Like many iterations of “The Game,” this one meant everything.
The 1989 matchup between the No. 3 Michigan football team (9-1 overall, 7-0 Big Ten) and No. 20 Ohio State (8-2, 6-1) was for a Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl. But for the Wolverines, it was more than that.
Though it hadn’t yet been announced at the time, it was Michigan coach Bo Schembechler’s last game at Michigan Stadium, as he would retire after the season due to heart problems.
Last year, Isaiah Livers took the tip-off as the starting power forward in the national championship game. The next game the sophomore forward played in — Tuesday’s opener against Norfolk State — he came off the bench.
Eli Brooks’ phone rang, and DeAndre Haynes was on the other end. Haynes, an assistant coach on the Michigan men’s basketball team, called Brooks to give the sophomore guard a little extra boost before the season.