Nov 16, 2013; Evanston, IL, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke coaches from the sidelines against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Brady Hoke's Wolverines Lose the Close Ones

Not many people would call Brady Hoke’s third season with the Michigan Wolverines a success. If you were to summarize every 2013 Michigan football game in one word it would look something like this: Clobber, YEA, whew, whew, destroy, WHATHAPPENEDTOOURCORNERBACKS, scoring, obliterated, Nebraska, WHEW, choke, ACK, reverses.   Those three “whew” games were the games against Akron, UConn, and Northwestern. Not exactly murders row, but all somehow ended up in the win column for the good guys.

But what if they didn’t? Each of those games had one play that saved it for the Wolverines. Well what if they hadn’t been able to make those plays? What if Michigan would have lost those games to Akron, UConn, and Northwestern? First, let’s take a look at each of the plays and see what would have happened if they would have went the other way.

Game: Akron

Final Score: 28-24

The Play: From the four yard line, Akron threw an incomplete pass as time expired. A touchdown would have won the game for the Zips.

Heroes: Brennan Beyer. Beyer got pressure on the quarterback and hit him as he let the ball go. The ball sailed just inches over the receivers head. 

What was avoided: A loss to Akron. A team that was favored to lose by five touchdowns. A team that had lost 27 straight road games. TWENTY SEVEN! And maybe worst of all, a team that is from OHIO fergodsakes.

The Play


Game: UConn

Final Score: 24-21

The Play: UConn is driving with 10 minutes left and up 7. Linebacker Desmond Morgan leaps into the air and intercepts the ball with one hand, returning it to the 12 yard line. Michigan would tie the game on the next play and go on to win.

Heroes: Duh

What was avoided: Famine. Boils. Locusts. Tim Tebow.

The Play. Skip to 1:30 mark to avoid vomiting.


Game: Northwestern

Final Score: 27-19 (3OT)

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Play (actually 2 plays) : It’s 3rd and 23 with 18 seconds left when the ball is snapped. Northwestern is up 9-6. Gardner looks around and finds Jeremy Gallon for a 17 yard gain, but Gallon is tackled in bounds. With the clock running, the field goal team rushes on to the field. Drew Dileo, the holder for kicks, runs from another time zone and slides in to position. With 1 second left on the clock, the ball is snapped into the hands of Dileo. Gibbons plants and kicks the ball perfectly through the uprights to tie the game. Michigan goes on to win the game in three overtimes, 27-19.

Heroes: Snurvush, the god of trolling Northwesterns 2013 football team. 

What was avoided: Being Northwestern’s 2013 football team

The play. Get some popcorn and enjoy the entire game of highlights which includes at 8 yard punt and Jake Butt’s healthy ACL (RIP)

In a season filled with darkness, there were definitely some brief moments of solace.  Even though those three teams only combined to win thirteen games, Michigan will take everything they can get at this point. But what if things were different and Michigan has lost all three of those games? Here are some facts feed your nightmares:

1. Michigan was three plays away from having a 4-8 record.

2. Michigan was three plays away from missing another bowl game.

3. Michigan was three plays away from being tied with Illinois for worst second worst overall record in the Big-Ten.

4. Michigan was three plays away from being under .500 for only the 8th time in the last 60 years (and the 3rd time in 6 years).


What would the state of the program be if things would have transpired this way? Would any of the staff returned? Would Brady Hoke still have a job? Would Brady Hoke still have a wife?

Before we get to the poll, lets take a look at last week’s results. Here was the question: What would the status of Michigan football be if Michigan would have retained Rich Rodriguez for another season?

66Votes/34%: Rich Rodriguez would still be there and Michigan would be at the top of the Big-Ten

49 votes/ 25%: Rodriguez would have only lasted the one extra year


29 votes/ 15%: Rodriguez would have crippled the program and Michigan would be at the bottom of the Big-Ten

19 votes/ 10%: Rich Rodriguez would still be there and Michigan would be about where they are now.

Here’s the link if you want to check out the article and tally your own vote.

So what do you think? Do we have all new coaches on the sidelines if Michigan drops those games? Does Brady Hoke get a second chance? Does the economy in Michigan boom because everybody had to buy a new TV due to fans spending the entire season throwing shoes at ours? Cast your vote down below and scroll dowwwwnnnn to leave a comment. Leave something that isn’t stupid and I’ll post it on next weeks Weekly What-If. You can also follow me on twitter @gbMWint.



Suppose Michigan drops games to Akron, UConn, and Northwestern in 2013. What is the state of the program heading into 2014?

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