Michigan football team renews emphasis on beating Spartans and Buckeyes
Behind two glass doors at the side entrance to Schembechler Hall, visitors will see two clocks affixed to the wall.
One counts down time to the Michigan football team’s next game against Michigan State -- 219 days, as of Wednesday. The other counts down the time remaining to the Wolverines’ next date with Ohio State -- 261 days away.
Both tick down the days, hours, minutes, seconds and tenths of seconds until kickoff.
They were installed at the behest of new Michigan coach Brady Hoke, who in two months on the job, has renewed the school’s interest in games against its most bitter rivals.
“The thing I love is the emphasis that is going to be put on certain games, that’s all I’m going to say,” running backs coach Fred Jackson said on Wednesday.
“We’re going to get back to playing the way we should play -- with an attitude of knowing there is a difference in football games and that they are not all the same."
Under former coach Rich Rodriguez, the Wolverines compiled an 0-6 record against those two opponents.
The three-game losing streak against the Spartans is the program’s first since 1965 to 1967. Rodriguez’s three losses to the Buckeyes are part of an overall seven-game Wolverines’ losing streak.
Asked if the meaning of the rivalry had been forgotten over the past three years, Jackson said, “I don’t want to say that, but it won’t be forgotten anymore. Put it that way.
“When you get guys knowing some games mean more than others, that is a lot to do with guys from the Midwest, guys who grew up around here and know what the rivalries are. That means a lot.”