It’s time for another set of power rankings for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but considering the recent bye week and the next opponent is the Michigan Wolverines... this round will be a little different.
Here are 10 of the greatest moments from Notre Dame VS Michigan. And BTW... When I say “moments,” I mean “games we won with cool moments that happened.” Even though there is a number attached here, and the title of this post says “rankings” — these are in no particular order due to booze.
1. Prepare for launch
In 1989, Notre Dame was ranked #1 and Michigan #2 for their early season clash. This was the game that Bo Shembechler (the absolute most overrated coach in all of sports history) decided to kick the ball to Raghib “The Rocket” Ismail — the most dangerous player in college football. Rocket returned for a TD, and then Bo decided to do it again. Rocket, one of the great Skunkbear killers of all time, took the second one back to the house as well.
2. Bad football — GREAT result
The 2008 game inside Notre Dame Stadium featured two team that weren’t very good. Michigan would go on to finish the season with a 3-9 record and the Irish would become Hawaii Bowl Champs. My lasting impression from this game was; rain, fumbles, Golden Tate burning souls, and a crowd that was hungry AF for a big win after the 2007 season.
3. Irish Assassins
In 1998, the Skunbears were coming off of a season in which they claimed 1⁄2 of a national championship with the Nebraska Cornhuskers [pauses for laughter]. Some guy named Tom Brady lead Michigan to a halftime lead before Jarious Jackson proved himself to be the superior college quarterback — and the Irish owned the second half.
4. REMEMBER THE SIX
Outside of the game action involved for this shutout Notre Dame victory, there was pettiness abound and it was beautiful. At the time this was the last scheduled game for the series, and Michigan had already been on a 2 year long smear campaign about Notre Dame “being chicken.” It was, of course, total BS and the day before the 2014 game — the Irish trolled Michigan with the announcement of the future series with the Ohio State Buckeyes.
5. Heave HO
The 1988 matchup saw the most ridiculous thing happen with this insane sport. Notre Dame Stadium was too loud for Michigan and they asked the refs to quiet the crowd down so they could play football. For all of you young fans out there... this was really a thing. Reggie Ho gets most of the love here as he kicked 4 field goals, and Notre Dame always seemed to be ashamed of Ricky Watters (one of my all-time faves). Watters scored the only Irish TD that night with an 81 yard punt return to the house.
6. It’s CHUCK if you’re nasty
It was Charlie Weis’s first year at Notre Dame and as brash as he was — the Michigan crowd in Ann Arbor was 1000 times more arrogant. Shit got real as Notre Dame stormed out of the gates to set the tone. Notre Dame held on, while Michigan fans let go of their water bottles.
7. Everyone gets leid
Forget everything you know about Lennay Kekua for a minute. A stadium full of leis JUST to honoe Manti Te’o the player and the person felt right in every sense. I still get goosebumps from it. Heart you forever Manti.
8. Tyrone Willingham beat you
Notre Dame was coming off an embarrassing loss to the BYU Cougars in 2004, and their answered the call by unleashing freshman Darius Walker upon the Michigan defense. Walker rushed for 115 yards and 2 TD’s, while Willingham walked up and down the sideline looking smug AF and as confident as ever.
9. Irish wear green
Well... the crowd did. Notre Dame was a home underdog while Michigan was on a “revenge tour” [pauses for immense laughter]. In the first game of the year, the Irish came out and flat-out beat Michigan TF up, and drank up all the tears from Shea Patterson, Chase Winovich, Devin Bush, and Jim Harbaugh. A special teams TD and a late “who cares” TD by Michigan gave this game a different narrative than what we all witnessed, which didn’t matter — as the game REALLY DID.
10. You should never underestimate Kevin McDougal
In 1993, Notre Dame was a double digit underdog in that toilet 150 miles away from heaven. Kevin McDougal was still kind of an unknown quantity — but then he lead the Irish to a 27-10 lead. Notre Dame eventually let their foot off the gas, and Michigan crept back into the game — but I just consider it a master troll move for maximum skunkbear heartbreak. Notre Dame would go on to win a national championship in 1993 that is about a billion times more legit than Michigan’s in 1997.
Yes, I know I’m missing some stuff here. It’s okay... this is just for fun.