Friday, November 17, 2006


The measure of men and teams is the stature of their rivals and the conflict in which they engage. Bo Schembechler was a coaching titan whom few could equal man-to-man, or team-to-team. Without him, Michigan - Ohio State would be just another game. With him, and Woody Hayes, it was a periennial clash of titans.

Glen "Bo" Schembechler died today. It is a loss to Michigan. It is also a loss to the Big Ten. Schembechler brought stature to the league even as he was dominating it.

Sitting in Spartan Stadium in 1969, I witnessed Schembechler's first season as the Michigan Wolverines football coach. Those were the waining days of Duffy Daugherty's career. Michigan lost that day, to MSU fan derision of "welcome to the Big Ten, Bo." In our ignorance, we were unaware of Schembechler's association with the league as an assistant at Northwestern -- and Ohio State. We were also unaware of how damned few times the Spartans would win since. MSU slipped in a long slow twilight while Schembechler restored Michigan to the glory of the Fielding Yost era.

Michigan faces Ohio State this weekend, a match-up of number one and number two teams that is this year's game of the century. It's the greatest #1 vs. #2 contest since, oh, last year's USC-Texas game. But this game features ancient, intra-league rivals. Great programs; great rivalries; great fight songs, and now, remembered legends. Somewhere up there, Bo and Woody will be watching. Hail to the victors valiant!

p.s.: The Big Ten has the best collection of team fight songs than any other league.

My condolences to the Schembechler family, the Michigan Wolverine community and Big Ten fans everywhere.

Michigan State University
Class of 19noneyabusiness

See Bo Schembechler's Wikipedia bio here.
See Michigan - Ohio State game recap here.
Order CDs of great college fight songs here. (Not compensated for this plug)


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