ELBEL COMPOSES THE VICTORS
"LITERALLY CRAZED over the result" of Michigan's 12-11 win over Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, junior music student Louis Elbel composes The Victors. The win gives Michigan a 10-0 season and its first Western Conference title, and Elbel believes "that such an epic victory as ours ought to be dignified by something more elevating in music." He finishes the tune on the train back to Ann Arbor the next day and publishes it the following year. In April 1899 Elbel leads the student orchestra in the first public performance of the rousing military march, and three days later John Philip Sousa and his band perform The Victors in Ann Arbor. Elbel graduates in 1900 but returns to campus annually to lead the marching band at each homecoming, including the Yale game in '39 (pictured).
OHIO STATE coach John Cooper admits his team had been trying to punt the ball away from Heisman Trophy candidate Desmond Howard, but his plan doesn't work. In the second quarter of a 31-3 Michigan victory, Howard receives a Buckeyes punt at the seven-yard line, avoids three would-be tacklers, cuts to the left sideline and races to the end zone, prompting play-by-play announcer Keith Jackson to say, "Hel-looo, Heisman," just before Howard strikes a Heisman-like pose. The 93-yard punt return sets a school record and cinches the award for Howard, who finishes with 138 points for the season, still tops in the Michigan record book.
VICTORY IN THE SNOW BOWL
THE WOLVERINES don't make a first down or complete a pass, but a safety and a blocked punt recovered for a touchdown give Michigan a 9-3 win over Ohio State in the Snow Bowl, which is played in blizzard conditions in Columbus. "You'd be running, and you'd have a little traction; all of a sudden you'd hit a frozen area, your feet would go out from under you, and you'd fall down," recalls Chuck Ortmann, who punts a Big Ten-record 24 times (the Buckeyes punt 21 times) amid winds swirling up to 28 mph. Of the win, which earns Michigan a Rose Bowl berth, halfback Leo Koceski says, "It was cold, it was nasty, and it wasn't any fun."
MICHIGAN EARNS NATIONAL TITLE
THE HEART of the '47 team returns; Oosterbaan succeeds Crisler as coach and continues to use a combination of the single wing and the split T offense. With a second straight undefeated season on the line, Michigan overcomes a 3-0 deficit against Ohio State on a 44-yard touchdown pass from Ortmann to Harry Allis (88). The Wolverines win the game (13-3) and the national title but, despite their No. 1 ranking, won't go to the Rose Bowl because of the Big Ten's no-repeat rule. Oosterbaan earns Coach of the Year, the only time different coaches from the same school have won in consecutive years.
HARMON WINS WOLVERINES A HEISMAN
DURING THE first three games of the season senior halfback Tom Harmon scores 70 points, prompting TIME magazine to call him a "one-man gang" who is "fast as a jackrabbit." Using his "uncanny sense of anticipation, a formidable straight arm" and "powerful leg drive that shakes off tacklers like tenpins," Harmon rushes for 14 touchdowns, throws for seven, earns All-America honors for the second straight year and beats out Texas A&M's John Kimbrough for the Heisman Trophy to become Michigan's first winner.
THE BIG HOUSE OPENS
AN ADVOCATE of physical education and varsity athletics, Coach Yost (left) campaigns for a stadium to replace 42,000-seat Ferry Field and finally earns approval from the Board of Regents two years after submitting his first proposal. The following year the Wolverines christen Michigan Stadium, which seats 84,401 and costs $950,000, with a 33-0 victory over Ohio Wesleyan.
ON CHRISTMAS EVE first-year athletic director Don Canham hires Bo Schembechler away from Miami ( Ohio). During Schembechler's 21-year tenure, the Wolverines win 13 Big Ten titles, play in 17 bowl games and never have a losing season. His 194-48-5 record makes him the winningest coach in Michigan history.
THE GLORY YEAR
THE WOLVERINES roll through the season undefeated, beating opponents by an average of 17.3 points. The Maize and Blue win their 38th Big Ten championship, and Charles Woodson earns Michigan's third Heisman Trophy. Holding a one-point lead over Washington State in the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl, Wolverines quarterback Brian Griese clinches the victory and the program's first AP national title in 49 years with a 23-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jerame Tuman (above). Griese earns MVP honors in the 21-16 win, Michigan's eighth in Pasadena.
THE POINT-A-MINUTE ERA
OVER A five-year span Fielding Yost's teams (below, the '03 squad during a 47-0 win over Drake) outscore opponents 2,821-42 and win four national titles before losing to Chicago 2-0 in the last game of the '05 season. Besides a tie against Minnesota in '03, the loss to Amos Alonzo Stagg's Chicago team is the only blemish on a 55-1-1 record.
WOLVERINES UPSET NO. 1 OHIO STATE
THE EXCITEMENT begins in the locker room the week before The Game, after a 51-6 win over Iowa. "We were just going crazy, and it had nothing to do with the Iowa game," recalls offensive tackle Dan Dierdorf. "We were chanting, 'Ohio State, Ohio State.' " The Buckeyes enter Ann Arbor on a 22-game winning streak, ranked No. 1 and as 17-point favorites. Before the game Michigan captain Jim Mandich and a few teammates accidentally knock the locker room door off its hinges while running into the tunnel. "We're standing there with the big bad Ohio State Buckeyes, and I know our guys wanted to get it on right there," says Mandich. Two touchdowns from Garvie Craw (above) lead Michigan to a 24-12 upset that helps elevate the rivalry to heights unlike any other.