Tom and Jerry: Defenders of All Things Right and Good

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Last note on Skunkbears: If you look up the word “overrated” in the dictionary….

…you’ll find the definition for the word “overrated”, which is what Michigan, perennially, is.

To wit:

--· Michigan in bowl games against undefeated opponents:

1950: Rose vs. California – Win
1969: Rose vs. USC – Loss
1984: Holiday vs. BYU – Loss
1991: Rose vs. Washington – Loss

Record: 1-3

For comparison: Other traditional national powers' in bowl games against undefeated opponents:

Ohio State: 4-2
Alabama: 7-3-1
USC: 8-6
Notre Dame: 7-2
Texas: 2-1
Nebraska: 2-7 (Not good. But they have won 5 NCs since 1970)
Oklahoma: 5-3
Penn State: 2-0-1

Relative newcomer powers:

Florida State: 2-2
Florida: 2-2
Miami: 2-5 (not good, but Miami has also won 5 NCs in the last 23 years)

Not really even powers:

UCLA: 2-0
Texas A&M: 2-0
LSU: 3-4
Maryland: 1-1

So Michigan has the same number of bowl wins against unbeaten teams as Maryland. Congratulations.

-- Let's talk about recently. In the last 30 seasons, Michigan has finished the season ranked higher than where they began the season twice, in 1988 and 1997. In the last 8 years, Michigan has landed one of the top recruiting classes in the country and has almost unlimited recruiting resources,yet they’ve lost 3 or more games in 7 of those last 8 years (They did only lose 2 in 1999).

--·Michigan likes to tout their academics, and it is a good academic school with many good programs, but nobody seems to have let the football team in on it. Find a current UM roster and take a peek at their majors. You will find a rather large number of either ‘Kineseology’ (Phys. Ed.) or ‘Undecided’ as their major. Of the ‘Undecided’s, a good number of them are juniors (!) and seniors (!!!). How in the world are you undecided as a junior or senior in college?

--·“The Big House”. Michigan stadium is enormous, seating 106,000+. ESPN loves to tout it as a great stadium, but I have never seen it on any top 10 list of great stadium atmospheres or, more importantly, any top 10 lists of tough places to play. You’d think with all those people, it would at least crack the top 10, right?

--Their “legendary” coach, Bo Schembechler (1969-1989)? He won zero national championships, lost 8 of 10 Rose Bowls, and lost 12 of 17 bowl games overall.

--Their fight song? Consists of one stanza over and over and over and over…..

--Their helmets? Michigan fans think they are the most unique things in the world. And they are. Well, aside from the fact that they copied it from Princeton...

And yet, how much you wanna bet that despite going 7-5 this year that they will be ranked in the Top 10 to start next year?


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