Road Trip: Michigan
Posted: Friday February 23, 2007 12:58PM; Updated: Friday February 23, 2007 12:58PM
What do you want in a college? It's an age-old dilemma. Do you chose the school rich in academic tradition, the one that will wow future employers on your resume, or do you choose the one you think you'll enjoy the most -- the one with the Saturday's to die for and the great night life?
But why should you be forced to choose one or the other? Can't you have both? Through the years, the University of Michigan has had all sorts of distinguished students come through its school. From presidents to astronauts to pop stars to Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, you name 'em, we've seen 'em here. And the school's athletic reputation speaks for itself. But listing distinguished alumni and bragging about National Championships (50, in case you were wondering) can only get you so far. Unsure if Michigan in its current state still makes the grade? Judge for yourself.
Best place to tailgate: The U-M Golf Course. The price tag to park at the Alister MacKenzie-designed course may be a little steep (normally $30-$40), but it's well worth the value. Not only are you parking on one of Golf Digest's best collegiate courses, but once you tip back a few beverages with your Maize-and-Blue brethren, you're just a block away from joining 110,000 other rabid Wolverine fans at the nation's largest college football stadium.
Best place to see the world's greatest wave: Michigan Stadium. If you've witnessed it, it goes without saying. If you haven't seen it, see it. Watching 110,000 fans do a wave that spans from normal, to super slow, to super fast, to going the opposite direction, to going in both directions, and to going back around to where it started is a pretty amazing sight.
Best place to be among Michigan's wildest fans: Yost Ice Arena. Some may think just because the Wolverines' football crowd is the nation's largest, that is must be the school's loudest, too. Guess again -- bigger isn't always better. The 6,500 fans that file into Yost Ice Arena every other weekend once hockey season rolls around takes that award with relative ease. The niche crowd may be a little quirky at times, and the appropriateness of some of the student section's cheers has been questioned on more than one occasion, but the crowd's boisterousness speaks for itself, literally: It's Michigan's best crowd hands down.
Best place rub elbows with sports legends while still making mom and dad happy you're going to class: The history of college athletics class. The course has been around for just a semester, but it already has created quite a buzz on campus. With guest speakers such as National Championship-winning coaches Lloyd Carr (football), Red Berenson (hockey) and Carol Hutchins (softball), it's not hard to understand why the excitement exists. The 75 students who were lucky enough to get to take the class in its inaugural semester last fall also were treated to the thoughts of gridiron greats like Jamie Morris.