November 17, 2006

Bo Schembechler Dies on Eve of Michigan/Ohio State Game: Former University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler collapsed during a TV show taping and has died, according to a Detroit TV station. In some extremely mistimed bad taste, an Ohio State-supporting band called the Dead Schembechlers have been getting lots of press this week.

posted by rcade to football at 11:27 AM - 57 comments

Jut saw it on the news (MSNBC) as I was headed out to walk my dogs. A real sad tragedy and a shock. Though a large man he always seemed robust and healthy. Of course Michigan will dedicate the game to him this weekend, which should freeze that hearts of Ohio State fans. My best wishes out to his family and friends.

posted by commander cody at 11:30 AM on November 17

As an OSU alum and fan, this saddens me. As much as I hate that school up north, I still respected the program and the man who was it's face for many years. Truly a sad day.

posted by Jeffwa at 11:52 AM on November 17

All bets are off on the game now. Bo knew football, and he and Woody Hayes were a huge part of the rivalry. Watch out, Buckeyes.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:58 AM on November 17

I think I found my new ringtone. Seriously, doesn't that sound like an awesome theme for a new Robert Smigel cartoon?

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:02 PM on November 17

This makes the game seem less signifigant to me anyways. RIP Bo. As a Buckeye, my heart is saddened, not frozen. Bo was an ex-buckeye, Tressel will dedicate the game to him also. Best wishes to his family.

posted by Godzilla82 at 12:04 PM on November 17

My grandmother just called me with the news. She was a Michigan season-ticket holder for 30 years, starting in the Schembechler era. She said that she felt as if she had lost a friend. Even though I only saw him coach one game (and I was only four years old, at that), this news hit me hard. What a sad day.

posted by anjamu at 12:07 PM on November 17

i grew up watching bo, he'll be missed. rip

posted by texasred at 12:22 PM on November 17

It seems the universe is not without a sense of irony. Whatever is happening cosmically this week, I have a feeling that game is going to be an epicentre.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 12:27 PM on November 17

The band already has their condolences on their website. Seems like a class move to me. My condolences go out too, for what their worth.

posted by THX-1138 at 12:29 PM on November 17

As an OSU alumnus, this is sad to hear. He was a worthy adversary.

posted by cabuki at 12:58 PM on November 17

See, now this shows how massive tomorrow's game is. Bo wanted Michigan to win so bad, he made sure he could plead his case to God directly!! I'm sorry, I use humor to show grief. My condolences to his family, both blood and U of M. From all that I have heard of him, he was a class act, and will be missed. RIP

posted by crqri at 01:00 PM on November 17

Bo and Woody will be attending the game together, best seats in the house!

posted by Godzilla82 at 01:12 PM on November 17

I'm a lifelong Bucks fan, yet I am sad to hear of Bo's passing. It does cast a pall over "The Game" and will weigh heavy on the hearts of all fans. Bo may be known for his years at "that school up north", but he was also a Buckeye by birth, education and even in his coaching career. (Miami of OH and an assistant to Woody.) Say a prayer that Bo and Woody will be able to watch the game together tomorrow, it would only be fitting. My condolences to the family.

posted by TKTT1 at 01:13 PM on November 17

The Dead Schembechlers have been around for a few years, and as is mentioned on their site, Bo knew all about them (and enjoyed the joke). They clearly were always about respecting the sanctity of the rivalry, and kept it all fun and above the belt. (It wouldn't surprise me if they changed their name now.) Love the Wolverines or hate them (or, like me, only have a passing knowledge of college football in the first place), it's hard to deny that Bo himself was a classy guy, and a credit to his sport and his profession.

posted by chicobangs at 02:10 PM on November 17

I was born in Columbus forty-something years ago and have always been a Buckeye. I haven't missed a game since I was 3. It's always been the highlight of the season for me and my family. This game, not just tomorrow, but as long as they have been playing each other, is more than a rivalry. It's part of people's lives. People from Ohio and Michigan realize this. And I'm not disrespecting all the other great rivalries in college football, but Ohio State-Michigan is what college football is all about. Tomorrow's game will be a great game, I have no doubt. And I hope the Buckeyes lay it on the Wolverines. But as much as I hate Michigan, I'm thankful for them, too. Without Michigan, this week wouldn't hold the tradition and the memories I have of different years with different family members. I get to watch the game tomorrow with my Dad, so it will be another chance I have to stash away a memory. But if, God forbid, Michigan beats the Buckeyes tomorrow, I'll be OK with it. Because I know Bo had something to do with it.

