - 10:21am Great post.  I love creative

Great post.  I love creative use of stats.

10/03/2016 - 9:15am Utah was unranked for its

Utah was unranked for its game with Michigan last year, although Utah would finish the season ranked #17.

After the final AP poll this year I'll give a report on Michigan's record post-Bump against teams that finished the season ranked, rather than against rankings at game time.

09/24/2016 - 7:21am No, it's not even that the

No, it's not even that the page you've linked isn't updated yet for this season... it's just completely wrong.

Notre Dame's official online media guide for this season ( ... scroll to page 139) lists the Irish's all-time record as 892-313-42 (now 893-315-42 after three games).  Your buddy's link lists 892-314-41.  I don't know how you reconcile that at all, except to say that whoever runs the site at that link was working with very poor information or has very fat thumbs.

Michigan's official game notes for this week ( ... scroll to page 2) lists the Wolverines' all-time record (updated as of last weekend) as 928-331-36.  Your buddy's link lists 925-333-38.  Again, I have no idea how you reconcile that.

(Also, to review the history of the winning percentage and wins races, I went season-by-season for each school, adding up the cumulative record per each school's official season record history... in each case, the totals added up to each school's published official all-time record, as one would expect.)

Your buddy and his goofy site are just plain wrong.


09/23/2016 - 11:26am Moreover, if you want to

Moreover, if you want to include FCS schools, Yale is actually 3rd on the wins list, with 890.

09/23/2016 - 10:52am Ha yes, good point.  I'll let

Ha yes, good point.  I'll let you argue that one for history.  Every school started off at either .000, .500, or 1.000.

And for that matter, Michigan's win percentage after the 1880 season was .8333 (2-0-1), but it seems silly to count that... like something STAEE would do. 

09/23/2016 - 10:25am Yup, 861 not 681.  Thanks.

Yup, 861 not 681.  Thanks.  *edited*

09/23/2016 - 10:11am Thanks!  *edited*

Thanks!  *edited*

09/15/2016 - 4:17pm Don't know if Colorado is

Don't know if Colorado is bringing the band this weekend, but if they do, you'll likely hear a little bit of one of the worst in the mediocre division.

09/15/2016 - 4:15pm Yes, I mentioned several

Yes, I mentioned several "other" songs of schools ("Eyes of Texas" is one of these).  Although several are great ("Buckeye Battle Cry" and "Hike, Notre Dame" in particular could've made the top ten list), I restricted my rankings to the schools' "official" primary fight songs.

09/15/2016 - 3:58pm Yes, Miami in particular is

Yes, Miami in particular is in the running with Maryland for the booby prize.

09/15/2016 - 3:57pm See response to Michigan

See response to Michigan Arrogance's comment above.

09/15/2016 - 3:56pm Clemson's version of "Tiger

Clemson's version of "Tiger Rag" is far and away the best; I don't think it's close.  It didn't really qualify as one of the top ten in my book because the song was initially a popular song... not written as a fight song.  And so many schools use it in some way.

09/14/2016 - 10:01pm See my comment above for

See my comment above for "Ramblin' Wreck from Georgia Tech" re. Army's fight song.

Navy's official fight song, "Anchors Aweigh," is great, but I really consider it more of a military march than a fight song.  Although it was written partly to be an athletics song, it has no lyrics regarding athletics, winning the game, etc.; it's just a naval song.  A great one, but not really a fight song.  To me it's just a tad slow to really be a crowd rouser.

Air Force uses "The U.S. Air Force" (Off we go into the wild blue yonder...) as a fight song, but it's not the academy's official fight song.  The official song, "Falcon Fight Song," is not bad at all.  Not top-ten worthy, though.

09/13/2016 - 11:04pm I absolutely agree with you

I absolutely agree with you on the richness of sound in Victors vs. Victory March, but pure musicality isn't going to be the only criterion for just about anybody putting together a list like this.  And yes, there's not much science behind it... mostly personal preference.

09/13/2016 - 10:51pm I love Tennessee's use and

I love Tennessee's use and arrangement of "Rocky Top."  But although they use it as a fight song, it's not their official fight song.  "Down the Field" is.


08/26/2016 - 1:08pm I actually thought they

I actually thought they looked pretty good; it's a classic and classy helmet design, after all.  The uses I don't like are the tri-color version, with base color 1, wings color 2, and stripes color 3.

Game was more competitive than the score indicated.  Running an entirely new system, some fundamentals were forgotten.  The Winged T offense moved the ball pretty well in stretches.

04/07/2015 - 1:46pm Possible additions?

