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Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Schembechler Era Comes to a Close.

It began on a frigid November day in 1969, when a rookie coach led his little-regarded Michigan team to an astonishing upset over the defending national champions in an epic, program-defining game which reverberates to this day.

It ended nearly forty years later in another remarkable victory by an unheralded Michigan against the defending national champions, this time led by that rookie coach's last heir, coaching his last game. It may also herald a new era for Michigan, as the team displayed a version of the spread offense that is the new coach's specialty, to very good result.

I didn't think the Wolverines had a chance. I was in good company.

But still, it's college football and my team, so I watched all of it.

I am delighted to have been so wrong. They came out flying and never stopped. As the clock hit "0:00," the last son of Bo Schembechler was carried off the field triumphant, coaching a masterful game where the final score failed to reflect how complete the victory truly was.

Well done, Coach. Thanks for one for the ages.

[Photographs copyright Eric Seals and Kirthman F. Dozier.]

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