The Michigan Daily-Thursday, November 13, 1980--Page 9
Talks of frustrations,
lack of bowl games
By BOB WOJNOWSKI
As Michigan's quarterback from 1972
through 1974, he guided the Wolverines
to A 30-2-1 record, yet he never went to a
bowl game. He led the team in total of-
fense all three years and threw just 12
interceptions in his entire career, yet he
ever beat Ohio State. Indeed, one is
empted to spiel off an endless list of
adages concerning closeness only coun-
ting in a very few of life's endeavors
when reviewing the checkered career
of Dennis Franklin.
After a brief two-year stint. in pro
football, mostly as a wide receiver with
the Detroit Lions and briefly in the
Canadian Football League, Franklin
today works as an account executive
for WDIV-TV in Detroit, selling com-
micial time. He also does the color
oanmentary for the Michigan football
broadcasts on WWJ radio. He enjoys
what he does, and admits that it would
take quite an offer to persuade him to
rejoin the football ranks, as a coach.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Don
Zimmer, who could never win a pen-
nant at Boston, settled for a one-year
contract Wednesday to become the 10th
Texas Ranger manager in 10 years.
"When I got fired in Boston, I told my
coaches I would not take a managing
job in the major leagues with a one-
year contract," Zimmer said.
"But I told Ranger executive vice
president Eddie Robinson in his car
from the airport that I had enough self
confidence that I thought I would be
here more than one year, so I said 'do
ZIMMER TOOK over the team that
finished fourth in the American League
West. He replaced Pat Corralles. -
"A manager has to be lucky," said
Zimmer. "I prefer a challenge in my
life, and I wouldn't take this job if I
didp't think I could win."
Ranger players Al Oliver, Buddy
Bell, Billy Samples and Nelson Norman
were on hand for the news conference.
Oliver said, "I like it. It is a great
move. Zimmer is a winner. What hap-
pened to him at Boston was not his
"Somebody would really have to
pursue me and come up with a great of-
fer for me to get into coaching," says
Franklin. "I wouldn't want to make the
sacrifices necessary to build myself up
to the level where I could gain a top
Franklin talks at length and in detail
about the disappointments that more
than anything else mark his football
career. In '72 and '74 there were the 14-
11 and 12-10 losses toOhio State which
ruined otherwise perfect seasons and
sent the Buckeyes to the hose Bowl
- In '73 there was the infamous 10-10 tie
in which Franklin scored the tying'
touchdown on a 9-yard scamper and
then watched in despair as the Big
Ten's athletic directors voted to send
Ohio State to the Rose Bowl.
"That was terrible. I didn't think
there was any way they would turn us
down. I think we outplayed Ohio State,
and I think we played as well or better
than they did against our common Big
Ten opponents," he said.
There was also speculation after the
controversial vote that the reason the
Buckeyes got the nod was because of a
broken collarbone Franklin suffered
near the end of the game.
"They say that, but I don't know if
that's justified," said Franklin. "All the
other players sweated and worked for
it, and I don't think it's fair to take it
away because of one injury. Besides,
(backup quarterback) Larry Cipa had
more than enough ability to step in and
do the job."
Franklin speaks somewhat bitterly
when confronted with the fact that he
never appeared in a bowl with the
"That was a tremendous setback.
Our team deserved to be somewhere.
The greatest satisfaction comes from
accomplishing a goal and when you feel
that you deserve to go to a bowl and end
up spending Christmas at home in-
w Franklin suffered further disappoin-
tment in his career. As a quarterback
who liked to pass, he was stuck in a
notoriously run-oriented offense. And
he didn't mince his words when asked
about the situation.
"I didn't like it at all. I enjoyed my
career. We had a lot of fun because we
won a lot of games so I really couldn't
complain. I wasn't the rebellious type,
but I'm convinced that if we had thrown
the ball more, we would have been
But Franklin notes that the current
Michigan team is testimony to the fact
that Coach Bo Schembechler's
coaching philosophy is gradually
changing with the times, and the for-
ward pass is actually becoming a vital
part of the Wolverine offense.
"Rick (Leach)'s first year was sort of
like the start of the transition. I think
Bo did a lot of maturing during that
time, and this year, when the quarter-
back job was up in the air, it came down
to the better passing quarterback win-
And Franklin sees this shift from a
one-dimensional offense to a more
balanced attack coinciding with a
change in Schembechler himself.
"He's mellowed a lot. You'll never
convince him he's turned into a passing
coach, but I think it's great that they
have a balanced attack now. They're an
exciting team to watch. Now you'll see
them throwing the ball inside the 10-
yard line, whereas before we just blew
'em off the line and rammed it in."
But Franklin nonetheless speaks
highly of his former mentor.
"I have a great deal of respect for Bo.
I think I know him' very well and we
have a tremendous relationship. When
you come to college, the coach sort of
becomes a father figure. And becuase
of the position I playe'd, we were even
closer than most."
As for big moments in his college
career, well, when you never go to a
bowl game and you never beat Ohio
State, "Nothing really stands out." He
mentions an all-star appearance in the
Hula Bowl as significant, but admits
that it is far from the type of thrill that
always just eluded his grasp.
"It was such a frustrating career. We
always came so close."
DENNIS FRANKLIN SPRINTS to his left during one of his many games as
Michigan's starting quarterback between 1972 and 1974. Franklin has
become the symbol of that frustrating period in Michigan football history
iwhenshis teams had a combined record of 30-2-1 over three seasons, but
never went to a bowl game.
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39 etveiigng (rant otnily
The Gridde Picks are beginning to
pour in, and so far the most interesting
one the Daily has received is from one ,
MarkHerrmann of West Lafeyette, In-
diana. Herrmann has picked Michigan-
to beat the team he quarterbacks, Pur-
due, by a score of 43-17.
"Sure I'd like 'to see us win," says
Herrmann. "But let's be realistic, it's
not every day you get a shot at a free
And Herrmann's right. It's not every
day you get a chance, so you better get
your Gridde Picks into 420 Maynard by
midnight Friday in order to be in the
running for a small one-item Mr.
1. Purdue at MICHIGAN
2. Ohio State at Iowa
3. Michigan St. at Minnesota
4. Illinois at Indiana
5. Wisconsin at Northwestern
6. Oklahoma at Missouri
7. Notre Dame at Alabama
8. Georgia at Auburn
9. Clemson at Maryland
10. Nebraska at Iowa St.
11. Duke at N. Carolina St.
12. Princeton at Yale
13. Florida at Kentucky
14. Oregon St. at Oregon
15. Washington at Southern Cal
16. Penn St. at Temple
17. Central Michigan at Western Michigan
18. Eastern Michigan at N. Illinois
19. District of Columbia at Bowie St.
20. Charlie Tuna Oceanographic
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