Game Day – November 12, 2016. Michigan at Iowa

1902 Michigan Football Team | bigbluefootballhistory.com
The 1902 Michigan Football team finished with a perfect record of 11-0-0. They won the National Championship and the Western Conference Championship. They also defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes by a score of 107-0 in the eighth game of the season. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Michigan at Iowa is one of the biggest games of the day – November 12, 2016. As Jim Harbaugh would say, today is another “championship” game for the Michigan Wolverines. Here is our Game Day Preview for this monster football game.

Calendar History: Michigan has played a total of nineteen games on November 12th.  The Wolverine record on this date is so far 16 wins, 0 losses and 3 ties which works out to a winning percentage of just over ninety-two percent (.921). They have done slightly better in conference play. Check out the numbers below:

Type Game

# of Games Won Lost Tied Win %

Non-Conference

4

3

0

1

.875

Conference

15

13

0

2

.933

All Games

19

16

0

3

.921

Michigan has played twelve home games on this date and seven road games. Their home record is 11 wins, 0 losses and 1 tie. Michigan’s road record on November 12th is just as good. They own a record of  5 wins, 0 losses and 2 ties when playing away from Ann Arbor. The numbers on this page absolutely make November 12th a great day for Michigan football! History is definitely on the side of the Maize and Blue today! Here is a little more history about Michigan football on this date.

  • Michigan’s first game on this date took place in 1887 The Wolverines hosted Albion College and sent them home to ponder a 32-0 defeat.
  • Michigan’s biggest win on this date was a 58-10 victory at Minnesota in 1983.
  • The biggest Wolverine loss has not happened yet and today is not the day!
  • Michigan won the last game they played on this date against Illinois in 2011. The Wolverines beat the Illini in Memorial Stadium by a score of 31-14.

Series History: Today’s game is the sixtieth game in the series between Michigan and Iowa. This will be the first time that these Big Ten rivals have ever played on the twelfth day of November.

The first game between Michigan and Iowa was played in Detroit in 1900. The Wolverines lost to the Hawkeyes by a score of 5-28. Ouch!

The biggest series win belongs to Michigan. Fielding Yost showed no mercy in a 107-0 victory in 1902!

Michiga vs Iowa 1942 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Michigan defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes in 1942 by a score of 28-14. Program cover courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

Hayden Fry gave the Hawkeyes their biggest series win when his team shut out Bo Schembechler’s Wolverines by a score of 0-26! Ouch!

The last game between these two Big Ten rivals was played on November 23, 2013. Final Score: Iowa 24 Michigan 21!

Although the trend line favors Michigan, the Hawkeyes have won four of the last five games.

Michigan and Iowa have played a total of fifty-nine games so far. Check out the series numbers below:

Type Game

# of Games Won Lost Tied Win %
UM Home

32

23

6

3

.766

Neutral Site

2

1

1

0

.500

UM Away

25

17

7

1

.700
Series Total 59 41 14 4 .729

History is definitely on Michigan’s side in this series, even when the game is played in Iowa City.

In addition to forty-one wins over the Hawkeyes, Michigan players have had some record setting performances against the Black and Gold. Here are five of the most notable Wolverine performances against Iowa.

  • October 14, 1939 – Tom Harmon returns an interception for a 95-yard touchdown-still a Michigan record for a pick six!
  • November 15, 1969 – Billy Taylor rushes 21 times for 225 yards in a 51-6 win at Iowa.
  • October 3, 1992 – Tyrone Wheatley scores on an 82-yard run. He rushes 19 times for 224 yards!
  • October 27, 2001 – John Navarre passes connects with Tyrece Butler for a 77-yard touchdown in a 32-26 win in Iowa City.
  • October 27, 2001 – Larry Foote records 7 tackles for loss (including 3 sacks) in that 32-26 win.

So, some of the greatest plays in Michigan football history have occurred against the Iowa Hawkeyes.  Which Michigan player will do something memorable today?

Think Pink or Not | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Iowa wants teams to “Think Pink” and get mellow in the visitor’s locker room. Bo hated it! Photo courtesy of the Iowa Sports Information Department.

One final point about playing at Iowa – the dreaded Pink Locker Room. Hayden Fry brought this interesting décor to the visitor’s locker room when he arrived at Iowa in 1979. It has been there to mess with the minds of opposing teams ever since. Before the Hawkeye locker room was painted pink Michigan had a record of 10 wins, 1 loss and 0 ties in Iowa City. After the locker room became pink, Michigan’s record at Iowa is 7 wins, 6 losses and 1 tie. Hmmmm, there might be something to this after all.

Bo Schembechler always had Equipment Manager Jon Falk put white paper on the walls to neutralize the soothing effect of the pink locker room. It doesn’t appear that it worked for Bo since he  won one game, lost two and tied one after the arrival of the Pink Locker Room!

Jim Harbaugh lost his only game at Iowa when he played for Bo. Chuck Long and Iowa beat Jim and his Wolverines by a score of 12-10 on the last play of the game in 1985. That made it two losses in a row at Iowa City because Michigan (without Harbaugh) also lost to Hayden Fry’s boys in 1984 by a score of 26-0. It was, and still is, Michigan’s worst loss in the series.

Today. At this point in the 2016 season, Michigan and Iowa are in very different places at this point into the season. Michigan is 9-0 for the first time since 2006. They are playing some very good football. The offense has so many weapons and the defense can just shut you down! Iowa has been a very BIG disappointment. Instead of defending their Western Division title, they are sitting at 5-4 and fighting for a bowl-bid. This is a dangerous team, but one that does not appear ready to stay with Harbaugh’s Wolverines.

As of this writing, Michigan is a twenty-one and one-half point favorite. Unfortunately, I think it will be closer than that. A Hawkeye win today would be huge, but I don’t think it will happen. I do think that Iowa will play well and the big, crazy, noisy, crowd will keep them in the game longer than we would like. Michigan is absolutely the better team. If they can get out early and take the crowd out of it we will be in good shape. If the Wolverines let the Hawkeyes stay in the game too long, it could get way too exciting. Since I trust Jim Harbaugh so much, I’m looking for a two-touchdown win tonight! Go Blue!

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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