Hero of Tiananmen Square (John Pollack, king of futile Big House preservation attempts)

nailcoeds.exe (computer program executed by Chad Henne after a robotically awesome performance)

First Yakety Sax Game / The Fucking Beat Down I (ND 2006)

Second Yakety Sax Game / The Fucking Beat Down II (ND 2007)

The Blip (Wisconsin 2008)

Dr. Vorax (Greg Robinson's stuffed animal)

Dilithium (Denard Robinson running the ball)

TGMFWITHOMFW (The Greatest Mid-February Weekend In The History Of Mid-February Weekends; Feb 17-19, 2012; hockey sweeps NMU, basketball upsets OSU, 8 4-star football recruits commit)

Pit Bull Game (Penn State 2006)

Buffalo Stampede Game (Minnesota 2003)

Dinopunt/Puntosaur (traditional punt formation/tactics)

The Post-Apocalyptic Oregon Game (Oregon 2007)

Football Armegeddon (OSU 2006)

Year of Infinite Pain (2005)

Most Legendary Press Conference Ever (Brady Hoke introduction)

The Ryan Mallett Experience (Wisconsin 2007)

Resumption of Normal Service (ND and Penn State 2007)

Baby Seal State Game (Delaware State 2009)

Fandom Endurance Games (I, II, III, and IV) (is there a IV yet?)

Threetsheridammit (the two-headed quarterback of 2008) 

04/07/2015 - 1:29pm Hero of Tiananmen Square

Hero of Tiananmen Square (John Pollack, king of futile Big House preservation attempts)

nailcoeds.exe (computer program executed by Chad Henne after a robotically awesome performance)

First Yakety Sax Game / The Fucking Beat Down I (ND 2006)

Second Yakety Sax Game / The Fucking Beat Down II (ND 2007)

The Blip (Wisconsin 2008)

Dr. Vorax (Greg Robinson's stuffed animal)

Dilithium (Denard Robinson running the ball)

TGMFWITHOMFW (The Greatest Mid-February Weekend In The History Of Mid-February Weekends; Feb 17-19, 2012; hockey sweeps NMU, basketball upsets OSU, 8 4-star football recruits commit)

Pit Bull Game (Penn State 2006)

Buffalo Stampede Game (Minnesota 2003)

Dinopunt/Puntosaur (traditional punt formation/tactics)

The Post-Apocalyptic Oregon Game (Oregon 2007)

Football Armegeddon (OSU 2006)

Year of Infinite Pain (2005)

Most Legendary Press Conference Ever (Brady Hoke introduction)

The Ryan Mallett Experience (Wisconsin 2007)

Resumption of Normal Service (ND and Penn State 2007)

Baby Seal State Game (Delaware State 2009)

Fandom Endurance Games (I, II, III, and IV) (is there a IV yet?)

Threetsheridammit (the two-headed quarterback of 2008)


03/04/2014 - 9:48am The mock committee was torn

The mock committee was torn between Wisconsin and Syracuse for the last 1-seed.  They gave it to Syracuse based on fewer losses (the mock committee really didn't like Wisconsin's horrible January run).  That made Wisconsin the overall #5, the highest ranked 2-seed.  Michigan IIRC was the last 2-seed, overall #8.  So Wisconsin got placed in its nearest regional before Michigan did.

11/04/2013 - 1:36pm If memory serves me right

If memory serves me right (imagine hearing that dubbed in over the original Japanese), there's only one sports team in the history of the Big Ten Conference that has won a conference championship during every decade of the conference's existence... and that's Michigan Football.

Given that it's now much tougher to win a championship in football than it used to be (you can no longer claim ties; there's only one champion now), this "streak" might be in serious jeopardy.  Sure it's only 2013, but the schedule gets really tough next year, and then there's only 5 years left to not only have a good enough season to get into the championship game, but to beat a good opponent to win it.

09/12/2013 - 3:45pm Yeah, this certainly occurred

Yeah, this certainly occurred to me.  Each guy got plenty of good and bad breaks in his career. I'm just glad I'm too young to remember all the heartbreakers of the 1980s.

09/12/2013 - 3:21pm See edit at bottom of diary. 

See edit at bottom of diary.  I only counted 2011 and 2012 (because we don't yet have final AP rankings for 2013), but I shorted Hoke a win through some error of my own.  That's corrected now.

09/12/2013 - 3:20pm Brady Hoke's three "unranked"

Brady Hoke's three "unranked" losses were 2011 MSU, 2011 Iowa, and 2012 Nebraska.  Remember I'm only considering AP rankings, and only the Top 20 (because only the Top 20 were ranked until 1989).  2011 MSU was not ranked in the Top 20 at game time.

I edited the diary to account for Hoke's 2-year record as 19-7 instead of 18-7.  I dropped a game somewhere.  I just corrected all the stats to account for the error.  Apologies.

