The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, September 20, 1977-Page 11
By Scott Lewis
Schembechler's pessimism ...
.. is it warranted?
OR MANY YEARS NOW, Bo Schembechler has tried to praise the
opposition the week preceding .each game, only to be snickered at
by sportswriters all over.
Nobody would take Bo seriously, as Michigan habitually rolled over its
meek opponents. The results simply defied logic as the Wolverines played so
"poorly," as Bo put it, against such allegedly strong opposition, yet Michi-
gan continuously ended up the victor.
This year has been no different. Schembechler strongly criticized his
team's play after its first two games, and his pessimism has been more ap-
parent than ever. And it seems so absurd to think that a team like Navy,
Saturday's opponent, could pose a threat to the Wolverines.
But as the weeks go by this season, Schembechler may start looking
more like a prophet than a pessimist.
Last weekend, for instance, many of the top powers in the country fell to
teams with capabilities similar to those of Duke and Navy. And who's to say
that Michigan won't be victimized by such lesser-knowns?
"There are no super teams in college football anymore, and yof better
be ready to play every week of the season," noted Schembechler at yes-
terday's weekly press luncheon. "On any given Saturday, I don't care who
you are, you can get beaten.
"Just take a look around the country, and try to tell me that Navy can't
beat Michigan. In a pig's, eye they can't. At the end of the season, you're
going to say, 'You know that 21-9 game against Duke? That was pretty good,
wasn't it?' "
Schembechler's reasons for the demise of the "superpowers" stem from
tle new NCAA rule limiting the amount of scholarships a team can hand out
to 30 per year, with a maximum of 95 for an entire team
The reasoning behind the rule was to decrease the cost of recruiting
numerous high school athletes around the country. An indirect result how-
ever, may be a gradual evening out of the talent between most of the major
college teams. If these consequences don't show up this year, they should in
the next two or three years.
Although it may not please fans of the Michigan's and Oklahoma's
around the country, the remaining 90 per cent will surely benefit.
In addition, the ruling may be just what Bo needs in order to make
believers out of the rest of the world when he touts his opponents. And the
way he praised the Middies, one would think Michigan will barely escape
with their lives on Saturday..
"Navy's going to win 8 or 9 games this year. They play Michigan, Pitts-
burgh, and Notre Dame, and they're going to beat one of the three, maybe
even two," Bo predicted.
Schembechler also gave the officials of the Duke game one final round of
criticism before aturning his thoughts completely toward the Navy clash.
"I don't accept those three delay of game penalties," he said. "I don't
think we delayed. That fellow has a defective watch.
"This business of being nice to the officials - I don't buy that," he con-
tinued. "Everybody else is subject to criticism when they don't produce.
Nobody says 'Be nice to Bo.' If they can't do the job, they shouldn't be out
As injuries have subsided somewhat, a few lineup changes will be made
for the Navy game. Jon Geisler, who was supposed to take injured Bill
Dufek's place until the same fate befell him, will start at tackle, taking John
Powers' place. Sophomore Ralph Clayton will make his first start as a
Wolverine at wingback, and most significantly, Schembechler is toying with
the idea of shuffling in three running backs for the game.
"Last year we used three running backs, but this year we've only used
two and I don't like that. I think I'm going to use three this week - out
fo necessity," he said.
Roosevelt Smith, a 5-10 sophomore running back, will assume the spot
as third back. This will probably mean less playing time for Harlan Huck-
leby. Ironically, Smith attended the same high sehool as Huckleby - De-
troit Cass Tech - where he broke many of the H-bomb's records.
Otherwise, Michigan should have no major surprises in store on Sat-
urday, just an attempt to improve on its first two shabby performances.
Even Bo's pessimistic assessments are starting to prove correct, and
people may start snickering less and less as the weeks go on.
DAILY Photos by BRAD BENJAMIN
MICHIGAN COACH Bo Schembechler talked up a storm during Saturday's ... and Bo later argues a delay-of-game penalty called by one of the officials.
game against Duke. Here Bo may be giving some kick-off return advice to "The ACC officials tried to help their team and the Big Ten officials stood
Harlan Huckleby ... around like goons," Bo later complained.
Bosox stagger Yanks
Rv The Associated Press
BOSTON Carlton Fisk drilled a-
three-run homer in the third inning and
the Boston Red Sox held on for a 6-3 vic-
tory over the New York Yankees last
night behind the pitching of Reggie
The triumph kept alive Boston's pen-
nant hopes, enabling the Red Sox to
move to within 31/2 games of the
Yankees in the American League East.
Fish broke a 1-1 tie with his 24th
homer, a line shot high into the screen
in left. With one out, rookie Ted Cox
looped a single into shallow right-center
for his sixth consecutive major league
hit. Jim Rice lined a single to left-
center, sending Cox to second, and both
runners moved up as Carl Yastrzemski
Dave Kingman pulled New York to
within 4-3 with a pinch-hit homer in the
eighth, his third in three games since
being acquired by the Yankees last
week. But Yastrzemski got that run
back by lining his 25th homer into the
center field bleachers in the Boston
Fisk followed Yastrzemski's homer
with a triple to right-center and George
Scott followed with an RBI single,
shelling Figueroa, 15-10.
Cleveland surrendered a solo homer
to Thurman Munson in the first and
another run on consecutive doubles by
Roy White and Munson in the sixth.
Baltimore also tasted defeat last
night when they dropped a 3-1 decision
to the last place Toronto Blue Jays,
keeping them 31/2 games behind the
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