Page 12-The Michigan Daily-Friday, July 28,1989
Big Ten favorites
BY STEVE BLONDER
CHICAGO - Bo Schembechler
has always set winning the Big Ten
title as a goal for his teams, and this
year is no exception.
But he fired back when the
conference coaches unanimously
chose Michigan to repeat as league
champion during the opening
session of the 18th annual Big Ten
Football Kickoff Luncheon, this
'week in Chicago.
"For you to think we have a
tremendous leg up on this title, you
got another think coming,"
Schembechler told the media. "We
could get knocked out of there so
fast it isn't funny."
What certainly isn't entertaining
to the other Big Ten coaches is that
the Wolverines return 16 of 22
starters from a team that closed last
season with a 22-14 Rose Bowl
victory over USC, a 9-2-1 record,
and a No. 4 ranking to go along
with a conference title.
It doesn't hurt that Michigan led
the league last year in both total
offense and total defense.
"The only thing I know is that
Michigan should be head and
shoulders above everyone else," Iowa
coach Hayden Fry explained. "They
have the nucleus back from a Rose
Bowl team. I thought at the end of
last season, they had the best team
in the United States of America.
Thank God we get Bo in the pink
(visitors') dressing room in Iowa
The coaches predicted any
challenges to come from Michigan
State, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio State or
Indiana, but still emphatically
established Michigan as the favorite.
"This is the only time of year
we'll do this, but let's all vote for
Michigan," Minnesota's John
Gutekunst suggested. "Coach
Schembechler said last year that this
was the year they'd do it. Nobody
ever proves Bo wrong but his own
players, and they proved him wrong
last year by winning it all. "
No team has repeated as
conference champions since
Michigan won its third straight Big
Ten title in 1978.
Sarah Poole and Anne Wells
contributed to this story.
Expanded Michigan football coverage
College football roundup
-More volleyball and field hockey coverage
SAnd much more
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