Wednesday, May 24, 2006

31 straight post-season Bowl appearances

Prior to 1975, only the team that won the Big Ten Championship would qualify for a bowl game (the Rose Bowl) while every other team in the conference stayed home. This led to some inequitable results. For example, U-M was the co-Big Ten Champion in 1972, 1973 and 1974 with conference records of 7-1, 7-0-1, and 7-1, respectively. However, they did not go to the Rose Bowl (or any other bowl game) during those years. Since the rule change regarding Big Ten eligibility was implemented in 1975, U-M has appeared in a post-season bowl game for 31 consecutive seasons! While U-M's consecutive bowl appearance streak is extremely impressive our win/loss record in the bowl games during this era is a mediocre 14-17 (including a 4-9 record in 13 Rose Bowl appearances since 1975).

Many U-M fans have the "what have you done for me lately" mentality and, thus, last year's 7-5 record wiped out any good will from consecutive Rose Bowl appearances in the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Nonetheless, if U-M can get back on track and qualify for another Rose Bowl appearance in 2006 that will make 3 times in 4 years which is something it has not done since the Bo/Mo era. U-M appeared in the Rose Bowl 4 times in 5 years from 1988-1992 with two appearances under Bo (1988 & 1989) and two under Mo (1991 & 1992) in that span.

While the fans of many schools hope just to get to a bowl, U-M fans have been spoiled by the idea that it is not "if" but "where" U-M will be playing in a post-season bowl. More often than not the "where" turns out to be Pasadena and I think that is likely to be the case again this year. Go Blue!

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