posted by Desert Dog at 02:48 PM on November 17

This is sad I was just reading about him in the paper this morning although I am not a fan of the big blue this guy always coached with class and his teams were always full of sportsmanship that is a mark of a winner I will definetely be rooting for the wolverines tomorrow!

posted by luther70 at 02:49 PM on November 17

Anyone know if this game is going to be airing in Canada? Been paying a bit of attention to college football this season, but can't seem to find any evidence it airs here.

posted by Drood at 03:04 PM on November 17

Michigan football will never be the same. When you think of the state of Michigan for anything, not just college football, one of the first five things on the list is Bo Schembechler. He name IS Michigan, through and through and, although live goes on, it will never have someone quite like him again. He was truly one of a kind.

posted by sydney2006 at 03:09 PM on November 17

You can bet if the ball happens to take funny bounce for Michigan Saturday, Bo will have something to do with it. RIP Bo. You will be missed.

posted by dbt302 at 03:14 PM on November 17

Truly a sad day,and the end of an era.These words may be trite but Bo never was.Like Woody he was a little gruff and like Woody he was a winner and beloved by his players.With Bear Bryant also gone, this leaves maybe Joe Pa as the last. I'm so shocked I don't really care about the game tomorrow.

posted by sickleguy at 03:28 PM on November 17

The Dead Schembechlers have been around for a few years, and as is mentioned on their site, Bo knew all about them (and enjoyed the joke). He learned about them this past week, according to a story I read.

posted by rcade at 03:39 PM on November 17

The frozen heart comment was not meant to imply the Ohio State fans are cold hearted. However being as this is the biggest game of the year for both teams in an average year and this year it's even bigger because (as ESPN says) even the loser gets to go to the Rose Bowl, when you add to that that the team will be playing in a game dedicated to the greatest Michigan coach of all time (and one of the best college coaches ever), I would think that would send a chill of fear down any other teams spine. The Wolverines are not just playing to beat Ohio State and to go to the national championship, they are playing for the memory of Bo. The pressure on them to win just went up a few more notches and the desire to win went up even more. They have a chance to become an even more legendary team if they win this one for Bo.

posted by commander cody at 04:22 PM on November 17

Anyone know if this game is going to be airing in Canada? Been paying a bit of attention to college football this season, but can't seem to find any evidence it airs here.If you have cable you'll more than likely be able to see it in Canada. I know I'll be watching, southern Ontario tends to get Detroit/Buffalo for American network feeds. If you're in the western part of the country, your best bet might be a sports bar, but I suspect it will be a national game broadcast wise. Check your ABC affiliate on your local cable package to find out for sure. R.I.P. BO.

posted by tommytrump at 04:38 PM on November 17

Bo gave Woody someone to beat, and he made it happen. Bo was a great coach and he made the rivalry big. R.I.P. Bo.

posted by Clevelander32 at 04:40 PM on November 17

R.I.P. Bo. As a lifelong Buckeyes fan, I've enjoyed watching the OSU/UofM rivalry (except maybe for the John Cooper era) and came to respect Bo as a coach. Any fan of college football, regardless of what your allegiance is, should be saddened by this loss of one of the great ones. Godzilla82 said it best -- Bo & Woody now have the best seats in the house, but might I add that Woody was probably the first one to greet him at the pearly gates.

posted by gdvbranz at 05:21 PM on November 17

Godzilla82 said it best -- Bo & Woody now have the best seats in the house, but might I add that Woody was probably the first one to greet him at the pearly gates. Well said, R.I.P. Bo.

posted by jojomfd1 at 06:44 PM on November 17

Rest in peace, Bo. I think that you wouldn't have wanted to go out any other way. Cancelling your doctor's appointment the day before so you can give your annual UofM-OSU pep talk to the Wolverines. Then 'checking out' while getting ready to do your weekly Big Ten Ticket show. Now Michigan has to do their part tomorrow and win one for Bo. It couldn't be scripted any better. Now you have the best seat in the Big House, Bo! You'll be missed.

