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M BO
Douglas S. Looney
September 14, 1981
Schembechler's the name. Football's his game. Brash. Curmudgeon. Know-it-all. Ranter. Raver. Hates sportswriters. Don't talk to him when he loses. Or when he wins. This year his Michigan team will win a whole bunch. May even be national champs. You'd love him. They do in Ann Arbor.
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September 14, 1981

M Bo

Schembechler's the name. Football's his game. Brash. Curmudgeon. Know-it-all. Ranter. Raver. Hates sportswriters. Don't talk to him when he loses. Or when he wins. This year his Michigan team will win a whole bunch. May even be national champs. You'd love him. They do in Ann Arbor.

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But Bo's jesting was probably a defense mechanism. He is steadfast in his contention that "I don't lust after national championships; I lust after Big Ten championships." And to underscore that point, he insists that ridding himself of the Rose Bowl-loser image last year was a tremendous relief, but after the victory he still felt there "was nothing like beating Ohio State."

Ohio State and Michigan are always linked because for years they've been the only schools in the conference that have played superior football. Further, the Woody-Bo Show made that annual confrontation bigger than life. Perhaps too big, because—as in the Super Bowl and a few other spectacles—the players were so on edge that their performances weren't always splendid. Only now, with Woody three years out of coaching, is Bo emerging as his own man after a near lifetime of being linked with Hayes.

It all traces back to Miami of Ohio, where Bo played for Woody. At a reunion of Miami players last summer, Hayes recalled a 28-0 victory he coached over Cincinnati in 1950. "We scored four touchdowns," he said, "and would have had five if a certain overeager tackle hadn't been offsides." That tackle was Schembechler. But once you have played for a coach, he's always the coach and you're always the player. At this same reunion, Hayes was organizing things—surprise—and suddenly looked over at Bo standing across the way. "Bo," he said, "you sit right here." Bo sat. And one suspects that if Woody had said, "Bo, run through that wall," Schembechler would have done that, too, without question.

Bo was an assistant under Hayes at Ohio State in 1951 and then again from 1958 to 1962. They were, although both vigorously deny it, two damn peas in a damn pod. In football meeting rooms, they even threw chairs at each other.

"No, no," says Hayes when asked about the flying furniture. "We just argued to beat hell."

But you didn't throw chairs at each other?

"No, no. We just got damn mad."

But you didn't throw chairs at each other?

"Oh, well, sometimes we threw chairs...but not at each other."

Just sort of a case in which the two of you were in the same room when chairs were thrown?

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