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January 07, 1998 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-01-07

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2B - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, January 7, 1998

Voters divide champlioship
After Orange Bowl victory, Cornhuskers secure a share

A half century of
football dominance *
Michigan was the nation's
preeminent program at the dawn
of modern college football.

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Daily Sports Editor
Triumph was tinged with disappointment fol-
lowing No. 1 Michigan's victory in the Rose
Bowl last Thursday. After No. 2 Nebraska throt-
tied No. 3 Tennessee in the Orange Bowl the
next night, giving Tom Osborne a victory in his
final game as coach, the Wolverines fell behind
the Cornhuskers in the USA Today/ESPN
coaches' poll and split the national champi-
Michigan (12-0) had been the consensus No.
I team entering the bowl season and finished
first in the Associated Press media poll.
Nebraska (13-0), which had been a distant sec-
ond in both polls, picked up significant ground
with its 42-17 victory.
Edging the Wolverines by a narrow margin in
the coaches' poll, the Cornhuskers secured a
share of their third national title in four years.
They were outright champions following the
1994 and '95 seasons. The Wolverines earned a
share of their first national title since 1948.
Four points separated the two teams in the
coaches' poll, with the Cornhuskers grabbing 32
first-place votes and 1,520 points to the
Wolverines' 30 first-place votes and 1,516
points. In the media poll, the Wolverines won

easily. They had 51 1/2 first-place votes and
1,731 points to the Cornhuskers' 18 1/2 first-
place votes and 1,698 points, though Michigan
had boasted all but one of the first-place votes in
the media poll before the bowl season.
"From our standpoint, it could not have
worked out any better," said Osborne, who last
month announced he is retiring after 25 seasons
leading the Cornhuskers. "I'm sure people
voted as they did for different reasons. My feel-
ing on how you vote is what team you feel
would be favored over every other team, regard-
less of when they last won a national champi-
onship, or whether their coach is retiring or all
the sidebars that don't really mean anything."
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said he was "dis-
appointed" that the Wolverines did not win the
title outright. But he also said: "I'm not a play-
off proponent. I don't think there is any way in
our sport you can do a playoff and determine a
true national champion. I know there's a lot of
people who want to see that happen, but I think
there will always be controversy."
The split national title was the third this
decade. Next season, the Rose Bowl, Pac-10
and Big Ten will join the Super Alliance -
along with the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls
- in an attempt to prevent a split title from hap-

pening again. But matching up a true No. I team
with a true No. 2 team still will rely on the
integrity of the polls - something that was
damaged last week.
Doing the math to compute the coaches' poll
reveals that one or two coaches voted Michigan
No. 3 or No. 4. That did not prevent the
Wolverines from finishing No. 1, but it weak-
ened their standing and exposed a willingness
by some coaches to stray from the mainstream.
In the poll, 62 coaches rank the teams from
No. I to No. 25. A first-place vote is worth 25
points, a second-place vote is worth 24 points,
and so on. Nebraska received 1,520 points, with
32 first-place votes accounting for 800 of the
total. The only way the Cornhuskers could have
received their remaining 720 points is if every
one of the 30 coaches who voted Michigan No.
1 also voted Nebraska No. 2.
Michigan received a total of 1,516 points.
Multiply 30 first-place votes by 25 and you get
750 points. Now, if all 32 coaches who voted
Nebraska No. 1 turned around and voted
Michigan No. 2, that would have given the
Wolverines another 768 points, or a total of
1,518. So the two points less they actually
received tells us one coach either dropped them
to No. 4, or two coaches put them third.

1901, finished 11-0. Outscored
opponents, 550-0. Defeated
Stanford, 49-0, in first-ever Rose
Bowl game, which was ended
early due to a mercy rule. The
blowout was so bad, Tournament
of Roses officials replaced the
game with other events, including
a race between a camel and an
elephant. Football resumed in


1902, finished 11-0. Outscoredf
opponents, 644-12. Surrendered
six points each to Case and
Minnesota, but took a 119-0 victo-
ry over Michigan Agricultural
College, now Michigan State. The
team beat Iowa, 107-0.
1903, finished 11-0-1.
Outscored opponents, 565-6. Tied
Minnesota, 6-6, on Halloween in
the game that created the Little
Brown Jug rivalry.
1904, finished 10-0. Outscored
opponents, 567-22. Before Yost ,
lost to Chicago, 2-0, in 1905 sea-.,
son, his record was 55-0-1 and his,.
teams had outscored their rivals,
1918, finished 5-0. Played only
five games but still outscored
opponents, 96-6.

Junior Mark Campbell celebrates Michigan's victory ...

1923, finished 8-0. Outscored
opponents, 150-12. Yost would
take the next season off before
returning to coach for two more..
years. He finished with six nation-
al titles and a 165-29-10 record.


... as does junior safety Marcus Ray.

