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Sunday, August 2, 2015


The first in a multi-part series by MSUSpartan76
detailing a variety facts about the illusion of Glenn Schembechler

A few weeks ago on the UM page of, a Skunkbear went on a diatribe about how great Bo Schembechler was and how Mark Dantonio could never be his equal. This poser asserted that "Schemp" was far superior because of 13 BT Championships in 21 years and Coach Dantonio was genuinely inferior because of only 2 titles in 8 seasons. He managed the simple arithmetic of 13-2 is 11 and 21-8 is 13 and used that to "prove" Coach Dantonio was vastly inferior to Schemp since Coach D. can't win 11 BT titles in 13 seasons.
While some supporting facts were offered, this is just another example of chUMp cherry-picking and twisting reality to give utter disrespect. What are the facts?
  • Schemp coached 21 seasons at UM. True.
  • Schemp had 13 BT Championships. False. Schemp had 5 BT Championships and 8 Co-Championships.
  • Dantonio has coached 8 seasons at MSU. True.
  • Dantonio has 2 BT Championships. False. Dantonio has 1 BT Championship and 1 Co-Championship.
No difference? Many have claimed that a Co-Championship counts only as 1/2. Combining them takes a narrow point of view in order to deflect from reality. But that is not the reason for the breakdown.
 "Foul!" they cry. "Schemp had 13 and Dantonio only has 2. There are no other relevant factors!"

Ok. Let's consider another fact. MSU under Coach Dantonio had a 13-win season. Schemp never did.
 "Foul!" they cry. Schemp only had 1 season with 13 games and never had a season with more than that.

In his first 8 seasons as UM head coach, Schemp won 76 games and had 1 outright BT title, 5 co-championships and went to 3 Rose Bowls (0-3). In his first 8 seasons, Coach Dantonio won 75 games and had 1 BT championship, 1 co-championship and went to 1 Rose Bowl (1-0). Due to rules changes, MSU missed 2 Rose Bowls and 1 outright conference championship getting a Division Title instead.
 "Foul!" they cry. That's cherry picking. 76 wins versus 75 wins is not the complete record. And you can't take credit for things that did not happen!

How about this, then? In his first 8 seasons, Schemp was 0-4 in bowl games. In his first 8 seasons, Coach Dantonio is 4-4.
 "Foul!" they cry. The conference only allowed the Rose Bowl and did not allow back-to-back appearances. Not a fair comparison.

Not a fair comparison? Exactly my point. There are a lot of things that are different now than then and they all are relevant and need to be addressed to make a fair comparison. For example:
  • 1969 - 11 Bowl Games were played.
  • 1971 - NCAA went to an 11-game regular season. Prior to that, only 10 games were scheduled. The season was expanded to 12 games in 2006.
  • 1972 - B1G Ten allowed teams to repeat in the Rose Bowl. Prior to that, teams could only go once every 2 years if they won consecutive conference titles.
  • 1975 - B1G Ten allowed teams to participate in all bowls. The restriction of 1 B1G Ten team in just the Rose Bowl was lifted.
  • 1976 - NCAA split Division I into IA (now called FBS) and IAA (now called FCS). The division was based on stadium capacity.
  • 1982 - B1G Ten went to 9 conference games. In 1985, the conference schedule returned to 8 games.
  • 1986 - UM played a 12th game under the NCAA provisions of the Hawaii rule.
  • 1992 - Bowl Coalition was founded. A national championship was the goal, but it did not happen.
  • 1993 - Penn St. joined the B1G Ten.
  • 1995 - Bowl Alliance replaced the Bowl Coalition. A national championship was the goal, but it did not happen.
  • 1996 - NCAA eliminated ties by implementing overtime.
  • 1998 - The Bowl Championship Series replaced the Bowl Alliance and the first post season NCAA championship game eliminated championships by acclaim (i.e. polls).
  • 2006 - NCAA went to a 12-game regular season.
  • 2010 - B1G Ten changed the conference championship tiebreaker rules and included the BCS ranking.
  • 2011 - Nebraska joined the B1G Ten. The conference split into divisions and implemented a conference championship game.
  • 2014 - Maryland and Rutgers joined the B1G Ten. The conference realigned the divisions.
  • 2014 - NCAA went to a 4-team championship series to determine the national champion.
  • 2014 - 39 Bowl games were played, including the 3 bowls involved with the 4-team championship series
  • 2016 - B1G Ten will go to a 9-game conference schedule.
The rules changes are tabulated below.
OT?B1G Ten
B1G Ten
BCS Rank As
B1G Ten
B1G Ten
[1] When the B1G Ten inaugurated the CCG it eliminated Co-Championships and conference tiebreakers, but implemented Division Titles and division tiebreaker rules.
  • The UM-MSU game in 1971 was a non-conference game (UM won).
  • The tiebreaker rules changed in the spring prior to the 2010 season. This change cost MSU the 2010 Rose Bowl trip; by the old rules, MSU would have gone. The vote was 10-1 with the sole dissenting vote cast by Coach Dantonio.
  • The divisions and CCG implemented in 2011 cost MSU an outright BT championship. As a side note: Wisconsin was given the win in the inaugural BT CCG by a questionable call on an obvious flop. 
  • An oddity of the CCG/divisions format occurred in 2012.Wisconsin won and took the BT Title but had a 4-4 regular season conference record. That is something that never could have happened with Schemp.
In today's world, a BT title comes through a championship game. So, if MSU wins 11 BT titles in the next 13 seasons, Coach Dantonio would have 12 outright titles versus Schemp's 5. Schemp never had to face the BT CCG.

What would be equitable? Counting Co-BTs as 1/2, Schemp has 9 points and Dantonio has 1.5. Add to this, MSU has a division title, which was harder to get with 8 conference games than the banner Schemp got facing only 7 BT teams. Count the division title as a 1/2 point, too. MSU winning 7 BT CCGs would bring the title score to 9 each and the MSU titles would be worth more than Schemp's by virtue of more conference games and the CCG. Still, 7 BT CCGs in 13 seasons in today's world is a daunting task, but not out of reach.

This season it is 9 but starting next year all BT champions will have played 10 conference opponents. Schemp faced an average of 8 conference opponents.

Coach Dantonio has never faced less than 12 regular season opponents. All future BT championships will come by playing 13 games. Only once did Schemp face 12 regular season opponents and never more than that.

Schemp had one 13 game season. All of Dantonio's seasons have been 13 or more (14 in 2011 and 2013).

It's clear from the rules that football today is more demanding and reaching the top has bigger challenges. The 13 of 21 versus 2 of 8 rant fails to address those facts.

No question about it...

Schemp had the easier road.

This is not the end of the story. Nor is it the beginning of the end. It is merely the end of the beginning.

Part 1, The Evolution of College Football Rules.
Part 2, The Total Records. (coming soon)
Part 3, The Bowl Records. (coming soon)
Part 4, The In-conference Records. (coming soon)

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