Welcome to The Worst! It’s a list of the worst things to occur in college football, mainly losses. If your school is picked, trust me, it will be painful and you will probably hate me for bringing up these bad memories.
For the first edition of the Worst, I thought it would be helpful to use a Big Ten school, because why not! Sorry Michigan fans, but you’re first. Just let it happen and I promise it will be okay.
Everybody loves to point out the upset loss to Appalachian State, which occurred 10 years ago this month. And yes, that was indeed a bad loss. It was embarrassing and probably never would’ve happened before that point.
Trust me when I say, you’ve had worse losses at home, especially in the last 10 years. You’ve had losses at home that you’ve probably blocked out of your head and I’m here to remind you. No need to thank me, fellow citizen!
For the purposes of this list, we’ve narrowed it down to just five games. It made things very tough. You lost 21 home games since 2007, Michigan? Are you okay? Don’t believe me on that number? Let Sports Reference (credit to them for the information) tell you!
Anywho…let’s get to the painful stuff and do this countdown style:
5. Purdue Boilermakers- 2009
The 2009 season was not a very good one for Michigan. The Wolverines went 5-7 and didn’t make it to a bowl game. To make matters worse, Michigan won just one Big Ten game all season.
When that happens, you wind up with a very painful home loss to Purdue. The Wolverines found themselves down by eight more than halfway through the fourth quarter.
Brandon Minor scored a touchdown with 2:10 left in the game, but Michigan missed the game-tying two-point attempt.
What made this game bad? For starters, the Wolverines had a two touchdown lead for much of the third quarter.
Another thing, do you know how long it had been since Purdue beat Michigan in the Big House? You have to go all the way back to before the Schembechler years. Yes Michigan, Lyndon Johnson was president the previous time Purdue won at your stadium.
If that’s not enough, guess who was coaching on the other sideline? That’s right…DANNY HOPE!
That’s right! You lost to Hope, a coach who won just 13 conference games in four seasons at Purdue.
Purdue also finished that ’09 season 5-7. But don’t worry, because Purdue hasn’t defeated Michigan since then.
4. Maryland Terrapins- 2014
Ahhh yes, we have another conference game on this list. This time, it features the No. 1 B1G team in the DC market, Maryland.
The Maryland loss was one of three home losses for Michigan that season.
All in all, this was one of the better Randy Edsall-led Maryland teams, which I realize doesn’t say very much. At the same time, the Terrapins gave up 52 at Wisconsin just three weeks prior. It’s not like Maryland was lighting the world on fire.
It came down to the fourth quarter when Maryland scored two rushing touchdowns to get the victory, including the go-ahead one-yarder by Wes Brown with less than six minutes in the game.
Michigan had 398 yards of total yards, outgaining Maryland’s 312, yet they still lost.
This loss, plus the another the week after at Ohio State, effectively destroyed Michigan’s chances at getting in a bowl game, or even finish at .500.
Of course, the rest is history. Hoke was gone after the season. They brought him the homegrown Jim Harbaugh and they’ve been lighting the world on fire ever since.
3. Michigan State Spartans- 2015
The Jim Harbaugh era got off to a relatively successful start. If you’re big on 10-win seasons plus a bowl win, then yeah it went well.
However, the Wolverines did lose two home games during the regular season. One was the season finale in a blowout to Ohio State. However, that one wasn’t nearly as soul crushing as their first home loss.
This is where your “little brother” comes into play. It’s tough losing to the little brother. Unfortunately for Michigan, it has happened all too often as of late. The Wolverines have won just three times against the Spartans since 2007.
This game was so painful for Michigan…so…so..painful! You could write a book full of poetry about this game, or even just the snap.
I’m not going to dive deep into this. I know what happened. You know what happened. So I’m just going to save everybody time and show the clip.
I’m evil, I know.
Also, I felt bad for Blake O’Neill. It clearly wasn’t his fault. Remember my saying: There are no bad punters, only bad snaps.
2. Appalachian State Mountaineers- 2007
Obviously, this game had to make the list. There hadn’t really been a significant FCS (1-AA) upset over a major college football program like that.
Michigan had been coming off an excellent season in which some thought they should play in the national title game against Ohio State.
The Wolverines obviously came in with a lot of hype. Should they have? I can’t say for sure. That’s not up to me to say. Preseason hype is ultimately about setting a baseline.
If it was up to me, I’d just make Tulane No. 1 at the start of every year. Everyone has to prove themselves that they can handle the eliteness of Tulane.
Michigan had so much in 2007. They had Chad Henne and Mike Hart. You would think that’s enough for them to power through and have a solid 2007 season.
It wasn’t to be though. They also lost to Oregon at home the very next week.
Michigan finished 9-4 that season. They dropped Lloyd Carr and brought in Rich Rodriguez.
Things would get back on the right track. Right?
1. Toledo Rockets- 2008
It’s not often that Michigan finished below .500. But 2008 was arguably the worst year ever for Michigan football. They went 3-9! 3-9! That’s almost as funny as Notre Dame going 4-8.
The Wolverines lost five times at home in 2008. They lost to Utah, Illinois, Michigan State and Northwestern. But none of those top the No. 1 pick on this list: Toledo.
Congratulations, you lost to a MAC school.
Michigan lost 13-10 to a team that also happened to go 3-9. The final points of the game were scored with more than 12 minutes left. Michigan turned the ball over three times and had 290 total yards.
Need I go on?
I think you’ve suffered enough, Michigan fans.
Tune in next time when I choose another fan base to torment.