posted by wingnut4life at 07:31 PM on November 17

Unbelievable. R.I.P. Bo. How ironic that this happens on the eve of the biggest college game of the year. I didn' get the latest line on this game, but I think it will change. Not a real Michigan fan, but would like to see them win this one and the National Championship just for him. Extra incentive now for Michigan. Go Wolverines

posted by Ghastly1 at 09:12 PM on November 17

Oof. He always seemed indestuctible. He's had heart trouble since the '70's, but his attitude was always "Heart attack,Schmeart attack! I got things to do!". I saw him do an interview the other day and my first thought was that he looked worn out. Still, I didn't expect this. I've been looking forward to The Game all season. The increasing stakes have just made the anticipation more intense. Suddenly, it feels like tomorrow doesn't matter as much because something essential is missing... but if the boys from Ann Arbor step up and win this one, it'll be an emotional roller coaster of a day. It'll be bittersweet, but the emphasis will be on the "sweet" part. Tomorrow, Bo gets the best seat in the house. Go Blue! Make the big guy proud.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:32 PM on November 17

As a former OSU student in the 80's, My respects to his family, wonder if Woody and Bo will be saying to each other as they watch down on the game today?

posted by CHUCKY at 09:10 AM on November 18

That's why my kids won't be going to a university in Ohio. Too many pinheads reside there. Go Michigan!

posted by mikemora at 12:45 PM on November 18

He learned about them this past week, according to a story I read. I have no reference to cite, but my understanding was the same as chico's; I had read he used to point their existence out to folks who hadn't heard of them.

posted by yerfatma at 02:22 PM on November 18

Though he once coached in Ohio, There was nobody more loyal to Michigan than Bo. The 1989 NCAA Basketball Tournament ("A Michigan man will coach Michigan!")is one of many stories that prove this. There are far to few men in today's world who would be as loyal. Everyone is saying Bo will be missed by college football, but I can't imagine how big a loss this is to the University of Michigan. There is just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter and it looks like the Buckeyes will take this one. I've already seen one column saying a rematch for the championship would be a bad idea- I say that's crap!!! Even if you don't consider the obvious circumstances in today's game, the BCS is to put the best two teams in the championship. I doubt there is another team better than these two.

posted by pcbenedict at 06:13 PM on November 18

I am a diehard Buckeyes Fan. Bo was a great coach for Michigan, He was a very tough coach to beat. OSU and Michigan riverly between Woody and Bo was classic and to be never matched! They both were rivals but both had tremendous respect for each other! The dog fight the two teams had today would of made both Woody and Bo proud. The two best teams in the nation played today. I am still mixed about a rematch It would depend upon how USC plays it's game. Most of the time the two best conference champs should play for the National championship, but this year it could be an exception,It's in the BCS hands now!

posted by The Tribster at 07:35 PM on November 18

Add to my comment It was a late TD by Michgan to make it a 3 point game, This could hurt thier chances for a rematch. If OSU would of went ahead and beat them late by three points, Michigan would have a stronger case to have a rematch. It's ajudgement call by the BCS

posted by The Tribster at 07:42 PM on November 18

The championship game should be between the two best teams. Period. The two best teams remain Ohio State and Michigan. There should be a rematch.

posted by commander cody at 07:58 PM on November 18

"It's in the BCS hands now!" Sad but true Tribster- God help us!!!

posted by pcbenedict at 08:52 PM on November 18

You should'nt have to beat the same team twice in football. Someone else should get a chance. Michigan has been measured, tested, and beaten. Mike Hart should have stopped crying by now, although I agree a re-match would be a different outcome. OSU would'nt have the fumbles or crazy drive saving flags that kept UM in it, and win bigger like they should have. Bo definately was effecting the game through OSU's center, luckily though, Woody was injecting a little spirit into Wells and Pittman for big running plays straight up the middle.

posted by Godzilla82 at 06:47 AM on November 19

I think both sides got some . . . helpful calls. Who would you rather see OSU play for a great bowl matchup?

posted by yerfatma at 08:15 AM on November 19

I would be interested to see those two teams match up on a field that doesn't suck. That said, the only scenario in which Michigan does not play in the title game that would really piss me off is if somehow Notre Dame got in, which would be extremely egregious considering how thoroughly Michigan thumped ND earlier in the year. If it was USC or Florida it wouldn't be so outrageous. Putting on my prediction hat, I think USC runs the table and makes it to the title game. Michigan will still go to the Rose Bowl, though.

posted by holden at 08:26 AM on November 19

If only Michigan could tackle...

