It’s summer, the time when bloggers rack their brains for something — anything — to write about and college football fans count down the seconds until foot meets pigskin. So, welcome to my latest gimmick: The Michigan Football YouTube Bracket. I’m looking high and low for the best Michigan football moments ever captured on YouTube — divided into two categories: Game Performances/Game Winners and Spectacular Plays — and for you, the readers, to vote on the moment that stands out above the rest.
Today, the 4-seed and the 5-seed in the Game Performances/Game Winners category face off in a battle of game-winning plays, both providing dramatic and memorable moments in otherwise forgettable seasons.
(4) Super Mario is born vs. Penn State, 2005
Say what you will about Mario Manningham, but the guy came up with some huge catches in his Michigan career — this is already his second appearance on this side of the bracket. Despite this play coming in just the seventh game of his freshman season, this may be Super Mario’s most memorable (with the 2005 season ending with Michigan at 7-5, I hesitate to call it the most significant) moment of his career. Buzzer-beating touchdown passes are a rarity in football, and in a back-and-forth tilt with an undefeated Penn State team that would go on to finish 11-1, Chad Henne and Mario Manningham caught lightning in a bottle for this magical play.
(5) Remy Hamilton beats Notre Dame, 1994
This play doubles as one of my earliest memories of Michigan football — somehow, even at the age of seven, I somehow understood just how important it was for Michigan to beat Notre Dame. With both teams entering Notre Dame Stadium ranked in the top six, the game was a classic all the way through. After a Ron Powlus touchdown pass put the Irish up one with under a minute left, Todd Collins led Michigan down the field, leaving the game resting on the foot of Remy Hamilton. Hamilton — whom NBC announcer Tom Hammond had mistakenly called “Ryan” earlier in the game — made sure his (real) name would go down in Michigan lore, as he split the uprights from 42 yards out with just two seconds remaining on the clock.