All-Time Michigan: 1973 Wolverines

Just a test.

Updated: November 13, 2006, 11:34 AM ET
SportsNation

Michigan vs. Ohio State: As No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan prepare to square off in a battle of unbeatens, we started wondering which school has the best team in the history of a rivalry that SportsNation voters ranked as the best in college football. ESPN.com senior college football writer Ivan Maisel narrowed the field to four teams from each school, but the rest is up to you. All this week, leading up to Saturday's game, your votes will determine which team is the best from each school, and ultimately, which team is the best in the history of the rivalry.

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No. 4 Seed: 1973 Michigan Wolverines
They fell short of a national championship in controversial fashion, but the 1973 Wolverines were a team to remember. Bo Schembechler's fifth team at Michigan, the Wolverines rolled to a 10-0 record before tying No. 1 Ohio State 10-10 in a memorable game to end the season.

In Schembechler's first season in charge of the program, 1969, Don Moorehead led the team with 210 pass attempts; nobody would attempt more 200 passes in a season again until 1980. In other words, it was a decade full of making sure the Wolverines could run and their opponents couldn't. And few teams were better at that than the 1973 edition.

On offense, Schembechler's team averaged 291.6 yards per game on the ground. Fullback Ed Shuttlesworth led the team in rushing, but the ground attack was a balanced bunch that kept opponents guessing with quarterback Dennis Franklin and others picking up yards on the ground. And for all that, it was tight end Paul Seal who earned team MVP honors.

And on defense, the Wolverines limited the opposition to 97.6 yards per game on the ground, one of just four times between 1936 and 1992 that they held opponents under 100 yards per game rushing. Three defensive players -- Dave Brown, Clint Haslerig and Dave Gallagher -- received All-Big Ten honors.

All that kept Michigan from perfection was the final game against No. 1 Ohio State. With a Rose Bowl berth on the line, the tie forced Big Ten officials to select the conference's representative via secret ballot. Not surprisingly, Michigan supporters were outraged when the vote went to the Buckeyes, leaving the Wolverines out of a bowl and No. 6 in the final poll.

1973 Michigan Schedule/Results
Date Vs. Result
Sep. 15 at Iowa 31-7 W
Sep. 22 Stanford 47-10 W
Sep. 29 Navy 14-0 W
Oct. 6 Oregon 24-0 W
Oct. 13 at Michigan St. 31-0 W
Oct. 20 Wisconsin 35-6 W
Oct. 27 at Minnesota 34-7 W
Nov. 3 Indiana 49-13 W
Nov. 10 Illinois 21-6 W
Nov. 17 at Purdue 34-9 W
Nov. 24 Ohio State 10-10 T