Michigan vs. Air Force: Is Imposing Mystique of the Big House Gone?

James MorisetteCorrespondent IIIApril 4, 2017

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 08:  Cody Getz #28 of the Air Force Falcons dives for a first down in front of Courtney Avery #5 of the Michigan Wolverines during a first quarter run at Michigan Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Flyovers by U.S. Air Force aircraft are a common sight over Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. Throughout the years, faithful of the maize and blue have been treated to the high-flying sight of A-10 Thunderbolts, F-16 fighters and a myriad of bomber aircraft.

Saturday, the U.S. Air Force Academy football team entered the Big House and nearly stunned the Michigan Wolverines.

Led by rising star running back Cody Getz (26 carries/130 yards/three TDs), the Flying Falcons used a multi-role offense and mental toughness to nearly send more than 112,500 spectators at Michigan Stadium home scratching their heads once again in disbelief. The Wolverines eventually pulled through, 31-25.

This game came five years following Michigan’s jaw-dropping, home opening loss to the Appalachian State Mountaineers. On September 1, 2007, the Mountaineers stunned the college football world when it marched into Michigan Stadium and beat Lloyd Carr and Co. 34-32.

Now, I know UM won this game. And a win is a win. But, this is not the first time UM has faced a dynamic offense.

AFA's hanging tough in this one makes me wonder if the once-imposing battlefield that is the Big House is now just a gigantic bowl full of white noise to visiting football teams.

It never used to be like this. There used to be a time when opposing teams dreaded entering this brick-and-mortar madhouse. UM used its home field to pound pigskin down pie holes of foes the first three quarters. By the fourth quarter, players on visiting defenses had hands on hips, huffing and puffing like mad to catch their breath.

But now, teams enter Michigan Stadium, perhaps using Appalachian State as mental poster board, and play with very little discomfort.

Frankly, it is tough to watch. What used to be a Michigan TEAM defined by ironclad toughness has been watered down to one young man (Denard Robinson) forced to make big plays to hide gigantic holes in his team’s bow.

While UM fans should celebrate this victory, the same should thank its lucky stars AFA did not get another possession or two.