Frustrating Losses: A Primer

Sunday, September 23, 2012


A quick bullet to the head, or 5 to the chest and slowly bleed to death? Last night's game definitely felt like the latter, as Michigan was kinda in it the whole game, gave us some false hope, and kept us from even thinking about changing the channel. Every time Michigan crossed midfield, we were hoping it would be different from the awful turnover from the previous possession. It usually wasn't.

But was last night the most frustrating & devastating Michigan loss? Not really. I am going to chronologically go through 10 of the most frustrating losses in my life, and rank them in 3 equally weighted categories from 1-10: Embarrassment, 5 To The Chest (In-game devastation), Quick Bullet (Ending Heartbreak), and Stakes.

1994 vs. Colorado

This game was my worst memory of the Moeller era. Up 26-14 at the end of the 3rd, and looking like a great win against a great team. The 64 yard hail mary pass from Kordell Stewart to Michael Westbrook as time expired was the definitive bullet to the head.

Embarrassment: 7
5 to the Chest: 3
Quick Bullet: 10
Stakes: 8
Score: 28 (7 average)

2000 at Northwestern

This game was nuts, and it was frustrating every time Northwestern had the ball. Michigan could not stop them at all, until Northwestern failed on 4th and goal with about 2 minutes left. It looked like Michigan won, but then Anthony Thomas fumbled with a minute or so left, to set up the game winning TD for Northwestern. Northwestern was pretty good back then, this game made them 7-2, but this still cuts deep.

Embarrassment: 7
5 to the Chest: 9
Quick Bullet: 9
Stakes: 6
Score: 31 (7.75 average)

2001 at MSU

Better known at the "Clock Game", many Michigan fans will point out that MSU needed 60:01 to beat Michigan, benefiting from some home cooking from the official scorekeeper. Regardless, TJ Duckett still ran that TD in, it still broke up a 6-1 season, and it still aggravates me to no end.

Embarrassment: 6
5 to the Chest: 8
Quick Bullet: 9
Stakes: 8
Score: 31 (7.75 average)

2006 at OSU

Everyone in the country was watching this game. #1 vs. #2. Michigan gave a great effort, so that took away from the frustration of it. But the stakes and the hype were so amped up for this game, and it was against our chief rival.

Embarrassment: 4
5 to the Chest: 8
Quick Bullet: 6
Stakes: 11
Score: 29 (7.25 average)

2007 vs. Appalachian State

Yeah, I don't really want to talk about this game. Google's got you covered for this one. I will say I put stakes at 7 because every game is important when entering a season with national championship hopes, and that's what Michigan had.

Embarrassment: 11
5 to the Chest: 9
Quick Bullet: 10
Stakes: 7
Score: 37 (9.25 average)

2008 vs. Toledo

This was the low point of the RichRod era, which is saying something. Michigan's only loss to a MAC school, and it happened at the Big House.

Embarrassment: 9
5 to the Chest: 9
Quick Bullet: 9
Stakes: 4
Score: 31 (7.75 average)

Now, how does last night stack up? It was frustrating for sure, but I don't think it enters the pantheon of all time frustrating Michigan games.

2012 at Notre Dame


Embarrassment: 5 - This is a good Notre Dame team. And it was a road game. We outplayed them, but just couldn't execute in key situations. Denard was not at his best (understatement), but we all feel like he'll rebound.
5 to the Chest: 9
Quick Bullet: 5
Stakes: 5
Score: 24 (6 average)

I've left many games out, 1995 MSU, 2007 OSU, 2011 Iowa, 2009 MSU, etc. etc. etc.

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