Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Michigan-Notre Dame: How Times Have Changed

"Nobody puts baby in a corner." That was a famous line by the late Patrick Swayze, from the movie, Dirty Dancing. I was a big fan of Swayze, so his passing has been on my mind the last couple of days.

Today, the "baby in a corner" line came to mind, when I received the latest issue of Sports Illustrated. The cover featured, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and on the upper right hand corner (above) there was a small snippet which read: "Return of The Wolverines", featuring Michigan's freshman quarterback, Tate Forcier.

Anyway, the point is--

Last Saturday, the Michigan Wolverines won a thriller of a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 38-34. Forcier showed his toughness under pressure by throwing a game winning touchdown with 11 seconds left.

This is where the "baby in the corner" line comes in. Once upon a time, the Michigan-Notre Dame match-up was more than just a game-- it was an event. A game like Saturday's would have dominated the cover of--not just SI--but every major sports publication. And when I saw the corner snippet is all the game got, I asked myself, "what has happened to Michigan and Notre Dame?"

Both schools have really been major disappointments over the last 5 years or so. I mean, they once were the elites of the elites. Their yearly match-up, at times, was a bigger event than the national title game itself.

In other words, the Michigan-Notre Dame game used to be the "baby" of college football. So to see them play such a thriller on Saturday and then barely make the cover of SI, shows me how low the two programs have sunk in the elite chart.

Just for the sake of nostalgia, lets go down memory lane and see how Sports Illustrated used to cover the great rivalry:

September 22, 1986:

September 25, 1989:

September 24, 1990:

September 23, 1991:

Yes folks, those were the good old days and until Michigan and Notre Dame are once again, "forces to be reckoned with"-- I guess the "baby" of college football will remain in a corner.

Photos courtesy of


  1. Nice Swayze reference. Try to work a quote from To Wong Foo into your next post :)

    As for Notre Dame and Michigan, college football is better when they're better.

  2. Thanks Charley. The "baby" thing happened by coincidence. I heard it earlier in the day and when I opened my mailbox and saw the SI issue, it right away came to mind again.

    I'll see what I can do about the To Wong Foo thing. LOL.

    And you're right, college football is much more exciting when Michigan and Notre Dame are in the conversation.


  3. Another nice one Chago. I remember Elvis Grbac to Desmond Howard. That was major. I think that Rich Rodriguez will bring the maize and blue back, and I think that Charlie Weis will rebound, and remain the coach at Notre Dame. PS I added your blog to my list my apologies for not adding it sooner.
    Roberto Perez

  4. Thanks Rob. I agree 100% with your points. And no need to apologize. Remember this was your idea in the first place and I'm better for it. Thanks.