Bo Schembechler after many years, of sheer agony and despair, is finally smiling again. Yes, those that know him state, that even though he has a smile on his face, one really doesn’t know what is behind the smile. That smile of his can represent many hidden things. In other words, that smile can be simply a mask to keep you guessing.
Being in agony, was more than likely the result of Michigan football being in a state of disarray and decline. Sure, the University of Michigan was a national champion in 1997 with Brian Griese at quarterback, and All-American, and Heisman winner Charles Woodson intercepting passes, catching passes, running back kicks for touchdowns etc. etc. etc. Yes, Michigan won the Rose Bowl beating the University of Washington and yes, Charles Woodson intercepted a Ryan Leaf pass in Michigan’s end zone. All seemed great as recruits were still flocking to play in the Big House. Michigan had a load of talent and yet they came up short against archrival Ohio State University. How did that happen? It certainly didn’t happen, when Bo was coaching. In fact, Bo died the night before, Michigan was to play the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor. The press referred to this game as “The Game of the Century” as these two teams were ranked number one and number two in the polls. Unfortunately, Bo’s death in 2006 did not propel or motivate the mighty Wolverines enough on that day. With Bo’s death, the Michigan Wolverines began a state of atrophy as things never got better for the Wolverines as they simply got worse. Bo’s death was demarcation point.
Head coach Lloyd Carr retired and Michigan experimented by hiring a spread offensive genius named Rich Rodriguez. Rich Rod worked miracles at other universities with this relatively new twist with an athletic running and passing quarterback. This was quite a departure from the 3 yards and a cloud of dust and the Pro style fundamental philosophy of Bo. Generally speaking, Bo’s quarterbacks primarily passed the ball and his fullback blocked and ran with the ball as well. For Bo, it was control the ball, control time on the clock and have a superb defense.
Rich Rod didn’t last too long before he was replaced by Coach Brady Hoke. Although Coach Brady Hoke returned somewhat to old-school Michigan football, he was not successful either. Bo was terribly unhappy with the state of Michigan football. For Bo, there were two main rivals-Michigan State University, and Ohio State University. Success was defined as whipping both on the field of play. The Wolverines record was pitiful against both of these archrivals. Bo was in mourning, looking down from the pearly gates as Michigan football declined significantly for far too long.
Then, when all seemed lost during the disastrous 2014 season. Coach Brady Hoke was fired, and athletic director Dave Brandon resigned. Interim athletic director, Jim Hackett somehow managed to snag 49er head coach Jim Harbaugh after he parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers. The timing was perfect. Harbaugh did not have a job, even though he had a multitude of opportunities and Jim Hackett was looking for a new coach. Bo’s eyes started to open as a smile came to his face, looking down at all that was taking place here on earth. There were rumors about Jim Harbaugh and all the money Michigan was going to pay him, making him one of the highest-paid coaches at the collegiate level. Bo Schembechler knew from the start about his protégé, Jim Harbaugh.
To be continued