Woodson, Leaf will leave school, play as pros

By Nicholas J. Cotsonika
Daily Sports Editor
SANTA MONICA, Calif.-Two of
the-1998 Rose Bowl's brightest stars
witl be playing in the NFL next sea-
on. Washington State junior quarter-
back Ryan Leaf announced at a news
o&nference last Friday that he will
foxgo his final season of eligibility
and enter the NFL draft. Meanwhile,
-sources said Michigan junior corner-
'back and Heisman Trophy winner
Charles Woodson will make a similar
announcement this week.
Leaf and Woodson played major
roles in last Thursday's Rose Bowl -
which No. I-ranked Michigan won,
21-16, to capture a share of its first
national title since 1948 - and in
their teams' sterling seasons. Both
plyers are expected to be top-five
pi'ks in the draft.
Woodson isn't expected to

. of in

announce his decision until Friday.
When asked after the game what his
intentions were, he said only, "I'll tell
you next week." Two players said
Woodson had made his decision
before the game,<
with one saying,
"He's gone:'
Michigan Coach
Lloyd Carr con-
firmed last Friday
that Woodson has
made his decision,
but Carr would not
confirm that
Woodson will enter
the draft. He did Woodson
say, however, that Woodson's
announcement "will not be a sur-
Woodson became the first primari-
ly defensive player to win the
Heisman and was a threat at corner-

back, at wide receiver and on special
teams. He played best in big games
and in big situations, serving as a cat-
alyst for the Wolverines' run to their
first 12-0 record in history. His inter-
ception in the end zone during last
Thursday's second quarter stopped
the Cougars from taking a 14-0 lead
and gave his team the momentum it
needed to win.
Before the Rose Bowl, Carr spoke
of Woodson's two-way talent and said,
"It's going to be interesting how he's
used at the next level. He's a special
player, and I think he'll make an
Leaf is almost certain to make an
immediate impact in the NFL, but giv-
ing up his final year of eligibility was-
n't easy.
"I don't want to leave college foot-
ball, but every player has to make the
decision about when it's time to move

on," said Leaf, who was flanked by his
parents and Coach Mike Price at the
Cougars' hotel here. "Playing pro
football has always been a dream for
me, and with all the new experiences
in new cities com-
ing up in the pros,
only the best lies
While leading
his team to its first
Rose Bowl since
the 1930 season, ,
and back from last
year's 5-6 record,
Leaf threw for
3,968 yards and 34 Leaf
touchdowns as the Cougars finished
10-2. The Heisman finalist was 17 of
35 for 331 yards in the Rose Bowl,
with one interception and one touch-
Leaf came close to staying for a

fifth year, even though he is just 16
credits short of a degree and likely
will graduate this spring. When
Woodson's name was called at the
Heisman presentation in New York
last month, Leaf turned to Price and
said, "Coach, I want to stay."
The tradition of college football,
Leaf said, made him "emotional" at
that moment, but the advice Leaf was
given in the end was enough to con-
vince him it was time to go.
"I didn't know if I was ready or
mature enough," said Leaf, who
walked off the field last Thursday
blowing goodbye kisses to the
Washington State fans. He will be rep-
resented by agent Leigh Steinberg. "I
wouldn't have done this if people did-
n't tell me I was ready to leave. It was-
n't like, 'Maybe you could.' They said,
'I know you're ready.' That was what
put me over the top."

1932, finished 8-0. Outscored
opponents, 123.13. Coached by
Harry Kipke. Future President
Gerald Ford's first year as a letter-
1933, finished 7-0-1. Outscored
opponents, 131-18. Tied
Minnesota, 0-0.
1947, finished 10-0. Disputed
national title. The Wolverines fin-
ished No. 1 over Notre Dame in a
special post-bowl poll by receiving
nearly two-thirds of the votes. The
AP recognizes the Irish as national
champions, however. Michigan
outscored is opponents, 394-53.
Coached by Fritz Crisler.
1948, finished 9-0. Coach*
Bennie Oosterbaan's first team
took over the No. 1 spot six
weeks into the season by defeat-
ing Navy, 35-0. Notre Dame, the
previous No. 1, defeated Indiana,
42-6, that week. Michigan
outscored its opponents,
49 years of fighting
through frustration*
Since Michigan won the national
championship in 1948, the
Wolverines came close several
times. But until this year, they
hadn't gotten the prize.
1964, finished 9-1 and No. 4 in
final Associated Press poll. Lost
one game, 21-20, to Bob Griese's
Purdue Boilermakers, who ended
up 6-3.
1970, finished 9-1and No.9
In a matchup of undefeated
teams, lost to Ohio State, 20-9.
Buckeyes went to Rose Bowl
ranked No. 2 and lost to Stanfor.
. 1971, finished 11-1 and No.6.
Perfect season ruined in 13-12
Rose Bowl loss to Stanford.
Hearts were broken by a Stanford
field goal with 16 seconds left.
No. 1 Nebraska defeated No. 2
Alabama in the Orange Bowl.
N 1972, finished 10-1 and No. 6.
Took a 10-0 record Into Ohio State
game and lost, 14-11. Teams tied
for conference title, and Big Ten
athletic directors voted to send
Buckeyes to Rose Bowl. Defense
allowed just 57 points all season.
1973, finished 10-0-1 and No.
6. Tied No. 1-ranked Ohio State in
season finale, 10-10, and teams
tied for Big Ten title. Conference
athletic directors again voted to
send Buckeyes to Rose Bowl.
Outscored opponents, 330-68.
1974, finished 10-1 and No. 3.
Outscored opponents, 324-75, and
took 10-0 record into Ohio State
game. Lost, 12-10.
1976, finished 10-2 and No. 3.
Was undefeated and ranked No. 1
until 16-14 loss to unranked
Purdue on Nov. 6. Later lost'in
Rose Bowl to Southern Cal.
Outconretopone nt. 49.Qg

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