With bowl season in full swing and the Michigan Wolverines playing in the Fiesta Bowl tomorrow, some great bowl games of the past come back to mind. The Wolverines have played in some good ones since the year 2000, so let’s take a minute to revisit some of the best Michigan bowl games since then:
2000 Orange Bowl vs. Alabama: 35-34 W (OT)
The 2000 Orange Bowl was an instant classic. Tom Brady was the quarterback for the Wolverines at the time and helped Michigan comeback from 14 down to force OT.
Alabama scored a huge touchdown that was sure to force another OT, but the extra point was missed, and Michigan went home with the victory.
2003 Outback Bowl vs. Florida: 38-30 W
Michigan defeated the Gators in a back-and-forth slugfest in the 2003 Outback Bowl. Florida led 23-21 in the second half before the Wolverines scored a couple of touchdowns 35-23. The Gators ended up having a late drive trying to tie the game end by throwing a pick in Michigan territory. Michigan, led by John Navarre and Chris Perry, won 38-30.
2008 Capital One Bowl vs. Florida: 41-35 W
Lloyd Carr’s final game as the Michigan football coach was a good one. The Wolverines were led by Chad Henne, Mike Hart and Mario Manningham and defeated Urban Meyer’s Gators, who had Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow.
This game was another back-and-forth thriller with both teams trading blows throughout the game. Michigan made plays when it mattered most and came out on top.
2012 Sugar Bowl vs. Virginia Tech: 23-20 W (OT)
This was a huge win for the Michigan program. It was Brady Hoke’s first season and the Wolverines had struggled mightily the three previous seasons. Michigan went 10-2 during the 2011-12 season, beat Ohio State, and got into a New Year’s Six bowl.
Denard Robinson was the leader of this squad and did enough to help secure a win. The Wolverines won on a field goal in OT.
2016 Citrus Bowl vs. Florida: 41-7 W
The Florida Gators appear a lot when it comes to Michigan football bowl discussion. The 2016 Citrus Bowl was another fun win against the Gators.
In Jim Harbaugh’s first season, the Wolverines won nine games and earned a spot in a respectable bowl game, something Michigan wasn’t used to after struggling before the Harbaugh era. Jake Rudock led the Wolverines to a dominant win over Florida in what ended up being a successful first year for Harbaugh.
There have been tons of memorable bowl games in the rich history of the Michigan football program. Let’s hope we get some more in the coming weeks!