Rich Rodriguez is the fourth head football coach at the
And therein lies part of the reason why the Spartans have been playing catch-up with the Wolverines for most of the last four decades, when it comes to football.
It’s time for another college football season, and once again U-M is hogging the spotlight. This time it’s because, for the first time since 1995, the Wolverines are about to be led onto the gridiron by a new man. A coaching change in
You have to be pushing 50 (a group that, sadly, includes me) to recall when it was the other way around. A time when
“Kill, Bubba, Kill!”
That was the chant around campus in the mid-1960s, when defensive end Bubba Smith headlined those great Spartan defenses, along with linebacker George Webster. MSU football was the bee’s knees, constantly ranked in the Top 20, and often in the Top Ten. Once, it was no. 1. That was in 1965.
The next year, in ’66, MSU played Notre Dame in, some would tell you, the greatest college football game in the modern era. Certainly one of the most anticipated, and maybe the most talked about – at least around these parts.
No. 1 Notre Dame (8-0) and No. 2 Michigan State (9-0) got it on in
Both teams boasted great defenses, so the 10-10 score late in the ballgame was hardly surprising. Hanratty wasn’t dead, but he WAS out of the game, courtesy a first quarter sack by Smith.
The Irish got the ball for their final possession with left, on their own 30 yard line. They would have needed about 40 yards to get themselves in field goal position.
But Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian would have none of it. With backup QB Coley O’Brien in the game, Parseghian chose to run out the clock. Once the MSU crowd sensed what Ara was doing, they launched into a chorus of boos. There would be no resolution on this gray Saturday afternoon. No satisfaction, for either side. A lousy, rotten, 10-10 tie. In the biggest game of the century!
“Because,” Woody snarled, “I couldn’t go for THREE.”
Elliott resigned soon after the OSU blowout. His record was a very pedestrian 51-42.
Glenn “Bo” Schembechler swooped into town and was greeted warmly with this headline from one of the local fish wraps: BO WHO?
The unknown Schembechler lasted 21 years on the U-M sideline. And for those two-plus decades, he turned the tables on stable, always-ranked
The truth of the matter is that
Dantonio is in his second season at MSU. He came from
Before Dantonio there was John L. Smith, a fine man but out of place. He lasted four years. Before Smith there was Bobby Williams, even more out of place than Smith. Williams lasted three years. Not since Nick Saban (1995-’99) has an MSU football coach lasted even as long as five seasons. In the world of college football, where it takes a couple years for the recruiting labor to start bearing fruit, those stints are extremely short and smack of poor hiring decisions and un-thorough due diligence.
There’ve been some peaks at
It’s been 42 years since
Of course, that’s what they said about Schembechler.