November 23, 1977-The Michigan Daily
By Don MacLachlan
Spotlight on Bo...
OR MICHIGAN COACH Bo Schembechler it has been quite a year. He
F guided his team to yet another Big Ten championshipand secured a
trip to the Rose Bowl for the second straight year.
Think about that .last point for a minute. Ohio State went out west four
years in a row earlier and usually a Michigan appearance was intersperced
along the way. But this year's Wolverines are making a Rose Bowl appear-
ance-no other Big Ten team was strong enough to strip the right from them.
Three Big Ten teams earned Bowl bids-but Michigan is still heading to
the "Grandaddy of Them All." That fact says a lot for Schembechler.
Schembechler is a unique man. I confronted him five days a week this
season and became familiar with his ways. Every time I wanted to speak
with Bo, he obliged. At the beginning of every week things were looking
pretty optimistic. He'd be in high spirits and speak highly of the upcoming
Come the middle of the week Schembechler had finished running the
Wolverines through the hard practices. Some days he was pleased-on other
occasions he seemed very concerned. Then came The Game. Bo never spoke
much as The Game approached. Injuries were kept semi-secret. If oppo-
nents knew of a player's injury the possibility existed that they just might
shoot for the sore area during The Game.
You see, Schembechler doesn't have a very easy job. He built a power-
house and plans on keeping it intact. A big part of Bo's job consists of keep-
ing his Wolverines motivated for weaker opposition. It sounds simple-but
One football player once told me that the upset was in the mind of the
favorite. I thought about that statement and agreed. If the favorite believes
they can get beat and the underdog plays a super game-watch out. Minne-
sota came out sky high and gave its utmost against Michigan. The night
before the game the Gophers heard a speech from an alumnus relating to
.. ea year in review
the Little Brown Jug. You best believe the Gophers wanted Michigan badly.
They got on top and Michigan found itself in a hole. Minnesota didn't
letup and the Wolverines lost their only game of the 1977 season.
It's too bad it takes a loss to make a team honestly realize that anything
can happen on the gridiron. Schembechler strives to keep his team up week
in and week out. Don't think it's not a big advantage to come out of the
tunnel knowing you're favored. Schembechler keeps his players up, yet their
heads don't balloon with overconfidence.
Earlier in the year Bo didn't really mind the close games-or so it
seemed. The coach wants perfection but he sincerely believes a win is a
win-no matter how you get it. The polls aren't that significant to him. It
would be nice, but the number one ranking certainly isn't imperative.
After the Minnesota loss, Schembechler really became concerned.
There was not much room to work with-win all the rest or no Rose Bowl.
To Schembechler, not going, to the Rose Bowl would be the equivalent of
sitting home on New Year's Day.
He insisted the next opponent, Iowa, was a decent football team-
Michigan won 23-6 but everybody expected a destroyal of the Hawkeyes.
Bo was satisfied. Northwestern week I sensed a real confidence about
Schembechler regarding the Wildcats' invasion of Ann Arbor. Rightfully
so-the Blue steamrolled Northwestern, 63-20.
Purdue was next in line. On Tuesday in practice Schembechler lost
his starting tight end Gene Johnson to a knee injury. Bo is not a man to
cry and seek clemency. It just made the stubborn mentor all that more
intense about the game. Michigan fell behind in West Lafayette 7-0, but
Schembechler was not alarmed. He had his players ready for that situa-
tion. The Wolverines won, 40-7.
Then came Ohio State. This would be my week where I could really
see Bo at his best. Oh my byad!! I couldn't even step foot in the practice
building. Burns Security was all around-I wondered just what the old coach
was running behind those fences. How was he reacting to the pressure? Bo
was simply ignoring it and getting the most out of his practices-thus the
n Thursday I got a chance to listen to Schembecherhat his mini-press
conference. Boy, did he seem relaxed. He'd done all he could regarding ~
the game. Then unexpectedly I saw him on Friday.
Schembechler let me watch practice (even though I wasn't supposed
to) to day before the big game. I could hardly tell the players apart. They 9
were all dressed in Blue sweats and wore no numbers. All I saw was a man .
in a blue hat watching his team run through plays. When he was satisfied <
he blew his whistle and moved on to something else. He would huddle up 9
with the offense and relay his feelings. Later, a whistle blew and practice
I talked to Bo very briefly after practice. I found out what I wanted and
left. Schembechler will never avoid a person on an issue. But if he doesn't
like something you do-he'll let you know about it just like he would with
All season long Bo seemed fairly relaxed-but what if the conference
title slipped out of reach? It never did and as a result it was all on the line
.against Ohio State.
