Bo Schembechler looms large over the Super Bowl

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Bo Schembechler retired from coaching 23 years ago and died six years ago, but he’s a major presence at this year’s Super Bowl.

Jack Harbaugh, the father of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Ravens coach John Harbaugh, was an assistant to Schembechler at Michigan for seven seasons. Jim was Big Ten Player of the Year as Schembechler’s quarterback at Michigan in 1986, and although John wasn’t a player or coach for Schembechler, he spent a lot of time around the program while Jack was an assistant and has mentioned Schembechler’s influence several times this week — as have his father and brother.

“I see Bo’s fingerprints all over the Raven football team and all over the San Francisco 49er team, and there could not be anyone that you could better emulate,” Jack Harbaugh said on Wednesday.

Jim Harbaugh said that the only person who might have been a bigger influence on him than Schembechler is his father.

“Next to my dad, right on the same level as my dad is Bo Schembechler,” Jim Harbaugh said. “He is one of the greatest coaches to ever coach the game.”

John Harbaugh was asked today about an odd phrase that he and his brother have both used: “Grind the meat and rattle the molars.” That’s a phrase that Schembechler used to describe the run-first offense and physical blocking style that he coached.

“That’s Bo,” Harbaugh said. “When Michigan would be ahead, Bo would get on the headphones and say, ‘It’s time to grind some meat.’ That means it’s time to run the ball, four minute offense and run the off-tackle play. And ‘rattle the molars,’ that’s trench warfare in football up front. That’s football.”

For Bo Schembechler, seeing the Harbaugh boys coach against each other in a tough, physical, run-first football game would be heavenly.

32 responses to “Bo Schembechler looms large over the Super Bowl

  1. seeing the Harbaugh brothers coach against each other in the Super Bowl makes me look forward to the commercials.

  2. If Bo had been alive in 2007, would Jim have still said this?

    “Michigan is a good school and I got a good education there, but the athletic department has ways to get borderline guys in, and when they’re in, they steer them to courses in sports communications. They’re adulated when they’re playing, but when they get out, the people who adulated them won’t hire them.”

  3. Go Big 10! See how stupid that sounds, SEC tools?
    ________________________________

    Maybe if somebody other than Ohio State won an undisputed national championship every now and then………………………

  4. Just remember, if you could literally get “three yards and a cloud of dust” every time you ran the ball you would never have to punt.

    Just always go for it on fourth and one — the first three downs would have gotten you nine yards — and get three yards and a first down.

  5. We played against Michigan in 1973 and Bo was the Coach during that time. Dennis Franklin was the QB…….all I remember is that in the 2nd half, they ran the ball first….passed if necessary!

    Michigan-17
    Oregon-0

  6. Maybe if somebody other than Ohio State won an undisputed national championship every now and then………………………

    Ohio State is the best pro team in Ohio…you dont really think they won in 2002 without using illegal players do you? Tressel is among the all time dirtiest college coaches of all time. FACT!!!

  7. The smart alecks can lob away but you can’t joke away Schembechler’s 234 wins, hefty winning percentage and positive impact he had on thousands of young men’s lives. One of the last of college iconic legends, there are no whispers of rampant rule violations, illegal recruitment schemes, gambling, point shaving, institutionalized fraud or child molestation scandals. Bo may not have won the big one and his bowl record was poor but any university with a shred of integrity would gladly accept an era of success like he brought to Michigan for 21 years.

  8. Hard up for a story, are we?
    Lets see either of these coaching geniuses with Jacksonville or other “powers”

  9. “any university with a shred of integrity would gladly accept an era of success like he brought to Michigan for 21 years.”

    If you told a university “hey, I’ll win you lots if games but I’ll go 5-12 in bowls and never win a national championship for 21 years”…well, most major universities would not be thrilled about that.

  10. Michigan has won one national title in the last 50 years. If it was located below the Mason-Dixon Line, it would get as much attention as Georgia or Tennessee. Overrated football program. Don’t cite the all-time wins. Army was awesome in the 40s too.

  11. Bo was a great coach and Uof M will always be a great program. To all of you haters for UofM and Bo. Your just jealous bc we have the Big House and we know how to have great programs and coaches. Go Blue!! Go Big 10!!

  12. Bo was tough, hard, running football, yes. But I don’t think Bo would risk his quarterback with the zone read. Which brings me to this question — why can’t you hit the quarterback running a zone read. Seems like the unblocked DE freezes a lot — sometimes gets fooled going after the RB, but why not just come off the block and blast the QB whether he fakes the ball to the RB or keeps it. It’s just ordinary unnecessary roughing on a zone read. Wouldn’t that take the play away in the long run?

  13. How low class do you have to be to speak ill ( and do it poorly at that ) of the dead, especially one devoted to building young men that contribute to the world, like the Harbuagh boys and thousands upon thousands of others.

    I’m sorry for you people that didn’t have a positive influence in their life so that your worst nature runs rampant, and you perpetuate that through your equally negative influence on your surroundings, society and children. Nice legacy.

    Then again, you likely couldn’t have gotten into Michigan to be around Bo anyways. Jealousy is a stinky cologne….

  14. Be careful what you say Michigan detractors Mikey from “American Choppers ” will not be pleased.

  15. Bob says: Jan 31, 2013 3:09 PM

    Michigan has won one national title in the last 50 years. If it was located below the Mason-Dixon Line, it would get as much attention as Georgia or Tennessee. Overrated football program. Don’t cite the all-time wins. Army was awesome in the 40s too.
    ——————————
    If Michigan were located below the Mason-Dixon Line, it would be just like very other SEC power (except students would actually graduate, of course) – never play in unpleasant weather, throw on every down, and be able to recruit everyone in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana who hates the cold. In other words, they would contend every year.

  16. Talk about a bunch of low class comments.

    Bo = Great Man, Great Coach… RIP… the man had a positive affect on MANY other great coaches and players.

    Great Game coming!

  17. Crazy that people are attacking and ripping Bo Schembechler.

    Ok so he had no national titles but look at the guy’s extremely impressive track record.

    The man was 234-68-5 as a college head coach.
    Only Joe Paterno and Tom Osborne have recorded 200 victories in fewer games as a coach in major college football. In his 21 seasons as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines, Schembechler’s teams amassed a record of 194–48–5 and won or shared 13 Big Ten Conference titles. Though his Michigan teams never won a national championship, in all but one season they finished ranked, and 16 times they placed in the final top ten of both major polls.

    Was Glenn “Bo” Schembechler the greatest coach in history? No but this idea that he wasn’t a very good coach is way off base.

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