posted by ajaffe at 09:13 AM on November 19

I don't understand the polls love of the golden domers and never will. They should be the same as all other top schools and join a conference. I think the reason they don't is the Big 10 is the most logical and they want no part of it!! Personally, I'm hoping for some conference championship upsets to keep ND out!! First and foremost my beloved Huskers in the Big 12. If they could pull that off (and they have shown they can play with Texas), an upset in another conference championship should keep them out. Actually, upsets across the board would be best!! Turn the BCS upside down and get rid of it!!! As far as I am concerned we can go back to the old bowls. Back then, Every Jan 1st game meant something and I watched them all!! Since the BCS, I haven't watched anything but the Husker's bowl game and the BCS Championship

posted by pcbenedict at 09:18 AM on November 19

Godzilla82, you're dealing in "what ifs" pretty badly there. I can just as easily say that if Michigan tightens up their tackling technique enough to stop either of those long TD runs for no gain,or even a loss (which they had the chance to do), you lose dude. Or if that helmet to helmet doesn't happen, drive over and you probaly lose, too. That helmet to helmet call was a good one, but it didn't appear to be intentional. They just came together at about the same level and banged heads. Either player bobs his head a little , or the tackler goes lower (as he should have since tackling high is usually the worst technique to use), and that penalty goes away. What if this tackler or that reciever didn't slip? What if the ref had seen that face mask? What if, what if...what if we give up on "knowing" what would have happened and focus on what did. What are almost certainly the two best teams in the country played a whale of a game that actually lived up to the hype. I'm a Michigan fan through and through, but I can recognize that OSU is an outstanding football team. OSU won Saturday. If the computers end up setting up a rematch, I wouldn't count on the same result, but I wouldn't be stupid enough to count it out either. I don't really expect a rematch, and I'm OK with that (things happen almost every year that knock a championship caliber team out of the playoffs in the NFL and there's very little carping that the Superbowl winner isn't the "real" champ). The Bucks are in the championship game, they deserve to be there, and they will likely win it no matter who they play...but I'd be willing to bet that Tressel doesn't want any part of replaying yesterday, especially away from the 'shoe.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:28 AM on November 19

Looking at the polls there seems to be a distinct possibility that Michigan can still play in the National Championship game. The ideal scenario is next week USC loses to Notre Dame and LSU beats Arkansas. Then Arkansas beats Florida in the national championship game. That scenario leaves Michigan and Notre Dame as the only two legit one loss teams, which logically means Michigan should be put in the national championship. Of course, the BCS system has shown that logic doesn't always prevail so I'm prepared for anything. As for the Michigan game, they could have won that game, unfortunatly they made dumb mistakes and couldn't capitalize when it counted. I for one am hoping for a rematch.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:00 PM on November 19

I dunno... maybe I just wasn't paying much attention, but that game didn't seem nearly as close as the final score indicated. If OSU eliminates the dumb turnovers (when was the last time you saw two turnovers on bad snaps?), and Michigan eliminates the dumb penalties (which happen fairly regularly, sadly), OSU blows them out. Not sure why everyone is clamoring for a rematch of that.

posted by tieguy at 04:46 PM on November 19

I'm with Holden... I wouldn't be too upset if there isn't a rematch, I'd kinda like to see another team get a shot since we see in the NFL how hard it is to beat the same team twice. But if Notre Dame gets in I will never watch another college football game. And, as I said before, I'd have a big problem with Arkansas since they got slaughtered by USC. Week one should (key word: should) count just the same as week 12 if they insist on not having a playoff. USC or Florida should go, if either of them lose than it should be Michigan. Here are this week's BCS rankings: 1. Ohio State 2. Michigan 3. USC 4. Florida 5. Notre Dame 6. Arkansas 7. West Virginia 8. Wisconsin 9. Louisville 10. LSU 11. Boise State 12. Auburn 13. Texas 14. Rutgers A win over Nevada and Boise State is almost guaranteed a BCS bid, but an 11-1 Wisconsin can't get one, because only 2 teams from a conference can go. This system sucks.

posted by SummersEve at 05:10 PM on November 19

I was all for a rematch prior to the game, assuming it would be a close game (which it obviously was). While I wouldn't mind seeing them face off again, I've changed my mind as to whether it's a good idea or not. Ohio State shouldn't have to beat the same team twice in order to be the National Champion. And why should Michigan necessarily be considered the champs should they play again and win? True it would be on a neutral field, but still. The championship shouldn't be for rematches. If Florida runs the table, they should get in. Everyone wants to say the SEC is so fantastic, it would only be right they have a team represented. USC would be a good game. And, Boise State, if undefeated, should probably be included. And Notre Dame should be out of the running. Getting smoked, at home, by Michigan was too huge a screwup. If the game did end up being Ohio State-Michigan, they should move it to the Rose Bowl since the Big 10 has such a long history with that game. Same with USC. I miss some of those Big 10/Pac 10 showdowns of years gone by. And yes, I do realize they can't move the championship game. I'm just imagining.

