On BTN's "Michigan Day" I Could Watch These Games On Repeat
Today is "Michigan Day" on Big Ten Network, which means from sunup until after sundown, BTN will be broadcasting some of the best moments for the Maize and Blue's football, basketball and Olympic sports' teams.
While there are some fun games on here to watch (I'm particularly interested in going back to see the 2005 national championship softball victory over UCLA at 4:30pm), there are quite a few games I wish were playing. Here is my look at five Michigan victories I will never get sick of seeing again and again.
1. Michigan 31, Ohio State 23 - 1995 - Football: 15-year old me was sitting in Section 18, Row 45, the southwest corner of the stadium, to watch Tshimanga Biakabutuka steamroll the Buckeyes to only the second 300-yard individual rushing performance in school history. Biakabutuka ran for 313 yards and a score on 37 carries (8.5-yard average) as U-M upset the No. 2 Buckeyes.
2. Michigan 34, Penn State 8 - 1997 - Football: "Judgement Day" as so billed by ESPN saw 8-0 and No. 4 Michigan travel to 7-0 and No. 2 Penn State while 8-0 and third-ranked Florida State took on 8-0 and No. 5 North Carolina.
The Wolverines began the game with a suffocating defensive performance, including two sacks on the first three plays, and the offense raced out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead. The domination only grew from there, Michigan leading 34-0 before a late PSU touchdown, as U-M outgained the Nittany Lions 416-169.
The victory vaulted Michigan to No. 1 in the AP Poll for the first time since Oct. 8, 1990.
3. Michigan 82, Michigan State 72 - 2018 - Basketball: Thanks to John Beilein and now Juwan Howard, Michigan fans can take their pick among an assortment of memorable wins over rival Michigan State during the past decade of college hoops, but this one from a few years ago, en route to U-M's Final Four run, stands out because of how thoroughly the Wolverines dismantled the Spartans in the second half in their building, Michigan outscoring MSU 48-35 in the final 20 minutes. Mo Wagner led the way with 27 overall, and did this:
4. Michigan 28, Notre Dame 24 - 2010 - Football: In the long storied history of this great rivalry, there have been many more hyped matchups - neither team was ranked when U-M traveled to South Bend on Sept. 11, 2010 - but few offered as mesmerizing a performance as what Denard Robinson did that day.
Robinson ran for 258 yards and two touchdowns, including an 87-yard sprint at the end of the first half that gave Michigan a 21-7 lead and even drew applause from the partisan Irish crowd. He also threw for 244 yards and a touchdown, his 502 yards of total offense the most any opponent had ever accumulated at Notre Dame Stadium. And to top it off, with U-M trailing 24-21, Robinson led the Maize and Blue on a 12-play, 72-yard TD drive, cumulating in his two-yard touchdown run that gave Michigan the lead with just 27 seconds remaining.
5. Michigan 47, Notre Dame 21 - 2006 - Football: Speaking of Notre Dame, Michigan's bludgeoning of the Irish on this Sept. 16 afternoon is as close as U-M fans have ever seen to what the Wolverines did to Penn State in 1997.
The No. 2 Blue and Gold were an early favorite for the national title, but by the end of the first quarter, it was Michigan turning heads, ahead 20-7 after Prescott Burgess' interception return and Mario Manningham's 69-yard TD reception. That was one of three Manningham touchdowns on the day, also scoring from 20 and 22 yards as Michigan took a 34-14 halftime lead.
On a day in which Michigan allowed just four yards rushing, the Maize and Blue finished off Notre Dame in grand style, defensive end LaMarr Woodley returning a fumble 54 yards, rumbling, tumbling, stiff-arming the entire way down the field to cap a perfect 60-minute outing for the Wolverines.
So those are the five I could watch on repeat (and there are probably 50 more). What are your five?