In 1968, Bo Schembechler replaced Bump Elliott, as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines. The Wolverines under Coach Elliott finished the 1968 season with an 8 win and 2 loss record. The record included 6 conference wins and 1 defeat for a second place record in the conference. On that team were talented players, recruited by Bump Elliott. Some of his recruits attained All-American status. His recruits achieved these honors, while playing for coach Schembechler. It can be argued that Schembechler had something to do with these individuals becoming All-Americans.
The entire list of Elliott-Schembechler All-Americans include: tackle Dan Dierdorf, 1970; guard Henry Hill, 1970, and Reggie McKenzie, 1971;end Jim Mandich , 1969; linebackers Marty Huff, 1970, and Mike Taylor, 1971; halfbacks, Tom Curtis 1969, Billy Taylor, 1971, and Thom Darden, 1971.
In Bo’s first season 1969, his team’s record was 8 wins and 2 losses, just like Bump’s 1968 team. However, his team was ranked 8 in the coach’s poll and 9 in the AP poll.
In 1970, coach Schembechler’s team, in his second season, won 9 games and lost 1. This time, that a coaches ranking of 7 and AP ranking of 7. Again, they were in the top 10 on both national football polls.
The 1971 team had a regular season record of 10 wins and 0 losses. The coach’s poll had those ranked 4 and the AP 6. In 30 regular-season games over the first three years of Bo Schembechler, their record was 27 wins and 3 losses. Aside from the All-American status of the 9 previously mentioned, there were an inordinate amount of players that played professional football, became all pro, and even one Dan Dierdorf was elected in the NFL Hall of Fame. To Make a long story short, coach Bo Schembechler had a lot of talent as his won and loss record reflects from 1969-1971.
By comparison, Coach Jim Harbaugh took over from Coach Brady Hoke at the end of 2014. Brady Hoke’s record in 2014, was 5 wins and 7 losses. This 2014 team on rushing the football had a ranking of 62nd on offense; they ranked 109th on passing the football and overall had a 109th ranking. Brady Hoke’s defense fared much better. His Wolverines ranked 14th against the rush and 19 against the pass. There overall record on defense was 7 and a bright spot in a dismal season. Coach Hoke’s overall four season record total was 31 wins and 20 losses. Despite the Wolverines poor showing in 2014, Michigan has the most all-time wins in college football history-915; the most winning seasons-114; the most undefeated seasons of teams currently competing in Division I-A- 23; and the longest streak of games in Division I-A without being shut out-365.
It’s safe to say that coach Brady Hoke, the not recruit such a prolific group of talented athletes as did coach Bump Elliott. However, coach Harbaugh has something to build on which is the defensive side of the ball. So coach Hoke, then leave the cupboard entirely bare. Moreover, Michigan football has a great tradition, coach Harbaugh more than likely will add in a positive way to the historic tradition. Further, coach Harbaugh is unlikely to have a winning percentage [27 and 3] or 90% in his first three seasons as head coach, as did coach Schembechler.
This means, that the expectations run high, in Ann Arbor as far as placing winning Michigan football back where it belongs with its bowl invitations and high national rankings. I think we can expect a decent first season under coach Harbaugh and then when his recruiting machine gets in full gear, the athletes will come. I eagerly await the 2015 season, and especially the last game of the season in late November against Urban Meyer’s Ohio State Buckeyes. I don’t know if lightning can strike twice? Nor do I know if Jim Harbaugh coaching can make up for limited talent in 2015. But I do know, that Bo’s Warriors-Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football tells the story of the historic event that took place in Ann Arbor on November 22, 1969. And, to meet Thom Darden, Jim Brandstatter, Mike Keller , Jim Betts , and Fritz Seyferth, join us at our book signing from 6-8pm at Sesi Motors in Ann Arbor on September 17.2015.