BY JACK HERMAN
Michigan's all-time leading passer returned from injury to play with Michigan's all-time leading rusher in an attempt to cement their legacies in front of Michigan's all-time second largest crowd.
But in their final game at Michigan Stadium, a group of the Wolverines' finest seniors failed once again to do what it couldn't do three times before. And coaching his final game in the rivalry, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr failed once again to top Ohio State coach Jim Tressel.
The Michigan Daily football writers break down the weekend's stats that don't show up in the boxscore. The defense-o-meter measures the intensity of the defense, the Carr-o-meter judges Lloyd Carr's demeanor following the game and the hypemeter measures the fans' game performance.
BY DANIEL BROMWICH
It began the same way team meetings normally do after losses.
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr walked into the meeting yesterday afternoon, and instead of greeting their coach the way they do after wins - with clapping and cheering - the Wolverines were silent.
But that's not what Carr wanted.
"Did somebody die or something?" Carr asked, according to those in the meeting, which was closed to the media. "I'm going to try this again. I want you guys to act like you have a heartbeat."
BY SCOTT BELL
A Big Ten Title. A Rose Bowl berth. A shot at redemption. The most storybook of endings imaginable, considering how the season began.
They were there for the taking.
Michigan could've had it all - and salvaged a once-unsalvageable season in front of the second-largest crowd in college football history.
But instead of a happy ending, Saturday's loss further blemished the senior class and Michigan coach Lloyd Carr's already damaged legacies.
BY SCOTT BELL: DAILY SPORTS EDITOR
Lloyd Carr, the third-winningest coach in Michigan football history, is stepping down after 13 seasons as the Wolverines' head coach.
Carr told his team and staff yesterday at a private afternoon meeting that he is retiring at the end of this season.
The official announcement is expected come this morning at a 10 a.m. press conference held at the Junge Champions Center.
The Michigan Daily Top 10 returns for its second-to-last installment in this upside-down season. Each week, Daily Sports staffers will fill out ballots, with first place votes receiving 10 points, second-place votes receiving nine and so on. The results are published with first-place votes in parentheses.
1. Louisiana State (7): The Tigers left little in doubt this weekend, scoring an easy win over Ole Miss. But with the retirement of Lloyd Carr, it will be interesting to see how players deal with the "Les Miles to Michigan" rumors.
Staff Picks recap: Well, it looks like the natural order of things has been restored - almost. Scott Bell didn't capture the win, but he finished just a game back from Kevin Wright. Meanwhile, Jack Herman returned to his comfy position as the cellar dwellar of the writers. Because he equaled the guest picker, Herman still is a game ahead of the guests in the race for last place. It'll be a close one with one week remaining on the schedule. Even though Herman was the lone writer to finish below .500, no one picked a best bet correctly. Pretty horrible.
BY SCOTT BELL AND JACK HERMAN
This edition of The Game wasn't supposed to have the hype.
But even with lackluster performances from both Michigan and Ohio State last weekend, there's still quite a buzz around Saturday.
Well, actually, it's more about Michigan coach Lloyd Carr than either of the two teams. Will he retire after the game, let it drag out a few weeks or not retire at all?
There's still a game, though, and here is how the two teams pan out on paper.
BY DANIEL BROMWICH
The Michigan-Ohio State game tomorrow will decide the Big Ten Champion for the 42nd time in the series' history.
Something that has happened 42 times in 104 years shouldn't surprise anyone.
But the way the teams got here has been all but predictable.
Appalachian St. (Sept. 1), L 32-34: Imagine opening the door to your dorm room and someone punching you in the face. That's what happened at the Big House. So much for a National Championship.
Oregon (Sept. 8), L 7-39: Then the person that punched you in the face added insult to injury by stepping on your crotch and spitting in your ear. Then he walks out your front door with your girlfriend and steals your laptop. And your pillow.