I'll be the first to admit that I was wrong. But I've never been so happy to be wrong in my entire life!
While I was making my football picks yesterday, I started to think about how Michigan has played in each of their three games so far this season. They started off really bad against Utah and ended up making it a close game. Then they beat a team from the MAC, Miami of Ohio, but they weren't very impressive in that game either. Then, two weeks ago against Notre Dame, they couldn't hold onto the football while playing in a torrential downpour. So when I was making my pick for their Big Ten conference opener against #9 ranked Wisconsin, I didn't give them much of a chance. Going into the game, the Badgers were by far the best team that these young Wolverines had played. I assumed that they would be pushed around and turn the ball over countless times during the game.
And during the first half, I was correct. Michigan couldn't seem to hang onto the ball at all and was down 19-0 at halftime. Worst of all, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema's teams have a 19-0 record when leading at halftime.
But, the Wolverines came out in the second half and posted the biggest comeback in Michigan football history! They definitely made it a nail biter, but the maize and blue came away with a 27-25 win in the 500th football game played at the Big House.
This game made me think of the 1969 Michigan football team. 1969 was the first year that Bo Schembechler was the Wolverines head coach. They faced the #1 ranked Ohio State football team led by head coach (and Schembechler's former coach), Woody Hayes. The Buckeyes were on a 22 game winning streak and defending national champions. Michigan beat them 24-12 at Michigan Stadium. Bo went on to become one of the greatest coaches in college football history.
The game played today did not have the glitz and glamour of the Michigan/Ohio State game in '69, but it did have some similarities. Wisconsin came into the game ranked #9 nationally, and most people (me included) thought that they would demolish Michigan. Rich Rodriguez is the new coach at Michigan who is trying to bring the Wolverines back into the upper echelon of college football again with a young football team.
I knew that Rodriguez would make this Michigan team a contender, but I never thought that it would be this soon. This win wasn't pretty and the stats for the game were very ugly. But this game shows that you can never underestimate someones heart. Today, Michigan showed that they have a lot of heart. GO BLUE!!!