Michigan Wolverines fans never tire of arguing over who should go on the proverbial Mt. Rushmore of the program. It's a perpetual topic for pretty much any team's fan base, but an especially difficult one for such a storied program.
Well, Tom Fornelli of CBS Sports has thrown his picks into the ring with a list of Michigan mountain selections that will definitely not end the debate once and for all.
Michigan football’s Mt. Rushmore: How do you limit it to four? https://t.co/ufHZhZ3Hp6 pic.twitter.com/FtjgUYnFqk— CBS Sports CFB (@CBSSportsCFB) June 13, 2016
It's not easy, but Fornelli went with Bo Schembechler, Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard and Anthony Carter. Let the debate begin.
You can watch him explain the picks in the above video, but here are some of his comments on each:
Bo Schembechler, coach, 1969-1989: Bo Schembechler was so accomplished as Michigan's coach for 21 seasons that simply calling him Bo suffices. Everybody will know who you're talking about when you say it.
Bo set the tone the minute he stepped on campus at Michigan. His first training camp in 1969 began with roughly 140 players -- scholarship limits were non-existent -- and by the time the grueling competition was over, only 75 remained. As he told the players at the time, "those who stay will be champions," and he wasn't lying. While Schembechler never won a national title at Michigan, ever single player who played under Bo at Michigan for four years won at least one Big Ten title. Nobody ever experienced a losing season, as the worst year Michigan had in Schembechler's tenure was a 6-6 mark in 1984.
Charles Woodson, defensive back, 1995-97: Woodson did not need much time to make an impact at Michigan. He started his third career game with the Wolverines as a freshman and then started the next 34 before leaving for the NFL.
Before moving on, he took the time to become one of, if not, the greatest players in the history of the program. While he was listed as a defensive back, he did far more than that. Woodson also spent time as a punt returner, and he played wide receiver a bit as well. In 1996, as a sophomore, Woodson set a school record with 15 passes defended, but that was just a prelude to his junior season.
In 1997, Woodson helped lead Michigan to its first national title since 1948, and he won the Heisman Trophy (beating some guys names Peyton Manning and Randy Moss) in the process. Woodson remains the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman, though his impact on special teams and offense certainly played a role in winning the award.
Desmond Howard, wide receiver, 1989-91: Howard remains one of the most iconic players in Michigan football history, even 25 years after he last donned the maize and blue on the field. During his time in Ann Arbor, Howard set or tied 12 Michigan records and five NCAA records. One that still stands today is his 19 touchdown catches during the 1991 season.
Howard, who originally came to Michigan as a tailback, would go on to win the Heisman Trophy during the 1991 season, becoming the second Michigan player to do so and the first since Tom Harmon in 1940. Howard received 85 percent of the first place votes in Heisman balloting, providing him the largest margin of victory at the time, as Florida State's Casey Weldon finished 1,574 points behind Howard.
Anthony Carter, wide receiver, 1979-82: If you just look at the numbers Carter put up as a wideout, particularly when you compare them to what we see today, they don't seem all that impressive. Carter never caught more than 51 passes,or had 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.
What those numbers alone don't tell you, however, is the offense Carter played in. This was the Schembechler era, when saying that Michigan was a run-first team was an understatement. Running the ball was typically the first three options. From 1980-82, Michigan quarterbacks completed 366 passes with Carter catching 144 of them.
Carter also had an impact on special teams, as he became only the third player in FBS history to total over 1,000 return yards on both kickoffs and punts during his career.
Did Fornelli get it right?