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Big Ten Countdown: 89 - Bo's Final Season

Win This for Bo
Win This for Bo

89 days left until Nebraska joins the Big Ten. That's like, less than three months or something.  

But Bo's last season?

What the heck does 89 have to do with Bo Pelini's final season?

Answer - nothing that I know of.

In 1989, Bo Pelini was a starting safety for the Ohio State Buckeyes - those same Buckeyes that we'll grow to hate in the next few years (just accept it, it's inevitable). No one had any idea that Mark "Bo" Pelini would become the coach he is now - big time guy working his way through the coaching ranks to become the head coach of the Nebraska CORNHUSKERS!!! GO BIG RED! Wohooo!!!

There is another Bo for which 1989 was a very special season. Of course, I'm talking about Bo Schembechler, one of the best coaches in college football history.

Like Pelini, Schembechler played college football, playing tackle at Miami (Ohio) University where his coach was Woody Hayes. He served as an assistant coach under Hayes from 1958-1962, and then in 1963 became the head coach at Miami of Ohio. In 1969, he became the head coach at Michigan.

From 1969 to 1978, Schembechler and Hayes waged what would become known as the "Ten Year War", establishing the best rivalry in college football. Over that period the two teams shared the Big Ten title six times, but Schembechler finished with a 5-4-1 edge over Hayes.

Bo Schembechler was known for his fiery disposition. He was tough-minded, his teams played tough defense (something in the name "Bo"?), and were exemplary of the "three yards and a cloud of dust" mindset that still encases the Big Ten even today. They didn't focus cameras on the sideline as heavily as they do now, but Schembechler could scowl and throw a headset as well as anyone. 

By the time Schembechler finished, he'd established an overall record of 234-65-8, good enough for fifth in all time wins. His last game was the 1990 Rose Bowl against USC, a 17-10 loss; somewhat fitting for Schembechler whose Michigan teams had a 2-8 record in the Rose Bowl. Only two coaches reached 200 wins faster than Schembechler - Joe Paterno and Tom Osborne. Upon Schembechler's retirement, Paterno became the wins leader among active coaches with 220.

Schembechler died on November 17th, 2006, one day before Michigan and Ohio State met for one of the biggest games in their storied histories. Both teams came into the match up 11-0, Ohio State ranked #1, Michigan ranked #2.

So for Husker fans - there's another "Bo" who coached college football who was one helluva coach. There's an enormous group of great college football fans who think the name "Bo" has nothing to do with "Pelini" and we, as Husker fans, should be mindful of them, especially if we're going to carry forward this moniker of "The Greatest Fans in College Football".

Hail to the Victors! 

Meechigan Men - the day is coming soon that I look forward to Nebraska kicking your weasel asses every season. But for today, this Sunday, Corn Nation salutes you, Wolverines, in honor of your Bo that meant so much to you.

BTW, the end of this video contains one of the greatest calls in CFB history as Michigan's Anthony Carter scores on the final play of the game to beat Indiana 27-21 in 1979.