Michigan State Football

Nov 12, 2013

When I enrolled at ND in the Fall of '62...

the Michigan State Spartans were our biggest rival.  They were coached by the great Duffy Daugherty (109-69-5), still their winningest Head Coach.  Current MSU Coach, Mark Dantonio will need at least one more year to overtake the #2 man on this list.  Who is that #2 man?

As you may have guessed, it’s a Notre Dame man!  Charlie Bachman was 70-34-10 (.712) from 1933-42 and 1944-46.  Bachman was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1978, six years before Duffy.

At Notre Dame, Bachman played guard, 1914-1916, being named a second team All American in 1916.  A great athlete, the 5’11, 185 pound Bachman briefly held the World Record in the Discus throw, in 1917.  Nearly the entire 1916 ND team served in the armed forces for WWI.  Bachman was assigned to Great Lakes Naval Station and played center on their undefeated football team in 1917.  George Halas was one of his teammates.

Bachman was the Head Coach at Northwestern, Kansas State, and Florida before taking over in East Lansing.

Second trivia question:  Who did Bachman replace at MSU?  Former Four Horseman Sleepy Jim Crowley, who was 22-8-3, from 1929-1932.  Crowley left MSU to go to then powerhouse Fordham, where he would coach Vince Lombardi and the other members of the Seven Blocks of Granite.  Crowley hired Frank Leahy as his assistant during his final year in East Lansing and later rehired him at Fordham. 

Current Alabama Coach Nick Saban coached the Spartans, from 1955 through 1999.  His record was 35-24-1 (.592), fewer wins than Bachman and a lower winning percentage than both his ND predecessors.


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