Tony Ding/Associated Press
Mike Hart is remembered in the state of Michigan for a number of things, but what sticks in the minds of Michiganders most are his comments that came after Michigan's comeback win against Michigan State in 2007.
Hart was asked in the postgame press conference about his thoughts on the sideline when Michigan State took a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. What Hart said next still rings in the ears of almost everyone in East Lansing and Ann Arbor.
I was just laughing. I thought it was funny. They [MSU] got excited. It's good. Sometimes you get your little brother excited when your'e playing basketball and stuff and you let him get the lead. Then you just come back and take it back.
When asked if Hart thought of MSU as Michigan's little brother, Hart said with a smile, "Yep. That's what they think so that's what I think." But what happened next has been called by some "The Curse of Mike Hart." Michigan State won the next four meetings, and five of the next six.
But beyond those famous (or infamous) comments, Hart should still be remembered for what he did on the field. Hart led the Big Ten in rushing yards in 2004 (1,455) and was second in the conference—and seventh nationally—in 2006 (1,562). He also led the Big Ten in rush attempts during both 2004 and 2006 (282 and 318, respectively).
Had it not been for his injury-shortened 2005 season, who knows what heights Hart might have reached in the annals of Big Ten running backs. Even still, Hart finished with 5,040 rushing yards in his career at Michigan, which is good enough for fifth all-time in Big Ten history.