12/04/2012 - 2:24pm The downside I suppose is

The downside I suppose is that by making your better teams play more tough games and giving easier games to worse teams, you're potentially watering down your product in terms of getting your best teams into a national playoff.  Along with the upside-down draft, the weighted schedule is what gives us so much parity in the NFL.

12/04/2012 - 2:20pm I wouldn't mind this if it

I wouldn't mind this if it could be done on a 2-year basis, so you'd have set opponents for a two-year term and have a head-to-head home-and-away and opportunities for revenge games.  The surges in new rivalries between MSU-Wisconsin and PSU-Iowa in recent years have been built on revenge games, and that kind of stuff is the essence of college football.

Not sure how local hoteliers/restauranteurs in true college towns would enjoy not having game dates set until the end of the previous season, but I assume they'd be able to adapt somehow.

12/04/2012 - 2:02pm Yeah, imbalance was certainly

Yeah, imbalance was certainly a concern of mine (really it's only a glaring issue in the North-West vs. South-East split that we both mentioned), but then I really thought about it...

Excising the RR era, since 1993 Michigan's best seasons have been undefeated and worst seasons have had five losses; that's a pretty big swing.  OSU has had a few barely .500 seasons in that time as well.  Notre Dame, Nebraska, and Penn State have seen awful seasons in recent memory.  Schools like Iowa, Wisconsin, Purdue, Northwestern, Illinois, and Georgia Tech could be 4-8 or 8-4 or better or worse as the pendulum swings back and forth in the next decade.

You mention OSU as having a weak pod, and that's true.  But OSU gets Michigan on a permanent basis.  And four out of six years, OSU would either play ND, MSU, and Purdue, or Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Iowa.

Michigan's got a strong pod, but four out of six years Michigan would play either NW, Rutgers, and Illinois, or GT, Penn State, and Indiana.

I think competitive balance is a yearly crapshoot that can't be planned for on a yearly basis... only general trends emerge over time.

12/04/2012 - 12:58pm I like this in theory, but

I like this in theory, but I'd hate to lose an annual ND-MSU game in order to avoid a Michigan-OSU championship game rematch, which might happen once a decade, especially given that in two years out of every six, Mich and OSU would be in the same division and couldn't meet in a rematch anyways.

12/04/2012 - 10:03am Whoops, gotcha.  Mea culpa.

Whoops, gotcha.  Mea culpa.

12/04/2012 - 9:34am Sure there are divisions.

Okay, don't want to start a fight here, but sure there are divisions under this proposal.  The divisions are fixed at the beginning of each 2-year period, and there are true round robins in each division each season.  The winner of each division plays in a championship game.  That meets the NCAA's standard.  Then every two years, the divisions are changed around as the pods rotate with each other.

As far as I know, the NCAA does not require divisions to be permanent; just fixed within each season.

Plus, it's got to be legal as far as the NCAA is concerned, because the 16-team WAC did something very similar in the 1990s, with rotating pods.

12/04/2012 - 9:15am Well the problem with that is

Well the problem with that is that (unless the NCAA changes its tune), you've got to play a round robin in your division.  That means you've got 7 division games.  You've only got 2 total games available for teams in the other division (non-partner pods).

04/18/2012 - 11:29am Non-Compete Agreements...

...probably wouldn't work in the context of college coaching anyways.  To be binding, non-competes must be reasonable in (1) length of time; (2) scope of proscribed conduct; and (3) geographic scope.

As a matter of public policy, we want people to be able to earn a living doing that in which they are best trained and most talented, so courts tend to look harshly on non-competes that are even just a little too burdensome.  Moreover, courts review non-competes even more narrowly when there isn't a direct client/customer base to be protected, or there aren't trade secrets to be protected.

In the context of buying your average small-town neighborhood gas station and taking a non-compete from the former owner as part of the sale, the absolute most that would probably be considered reasonable for a non-compete would be maybe (1) 5 years; (2) no sales of gasoline or other convenience goods; and (3) a radius of 30 miles.

In the context of college coaching, with coaches not able to directly steal "customers" and with few if any actual trade secrets to protect, and with so many different schools out there in different areas of the country, in different conferences, in different NCAA divisions, and that don't even play each other, I think the most you could ever reasonably get out of a valid non-compete might be (1) 2 years; (2) no head-coaching at Division 1 FBS level; (3) same state, or a radius of 100 miles.  Even that might be pushing it, given the established nature of the industry.

Of course, such a narrow-scope non-compete would never keep a coach from jumping ship and going to a different job; the reasonable scope of the non-compete would just be too narrow to have any teeth.

09/21/2011 - 9:30am I haven't seen anything this

I haven't seen anything this epic since I walked out of Camp Randall in 2001 and some random Wisconsin coed was sobbing and saying, "Why can't we ever beat those guys?"

