Monday, November 26, 2007

Harry Kipke Has A Street Named After Him

The Ferentz rumors are making me ill. He's had 3 excellent seasons and 6 that are mediocre or worse. He went 6-6 in a year when Iowa missed Michigan and Ohio State. And the rest of the coaching search process isn't much better. My brother sent me a text message at 7:00 that read "@ Bust. English announced as new head coach," so I immediately commenced my freakout and wondered how best to break it to the free world ("It's stupid and it's myopic, but it's not Ferentz!").

I know things are getting bad when I find myself looking into our record books at Bump Elliott and Harry Kipke. Did you know that Kipke (who left after the 1937 season) is the last Michigan coach not to win a Rose Bowl*? And that's because Michigan wasn't invited at any time between the 1902 blowout and the 1948 blowout. Kipke had one of the weirdest tenures of any Michigan coach. His 1-7-0 1934 and 1936 teams have got to be near the bottom of the barrel of what we've ever produced, but he also coached the 1930-33 squads that went a combined 31-1-3. They allowed only 81 points (With 25 shutouts!) in four years. The 8-0-0 '32 team only allowed 13 points on the season; 6 to Northwestern and 7 to Princeton. Then somehow the bottom dropped out and the '34 squad scored only 21 points all season, including 5 shutout losses. I wonder what happened there. He started his tenure in the Depression, so that wasn't the change. College football isn't as volatile these days, but it's a reminder that you can go still go from the top of the game to the bottom really quickly.

*Bump Elliott beat Oregon State in the '65 Rose Bowl. You're welcome.

2 comments:

Aram said...

Little-known fact: Harry Kipke is the only person to have been head football coach at both Michigan and Michigan State.

Misha said...

If you've ever had the chance to read the book, "What It Means to be a Wolverine", and checked out Gerald Ford's section, you'll understand why the team did so badly in 1934. Remember, that was the year Ford was the MVP of the team. The offense back then was "Punt, Pass, and a Prayer." However, both the top QB and punter for Michigan were out for the season, leading to the offensive collapse.