Now I Know About Bo

By Adam Caparell - November 17, 2006


Is it ironic or weird or eerie that Bo Schembechler passed away the day before the biggest game in Michigan-Ohio State history?

He leaves a lasting legacy that will be hard to match. One of the last real, old school coaches still alive, Schembechler helped shape Michigan into what it is today, almost more than anyone, and certainly helped forge the great rivalry with Ohio State more than anyone.

He was a great coach, who, surprisingly, didn’t have a great postseason record. That was the most surprising thing I found out today, reading, listening and watching all the spots and time devoted to Schembechler. Schembecler won only five bowl games in his 20 seasons and won only two Rose Bowls.

But what I've found out more than anything was how a beloved a figure he remained and how visible a presence at Michigan he held until his last day. He had a huge influence on the program, even after he hung up his whistle for good. He's also left a lasting impression on many in college football.

I’m one of the last people who really knew what Schembechler was all about, considering he was out of the coaching game years before I really got into football. But I’ve learned a lot today and about the kind of impact one man can have at a program.

Not So Sorry To See You Go

Talk to some people who still have an ear at Florida State and they’ll tell you Jeff Bowden’s resignation was not met with any discontent. Players haven’t been happy with his play calling and will be looking forward some new blood running the Seminoles offense.

Predictions:

Boston College (-7.5) over Maryland
Boston College looks to have their running game back in order and with an opportune defense, they’ll capitalize on any Terps mishaps. But they may be hard to come by with Sam Hollenbach’s great play these past few weeks. If Matt Ryan can stay upright and not be bothered by the Terrapins pass rush, he can operate effectively. BC’s been excellent at home and they’re just a better team than Maryland. BC by two scores.

Virginia Tech (Even) over Wake Forest
Simply put, Virginia Tech has more talent than Wake and the best defense the Demon Deacons have faced so far this season. Virginia Tech has played very well on the road in the ACC and Winston-Salem isn’t exactly one of the hardest places to play in the country. If Tech takes care of the ball on offense and can manage some sort of running attack against the Deacons, then they win this. Tech by touchdown.

Auburn (-3) over Alabama
Both teams are playing rather poorly heading into this one and both have been rather disappointing overall this season. But if you look at it over the last several years, the winner of this game has basically been the better rushing team. Auburn, despite having a banged up Kenny Irons, has a better rushing attack than the Tide. And if Alabama falls behind in this game early, forget about it. They’ve also been very sporadic in the red zone. In these rivalries, the law of averages generally takes over at some point. Auburn has won four straight, but I just can’t see the Tigers dropping this one, unless Brandon Cox has a repeat performance from last week. Auburn by two scores.

Ohio State (-7) over Michigan
The biggest question now is going to be what kind of reaction the Michigan players will have to the passing of Bo Schembechler. I don’t know how close the players were to Schembechler, or how highly they held him in regard, but his death will affect Lloyd Carr. Can Carr pass that down to his players? I say yet. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to win. The carryover from Schembechler’s death won’t be as dramatic considering this game in Columbus. Plus the Buckeyes are just better than Michigan. Their defense is underrated and Troy Smith has torched Michigan in the past. He also seems to play his best in big games. Plus Tressel has owned Carr. He’s 5-1 against his Wolverine counterpart. Ohio State generally doesn’t beat itself, but I wouldn’t put it past Michigan to do just that. Mario Manningham is going to have to have some kind of impact in this game for the Wolverines to win. He hasn’t so far since he returned from mid-season knee surgery. Ohio State by 10.

USC (-5.5) over Cal
This is kind of a tough one that I keep going back and forth on. But I just think it’s shaping up for a Trojans win. Quite simply, this one is for the Rose Bowl, so there’s plenty of motivation on both sides. But USC still has national title hopes. For Cal, the question is have they put the Arizona loss behind them? It seems the answer is yes with all the talk coming out of Berkley about how confident they are. For the Bears, it’s all on Nate Longshore. When he plays well, Cal can leave teams breathless. When he struggles, Cal losses. USC figures to put the ball in the air, as usual. And that’s not going to be a problem against a Cal team that can be exploited. The No. 1 defense in the Pac-10, USC is playing its best football. I think they’ll continue to do so. Trojans by a touchdown.

Last Week: 4-1
Season: 39-17

Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:50 PM on November 17, 2006
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