10/01/2010 - 11:28am Michigan,

Michigan, 48-34.




09/29/2010 - 2:27pm No, what you've said is

No, what you've said is basically accurate.  But looking back at the NCAA lists of national champions, it's fairly easy to see which are the consensus or even co-consensus champions.  See my comments in response to a similar question from MGoUser Fresh Meat below.

For instance, in 1901 and 1902, Michigan "shared" its title with Harvard and/or Yale. But Harvard and Yale were named by only one selector each, while Michigan enjoys the opinion of several selectors.  My comment below spells out all of U-M's claimed and unclaimed titles.  For all of U-M's claimed titles, U-M can easily be called the consensus or co-consensus champion.  This isn't at all the case for three of Sparty's six claimed titles, also spelled out below.

See for a full list of all champions by year and selector.

09/29/2010 - 1:47pm Well, post-1950 it's pretty

Well, post-1950 it's pretty easy: the NCAA record book, in addition to listing national champions as determined by all recognized selectors, lists consensus national champions as well.  The interesting thing?  Sometimes there are more than one consensus champion.  Generally, if a team after 1950 finished first in one of the two major polls (AP and coaches), it was a consensus champion.

Beside the polls, there are many many NC selectors recognized by the NCAA -- anything from mathematical systems to historical researchers to single individuals way back in the day considered authorities on college football.  For instance, in 1997, the AP and most of the other selectors lined up behind U-M, and the coaches and a few of the other selectors lined up behind Nebraska.

Because the NCAA record book doesn't explicitly note consensus championships before 1950, things get murky for that timeframe, although it's possible to look at the various teams and see how many selectors lined up behind them as champs. (Also, take into account selectors who actually existed at the time; for instance several somewhat recent mathematical formula selectors have been retroactively applied back many years, often resulting in the naming of a champion that was not recognized as such at the end of whatever season.)

Pre-1950 it's common to have two, three, or four schools recognized by somebody as national champions, because of eastern vs. western regional bias in sportwriting, among other factors. For many years, the National Championship Foundation waded through the historical muck and recognized a list of consensus champions, but often even the NCF named co-champions.

For the record, U-M claims National Championships in 1901, 1902, 1903, 1904, 1918, 1923, 1932, 1933, 1947, 1948, and 1997.  Michigan shared these championships as follows, according to the NCAA record book:

  • 1901 - with Harvard and Yale (Michigan consensus)
  • 1902 - with Yale (Michigan consensus)
  • 1903 - with Princeton (co-consensus champions)
  • 1904 - with Minnesota and Penn (U-M and Penn co-consensus champs)
  • 1918 - with Pitt and Texas (U-M and Pitt co-consensus champs)
  • 1923 - with Cal, Cornell, and Illinois (U-M and Illinois co-consensus champs)
  • 1932 - with Southern Cal (co-consensus champs)
  • 1933 - with Ohio State, Fritz Crisler's Princeton, and USC (Michigan consensus)
  • 1947 - with Notre Dame and Texas (U-M and ND co-consensus champs... see other commenter's discussion re: unprecedented post-Rose Bowl AP Poll)
  • 1948 - Michigan all alone!
  • 1997 - with Nebraska (co-consensus champs)

Michigan's unclaimed and non-consensus national championships (with selectors noted) are:

  • 1925 - by Sagarin Ratings (Alabama consensus)
  • 1926 - by Sagarin Ratings (Alabama and Stanford consensus)
  • 1964 - by Dunkel System (Alabama, Arkansas, Notre Dame consensus, though Alabama finished first in AP and coaches; ND doesn't claim 1964)
  • 1973 - by National Championship Foundation and Poling System (Alabama and Notre Dame consensus; Ohio State and Oklahoma also recognized by selectors)
  • 1985 - by Matthews Grid Ratings (Oklahoma consensus; Florida also recognized by selectors)

Michigan State's six claimed national championships are:

  • 1951 - Tennessee consensus (Georgia Tech, Illinois, and Maryland also picked by some selectors)
  • 1952 - MSU consensus (Georgia Tech also picked by some selectors)
  • 1955 - Oklahoma consensus (MSU picked by one selector out of 16)
  • 1957 - Auburn and Ohio State consensus (Oklahoma also picked by a selector. MSU picked by one selector out of 16)
  • 1965 - MSU (UPI) and Alabama (AP) co-consensus
  • 1966 - MSU and Notre Dame co-consensus (Year of the tie; both AP and UPI-coaches named ND as national champions; Alabama also picked by some selectors)
09/29/2010 - 1:12pm Well, pre-Bo U-M was 4-0 in

Well, pre-Bo U-M was 4-0 in the Rose Bowl.  So make the all-time bowl record 19 wins in 39 games.