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Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Jerry Harbaugh set Wolverines hearts aflutter with his "surprising" first season, right? But how good was it, really? We've asserted that the 2014 Michigan football team was more of a 7-5 team than a 5-7 team, dropping at least two winnable games due to poor coaching. So we predicted that Harbought would probably win 8-9 games in the 2015 regular season. When he won nine games (two by virtual "forfeit" due to abysmal coaching) we were NOT surprised. It sounded about right to us.

But the sports media has coronated Jake Harbo for his wondrous accomplishment of a third-place Division finish along with losses to each of his major rivals on his home field. Bully for Jaylen!

We still weren't convinced, so we looked into the record book and learned that the first season of Harshbutt barely made the Top Ten list of UM Football Coaches. There have been at least eight other coaches that did better than Hardbottom in their debut season in Ann Arbor:
  1. Fielding Yost, 11-0  (1901)
  2. Bennnie Oosterbaan, 9-0   (1948)
  3. William McCauley, 9-1  (1894)
  4. William Ward, 9-1  (1896)
  5. Gustave Ferbert, 6-1  (1897)
  6. Fritz Crisler, 6-1  (1938)
  7. Brady Hoke, 11-2  (2012)
  8. Langdon Lea, 7-2  (1900)
  9. Jim Harbaugh, 10-3  (2015)
Granted, seven of the eight coaches who did better than Jamaal Harlow did so before Alaska was admitted to the United States, but hey, we're talking UM here, so we're allowed to count up things that allegedly happened back to the Stone Age.


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  1. Now you have gone and done it! You have totally destroyed all credibility and discredited us all.

    You made some obvious mistakes!

    First, you omitted that very famous and highly successful leader of the Wolverine pack, Mr. No Coach!

    The less serious error is leaving out the ties. The complete first season list is:

    No Coach 1-0-0 (1878) 1.0000
    Fielding H. "Hurry Up" Yost 11-0-0 (1901) 1.0000
    Bennie G. Oosterbaan 9-0-0 (1948) 1.0000
    William Ward 9-1-0 (1896) 0.9000
    William McCauley 9-1-1 (1894) 0.8636
    Brady Hoke 11-2-0 (2011) 0.8462
    Herbert O. "Fritz" Crisler 6-1-1 (1938) 0.8125
    Jim Harbaugh 10-3-0 (2015) 0.7692
    Langdon "Biff" Lea 7-2-1 (1900) 0.7500
    George E. Little 6-2-0 (1924) 0.7500
    Elton E. "Tad" Wieman 6-2-0 (1927) 0.7500
    Gary O. Moeller 9-3-0 (1990) 0.7500
    Glenn "Bo" Schembechler 8-3-0 (1969) 0.7273
    Gustave Ferbert 6-2-1 (1897) 0.7222
    Lloyd Carr 9-4-0 (1995) 0.6923
    Harry G. Kipke 5-3-1 (1929) 0.6111
    Frank Barbour 7-5-0 (1892) 0.5833
    Michael J. "Mike" Murphy & Frank Crawford 4-5-0 (1891) 0.4444
    Chalmers "Bump" Elliott 4-5-0 (1959) 0.4444
    Rich Rodriguez 3-9-0 (2008) 0.2500

    As you can plainly see, the Great and Powerful Harb-Oz is actually No. 8 for all time first season records.

    I have to wonder if you did not get enough sleep last night. You have never made such obvious and critical errors before.

    1. Did you press the Sarcasm Button here? LOL

      Yes, I blatantly disregarded the ties, since they cannot happen in "modern college football" and because there is more than one way to compute them. I see how you did it, and you are probably technically correct in your statistical treatment of ties.

      And yes, Mister No Coach really dominated the 1880s for Michigan Rugby!

  2. Well, Jerry Harbaugh did not have the daunting task of facing the Toronto Lacrosse Club or the Chicago Physician's School or the Chicago Cricket Club.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.


    2. However, we must recognize the outstanding accomplishments of Coach No Coach.

      For 13 seasons from 1878 to 1890, Coach No Coach racked up an impressive 22-11-1 (0.5518) record, winning games including 7 perfect seasons (15-0-0) before football was even invented.

      The list of opponents is a Who's Who of powerhouse collegiate teams. Coach No Coach faced these opponents, often playing the same opponent 2 or 3 times in the same season:

      Racine 1
      Toronto 2
      Harvard 2
      Yale 2
      Princeton 1
      Detroit Independents Athletic Club 1
      Wesleyan 1
      Stevens Tech 1
      Albion 8
      University Club of Chicago 3
      Windsor Club 2
      Penninsular Club 1
      Notre Dame 3
      Chicago Harvard Club 1
      Detroit Athletic Club 2
      Cornell 2
      Purdue 1


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