Michigan football: Assembling the all-time Lloyd Carr team

Head coach Lloyd Carr holds the trophy after the Wolverines 21-16 win over Washington State in the 1998 Rose Bowl at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
Head coach Lloyd Carr holds the trophy after the Wolverines 21-16 win over Washington State in the 1998 Rose Bowl at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. /
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The Lloyd Carr era was one of the best in the history of Michigan football and here’s the all-time Lloyd Carr team for the Wolverines. 

Lloyd Carr is one of the great head coaches in Michigan football history. He won 122 games, five Big Ten championships, one national title, and one Rose Bowl game.

Carr finished his career with a 6-7 record against Ohio State. Michigan football won its first three games against the Buckeyes with him as the head coach, including upset wins in 1995 and 1996.

Ohio State had top-2 teams in both of those seasons, while Michigan football was mediocre. In 1997, the Wolverines won a top-5 matchup against Ohio State, wrecking the Buckeyes’ national title dreams for the third year in a row.

Michigan football won the national title that same season in 1997. Carr won double-digit games six times in 13 years. He also won at least nine games 10 times.

The Wolverines notched four top-10 finishes under Carr. Michigan football also ranked in the final AP Top 20 in 12 of his 13 seasons.

U-M was a model of consistency from 1995-2007, and here’s our all-time Lloyd Carr team.

Michigan football all-time Lloyd Carr team, Quarterback: Tom Brady

This was actually a really difficult decision. Chad Henne, John Navarre, Brian Griese, and Tom Brady were all strong candidates in my opinion.

Henne is the all-time Michigan football leader in passing yards and touchdowns. He’s got three seasons with at least 21 touchdown passes. He also led Michigan football to a couple of Rose Bowl appearances.

Yet, I couldn’t make Henne the quarterback of the all-time Lloyd Carr team. Tom Brady’s numbers are as good as Navarre, who is second in most Michigan categories. Tom also didn’t lead the Wolverines to a national title as a starting quarterback like Griese.

However, Tom was still terrific for the Wolverines. He had a 1-1 record against Ohio State. He was also top-5 in passing yards and touchdowns in the Big Ten in both of his seasons as a starter in addition to leading the Big Ten in pass efficiency in 1998.

Michigan football won double-digit games under Brady twice and his nickname as Captain Comeback started in college. In three straight games his senior year, Brady led Michigan to come-from-behind wins over Penn State, Ohio State, and Alabama (Orange Bowl).

Penn State led by 10 in the fourth quarter before two late Brady touchdowns pulled out a crucial win on the road. The Wolverines clinched an Orange Bowl berth the next week after rallying from seven down to beat the Buckeyes.

Then, in a top-10 battle, Brady and Michigan football rallied from two separate 14-point deficits in the Orange Bowl against Alabama.

One of the biggest mistakes of Carr’s career was having Brady share the starting job with Drew Henson. It potentially cost that 1999 team a Big Ten championship and maybe more.

I asked myself, based on their college careers, if I had to win one game, who I want to start for Michigan football? Among those candidates, the answer is still Tom Brady.