Great Week for Football Teams in Michigan
What a week it was for the state of Michigan’s premier college football programs! On Tuesday, the Michigan Wolverines got their main coaching target, luring Jim Harbaugh back to Ann Arbor. And on Thursday, Michigan State completed an epic comeback against Baylor in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. It’s a great start to 2015 for both programs!
Michigan State Wins Classic
Anyone who followed college football this season knew to expect big offensive numbers in the Cotton Bowl. But nobody could have seen this coming. Michigan State scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, surging back from a 20-point deficit to beat Baylor, 42-41, in a game that will be remembered as one of the most improbable and monumental comebacks in college football history.
The highest scoring game in the 82-year history of the Cotton Bowl, the Spartans looked doomed after Connor Cook’s fourth quarter interception. But when senior Marcus Rush blocked Baylor’s late-game field goal attempt, it opened the door for Cook to lead a miraculous comeback, capped by his go-ahead touchdown pass to Keith Mumphery with just 18 seconds left.
The resilient effort gives Mark Dantonio’s Spartans 11 wins for the fourth time in the last five seasons, and their fourth straight bowl victory (all comebacks). With several big time players returning next season, the win sets the table for a memorable 2015 campaign. September can’t come soon enough!
Michigan Gets Their Man
Jim Harbaugh wasn’t just the top coaching choice for Michigan – he was the only choice. The Wolverines wanted him badly, and they scored his services with a mega contract that will pay him over $5 million a year. If he wins the way he did as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, whom he led to a Super Bowl appearance and three straight conference championship games, he’ll be worth every penny.
Harbaugh is no stranger to Michigan’s winning tradition. He was a quarterback for the Wolverines under legendary coach Bo Schembechler for three seasons, finishing his college career in the top five in school history in touchdown passes, completions and passing yards. He was taken by the Chicago Bears in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft, and had a stellar 14-year career in the pros. It’s as a head coach, though, where he’s really made a name for himself.
Harbaugh will face one of his biggest challenges yet at the University of Michigan. Despite its tradition as the winningest program in college football history, Michigan has fallen on tough times. The Wolverines didn’t make a bowl game this season for the first time in years, and have made a habit out of losing to their biggest rivals. We’ll see how quickly Harbaugh is able to turn things around at his alma mater – and if the fans have any patience left.