I thought the only thing that could be more dramatic than Bo Schembechler’s death before tomorrow’s Michigan Ohio State game would be if Bear Bryant died right before he coached his last game.
But Schembechler may have only topped himself:
Schembechler was the epitome of blazing intensity. He paced the sidelines, waving his arms and sometimes smashing headsets when the referees incurred his ire. He had a heart attack hours before Michigan’s 1970 Rose Bowl game against Southern California and underwent heart-bypass surgery.
That’s when the Rose Bowl was still the grandaddy, so I’m sure the college football world was buzzing over that bit of real-life drama that makes sports such a presence in our culture.
In my mind, Schembechler’s death also solves a problem for the BCS. This game should be win-or-else for Michigan. If they beat the Buckeyes, then they’ll have a shot at the national championship Bo never got. A Fiesta Bowl rematch would seem contrived, unless tomorrow’s game is really tight, with a little controversy thrown in. A blown call –referees have done it enough this season– would be perfect.