OSU game: Bo at his best
Before the Buckeye game, Woody Hayes led the Ohio State contingent
in cheers. Meanwhile, Schembechler paced around between his troops, head
down and concentrating on the game. After halftime the players formed a
little tunnel for Bo to run through as he came on the field. He did and they
As the game progressed Bo never changed. He clung to his headphones
and kept all emotion within himself. Even with 20 seconds left and a Mich-
igan victory assured Bo kept his head down, squatted on the sidelines and
watched Rick Leach to make sure he fell down with the ball correctly.
I couldn't have been happier for Schembechler when the players lofted
him to their shoulders and carried him off the field. He had achieved that
elusive goal-and he did it two years in a row.
The football team is a close unit. Some of the players look at Schem-
bechler as their "old man." He is a tough person who drills his players hard
but certainly has their respect. And vice versa. Every night after practice
.Schembechler gazes in the training room and looks over his hobbled players._
-He'll shoot the slangwith a fewof them and head home to his family..
All the work and time that went into this season has paid off. Schem-
bechler is a winner. His teams seldom lose. He mixed the pass into his
offense a little more this year and it paid dividends. Leach's 22 yard pass to
Ralph Clayton set up Michigan's initial first down against the Bucks. The 20
yard pass to Roosevelt Smith put Michigan on the eight yard line-from
where the Wolverines moved to score their first touchdown.
Say all you want about Bo Schembechler. He runs the ball a lot and
is a rigid man-but one thing is for sure, he wins football games. And that
is not such an easy job. Two Big Ten schools are already searching for new,
grid coaches. Schembechler is set in his ways and doesn't always say yes,.
but I can tell you this-he's a tough competitor and a class guy.
.. ' : .'. , .°.
~j2~/t4 "( the tzsai1v
Yanks nab Goose
NEW YORK - The New York Yankees, who lost starting pitcher Mike
Torrez to the Boston Red Sox, shopped at the free agent market yesterday
and bought six years of relief pitching from Rich Gossage.
The price at the checkout counter was more than $2.5 million for the
right-handed hurler who gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a club record 72 ap-
pearances last season while phasing out his option year.
"I'd like to bring a few more championships, six more at least, to this
club," said Gossage, who was 11-9 for Pittsburgh with 26 saves and a 1.62
earned run average.
Now he'll team with left-hander Sparky Lyle, the American Leagile's Cy
Young Award winner, and give the Yankees "probably the best bullpen in
FACT: Pabst Extra
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Libels extinguish Lantern fire
Athletic Director Don Ctanham thinks that he has arrived at an ex-
planation for the record crowd which attended Saturday's Michigan-Ohio
"So many people came into town to see THE GAME Friday night bet-
ween the Daily Libels and the Ohio State Lantern that we were bound to
benefit from the spillover."
The Libels gave the multitude more than it's moneys worth, dismantling
the bumbling Buckeyes 38-0. Five different Michigan penmen scored TD's
and quarterback Tom Cameron saved his finest perfornance forhis last
game as a Libel.
The senior from Dearborn thrilled the throng with touchdown passes to
Bob "Stone Hands" Warren, Senior "E" Shifman, and each of the Campbell
Then, late in the game, the formidable Libels drove down to the Lantern
7-inch line. Cameron wanted to score for posterity. He appeared to score on-
ce on a bootleg, but it was nullified by referee Bill"Out of Position" Stieg.
But on the next play, Cameron indeed found paydirt for the last score of the
But, in the finest Tartan Turf tradition, it was the defense that really
won the game for the Libels. All-IM stars "Stilts" Kicinski and Ernie D.
Dunbar were magnificent, and interceptions by Hank "Move that Meat"
Engelhardt, Brian "Gotta make it happen" Martin and a stray Dog kept the
Lantern at bay. - FFATS STROPS
(tie) DAILY LIBELS
San Diego State
1. Texas (35)
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3. Alabama (1)
5. Notre Dame (1)
7. Ohio State
8. Penn State
11. Texas A&M
12. Iowa State
13. North Texas State
15. North Carolina
18. Brigham Young
19. Colorado State
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