posted by dyams at 05:24 PM on November 19

Not only would the game be on a neutral field, but also it would probably be on a field where the grass has actually taken root. I suspect that we would have seen a drastically different game if all the DBs weren't slipping and tripping throughout the game. And would Urban Meyer shut up already?

posted by trharlan at 08:19 PM on November 19

I suspect that we would have seen a drastically different game if all the DBs weren't slipping and tripping throughout the game. Like they always say, both teams had to play on the same field. Yes, the grass did suck, but I'm not going to say the outcome would have been different.

posted by dyams at 08:25 PM on November 19

I dunno... maybe I just wasn't paying much attention, but that game didn't seem nearly as close as the final score indicated. What if Henne connects with Manningham when he was wide open early on in the game. Or the Michigan defense makes the tackles they should have made and the two long runs don't happen. Or Crable doesn't make the helmet to helmet hit and Michigan gets the ball back with one score. If one eliminates dumb mistakes for one team, it has to go both ways. The game was close and was a good game to watch. If my above scenario happens, I can't understand why there shouldn't be a rematch.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:41 PM on November 19

And would Urban Meyer shut up already? Yeah, no kidding. The nerve of a head coach trying to make a case for his team to get into the national championship game...horrible, just horrible. He should immediately resign, and for pennance, cut his tongue out. How dare he do everything in his power to further his team! Sheesh.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:30 AM on November 20

Quoting from the Urban Myer link trharlan put up... "If that does happen, all the (university) presidents need to get together immediately and put together a playoff system," Meyer said. "I mean like now, January or whenever to get that done." Yes. Yes they do.

posted by SummersEve at 07:42 AM on November 20

Im gonna hang my hat in the NO re-match game between Ohio State and Michigan corner. I also believe the BCS will alienate most of the country with re-match, I mean who other than OSU/UM fans will even bother to watch a game between two teams that played each other for a conference title 50 days ago come game time? Been there done that, other conferences still have championships to settle, more games to play, longer seasons than the Big 10 schools. As for the arguments about teams that lost earlier in the season to other contenders I say so what. So USC clobbers Arkansas in the first game of the year, both teams are different today, particularly Arkansas who had several starters out that first game and since getting them back have not lost. Yes Michigan beat ND earlier as well, to that I say OSU beat UM last weekend so why is the ND lose to UM a bigger factor than UM's lose to OSU. All said and done OSU is going to be the BCS #1 team, UM lost to that team, time to move on and give another team a shot. After all, John Q Public is more likely to watch a game they have not already seen played out 2 months earlier.

posted by Folkways at 08:49 AM on November 20

who other than OSU/UM fans will even bother to watch a game between two teams that played each other for a conference title 50 days ago come game time? I will. And as a Notre Dame fan, I want to point out this year's team has no business playing anyone in the top 3, maybe even the top 10, in a bowl game.

posted by yerfatma at 09:53 AM on November 20

Yes Michigan beat ND earlier as well, to that I say OSU beat UM last weekend so why is the ND lose to UM a bigger factor than UM's lose to OSU. Because Notre Dame has no buisness making the championship game over Michigan. Michigan destroyed Notre Dame when they went up head to head, thus Michigan deserves to be ranked higher.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:58 AM on November 20

Adding to YYM's post, no one is trying to rank Michigan ahead of Ohio State right now. However, they would be trying to rank Notre Dame ahead of Michigan. And Arkansas got lit up at home this season. Week one is still this season. This season started week one. Can we make that clear? I don't care if the cheerleaders played the game, this season started week one. This isn't just who-can-beat-who(m), it's more of who played themselves into the National Championship game by playing the best schedule, winning, and showing they were, OVER THE WHOLE SEASON, the best team. Some teams had injuries, some teams had crappy officiating. It sucks, but those are the breaks. (they need playoffs)

posted by SummersEve at 11:12 AM on November 20

to that I say OSU beat UM last weekend so why is the ND lose to UM a bigger factor than UM's lose to OSU. Because ND lost AT HOME, to a (then) lower ranked team and by a large margin. UM lost, on the road, to the #1 ranked team, by a field goal. Speaking of the 3-point difference in that game, correct me if I am wrong, but in the world of handicapping football, isn't the home field still worth just that much? Florida, USC, perhaps, check back after the play out their games. ND? Not a chance. And as for who would watch a rematch, a map of just such a poll showed that aside from Cali, Fla, Louisiana, and the Jersey area, most states favored a UM/OSU rematch

posted by elovrich at 11:23 PM on November 20

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