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November 01, 2002 - Image 16

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2002-11-01

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6B - The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL SATURDAY - November 2, 2002

The Michigan Daily - FOOTBALL SATUR

BO

KNOV\TS~

FOOTB-ALL[

Bo Schembechler paced the Michigan sideline for two decades, and
became a football and University icon and the embodiment of what
"Michigan football" should be. Daily sports editor David Horn talked
with Bo about Notre Dame's resurgence, the Michigan State rivalry
and what it takes to play at Michigan.

The Michigan Daily: What are your impressions of last
week's Iowa game?
Bo Schembechler: Those things happen. You play a game
where nothing goes right, and that's what happens.
If
Michigan doesn't
improve and do some-
thing, it could be bad. z

TMD:What about this
week against Michigan
State? Is this a real
rivalry?
BS:
In
1969, my first year
here, they didn't have a
very good team. And
we had just knocked
off a very good Purdue
team. There were three
good teams that year
Ohio State,
Michigan and Purdue.
We went up to
Michigan State and
lost, andlater on beat
Ohio State. The talk
after that was that "Bo
doesn't understand the
Michigan State game."
So after that we made
it a point to win it, and
won it 17 out of the
next 20 times. This
year it's big, coming
out of a tough loss.

TMD: Last week Michigan played an Iowa team that fea-
tured a tailback from Michigan in Fred Russell. What are the
challenges involved in keeping athletes from Michigan in-
state?
BS: There's some players you just can't keep. They just can's
get in here. We don't have Prop-48 in here.
TMD: Some people say that Michigan has gone soft. Has it?
BS: All across the country, the quality of play on both
offense and defense is that they don't block or tackle as well.
In my day we could hit
hard in practice, and yeah, guys got hurt. But if a player or a
star went down, there were enough players to play someone
else instead. Today, with 85, you don't have enough guys.
TMD: Does that mean that guys coming out of the Big Ten,
or anywhere in the nation for that matter, aren't ready for the
NFL?
BS: Even at pro football the tackling is one facet of the game
that has declined.
TMD: What are your thoughts on the transition to artificialk
turf for Michigan Stadium?
BS: I think it's good. It appears that in this climate, we've
found, we can't get good grass to grow. The coaches like it,
the players like it. I like it.

game doesn't affect Michigan, or teams like Michigan. I think
it's those other people that want to make sure they get those
six wins and are bowl eligible.
TMD: What about the BCS?
BS: I don't like the BCS. There will always be one year out of
four that someone not in the Big Ten will go to the Rose Bowl.
That's not right. We used to joke that if Michigan won the Big
Ten and got invited to play in the Fiesta Bowl for the national
championship, we'd say no and go play in the Rose Bowl. I
always liked the old system. Let everyone vote on the best
team in the country. The BCS didn't present two clear teams to
play in the game last year and it likely won't this year.
TMD: What are your
t thoughts on (new
p Notre Dame coach) Ty
Willingham? Are the
RtFighting Irish for real?
BS: They've done a
44 good job defensively,
not offensively. If you
get a few breaks and
play well, you can be
really good.
TMD: What separates
a good team from a
great team?
BS: Great teams go out
and win without any
problems.
AP PHOTO
Willis McGahee and Ken Dorsey (o. n) lead a touMai TMD: So Notre
offense, but time will tell whthe the 'Canes are a truly great team. Da e
Dame?
BS: Notre Dame has a shot, but they'll face a tough USC
team out west.
TMD: How does television and television revenue affect the
game today?
BS: If both Michigan and Michigan State were on top of
their game and had championship aspirations, do you honest-
ly believe we'd be playing on ESPN2? (Television) dictates
everything. Did you watch ESPN during the Purdue game ...
TMD: I was there.
BS: Well get this - right in the middle of the game they
switched to commercial! When you get to ESPN and ESPN2
and some others, they may send you somebody a director
- that doesn't know anything about football.
TMD: What do you think of (Ohio State tailback) Maurice
Clarett looking to turngpro before his junior year?
BS: If he wants to go, h should go. If you're down there and

Courtesy of the Michigan Athletic Department
Schembechler served as head coach of Michigan from 1969 to
1989. In his time at the helm, Michigan won 194 games.

TMD: Talk about
scheduling for
Michigan.
BS: I've said it before
that I'm not interested
in the 10-year contract
with Notre Dame.
Everyone will make
that game out as a real-
ly important game, but
Michigan plays a whole
Big Ten season of real-
ly important games.
The 12th

Maurice Clarett may or may not be the best thing since peanut butter, butti
that would love to find out, should the Ohio State running back choose to fig
he says he doesn't want to be there, you
Honestly though, I think he's jus
freshman who has had too much success
TMD: Going back to this year's Michigar
you evaluate John Navarre, compared to I
backs of the past? Compared to the guys
back?
BS: He's different than any QB I had. M
mobile guys. We did go to the pocket ga
Harbaugh and Elvis Grbac. When you ta
and Rick Leach, though, you talk about
around out of the pocket.
TMD: What do you think of (new Michi
dinator) Terry Malone's new offense? It's
from ...
BS: There are people who think football
short passing game; that the running gar
you have to do is look at that Iowa game
If (Michigan) had a little better ru
give the quarterback more time. If the qi
time, he completes more passes ...
TMD: Some people say that this Michig
toughness of Michigan teams of the past
BS: I hope it's not true. I hope every Mi
he should be tough. You have to have tha
if you're going to play at Michigan. If yc
shouldn't be here.

TMD: A lot of people are anticipating another 6-2 season for
Michigan in the Big Ten, or an eight-win season overall. Is
that good enough?
BS: Six wins in this conference ... In 1984, I had to struggle with
a 6-6 season. That was the worst team I had here, record-wise.
But if you went around the country and asked if teams would take
eight wins in a 12 game schedule, you'll find a lot of happy peo-
ple.

DAVID KATZ/Daily
Omar Jenkins and Notre Dame may be the Cinderella story of the
year, but Schembechler Isn't impressed.

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