There are a lot of happy fans in Michigan this weekend after a football rarity. All five of the state’s Football Bowl Subdivision teams won their season openers.
It’s the first time Michigan, Michigan State, Eastern Michigan, Central Michigan and Western Michigan all won in the opening week of a season since 2001.
On Saturday, the Michigan Wolverines crushed the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in a 63-3 victory in Ann Arbor. After throwing an interception on his first pass of the game, junior quarterback Wilton Speight threw for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns before being replaced by John O'Korn in the third quarter.
Michigan’s honorary captain for the game was a man who’s not at all associated with football: Michael Jordan. The basketball legend, who attended the University of North Carolina, was on the sidelines during the coin toss and got a huge roar from the crowd when he was shown on the video boards at the Big House. This is the first season for a marketing partnership between Nike’s Jordan Brand and the University of Michigan, which is why Wolverines football players are now wearing the Jumpman basketball logo on their uniforms.
Michigan State won its opener against the Furman University Paladins Friday night in East Lansing, but Spartans fans might have liked a little more breathing room. The heavily favored home team racked up 120 yards in penalties and Furman pulled within 8 points in the fourth quarter before Michigan State eventually came away with a 28-13 win.
In the closest of the five games, Western Michigan visited Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. on Saturday. The Broncos beat the Wildcats 22-21 in a game with several lead changes. It’s the first time since 2004 that Western Michigan won its first game of the season.
The Eastern Michigan Eagles beat the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils in Ypsilanti Friday night 61-14.
The Central Michigan Chippewas routed the Presbyterian College Blue Hose 49-3 on Thursday night in Mount Pleasant.
Perfect seasons for any of Michigan’s college football teams are more than unlikely, but five fan bases can dream for at least another week.