Monday, February 23, 2015

Jim Harbaugh, Make Lightning Strike Twice in Ann Arbor

We all know that history tends to repeat itself. On November 22, 1969, the Undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes arrived in Ann Arbor, Michigan to play the Michigan Wolverines. At that time, the Buckeyes were undefeated in 22 straight games and were ranked number one in college football. Coach Woody Hayes, at the time, believed that this Buckeye squad was his best. For one, All-American Jack Tatum, who later played for the Oakland Raiders was one of his star players. His team was favored by 17 points to demolish archrival Michigan. The year before, his squad embarrassed the Wolverines 50-14 in Columbus, Ohio.

In 1969, Michigan was coached by first year coach Bo Schembechler.  Schembechler inherited a talented squad recruited by previous head coach Bump Elliott. The 1968 squad included such notables as Jim Mandich, Jim Betts, Tom Curtis, Dan Dierdorf, etc. Bump also recruited the following freshman: Mike Keller, Jim Brandstatter, Frank Gusich, Bruce Elliott, and Leon Hart Junior and the” Mellow Men:” Thom Darden, Reggie McKenzie, Billy Taylor, Mike Taylor, Mike Oldham, Glenn Doughty, and  Butch Carpenter. These freshman were now sophomores in 1969. Don’t forget the 1968 squad’s overall record was 8-2.

Let’s jump, to 2015 or 46 years later. Urban Meyer is currently the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. His 2014 Buckeyes won 12 straight and are currently ranked the number one college football team for 2015. Looking at the 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes schedule, they play, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on November 28, 2015. Let’s say they are undefeated going into the Michigan game. If so, they would have a 23 game winning streak on the line, and more than likely would be the number one ranked team in college football. They would be heavy favorites.

The 2015 Wolverines would be coached by first year, head coach Jim Harbaugh. Unlike 1969, every college-professional football fan knows about Jim Harbaugh. Who knew about Bo Schembechler’s 1969? It’s safe to say that Harbaugh did not inherit a strong Michigan team coached by Brady Hoke. The Wolverines 2014 overall record was 5-7 and 3-5 in the Big Ten. Coach Harbaugh recruited talented freshman [Zack Gentry, Brian Cole, Grant Newsome, Alex Malzone, TJ Wheatley Junior, Jon Runyan Junior, etc.] to complement the 2015 squad. These freshman would likely have to play like an immortals this coming year for Michigan to have a chance of victory. And, hopefully Harbaugh’s coaching staff could equal Coach Schembechler’s extremely knowledgeable group of coaches. Bo knew that his coaches could relate to the young players. Let’s hope the same can be true of Harbaugh and his staff.

Can lightning strike twice in Ann Arbor [The Wolverines were victorious 24 to 12 in 1969] with a Harbaugh coached Wolverine victory against overwhelming odds? We know, the media would again create and make a huge the rivalry war between Harbaugh and Meyer. This would be terrific for both schools, the Big Ten and college football. Once again, the interest would be heightened in and out of this world. A great number of “ifs” have to happen as far as history is concerned. I’m looking forward to it.

We all know that Bo Schembechler is looking down on his Wolverines. Jim Harbaugh can make Bo and  his warriors pleased?

Go Blue!

No comments:

Post a Comment