Today is another great day to make a Happy Birthday wish to Michigan Man named Dieter Heren. According to the 1986 Michigan Football Media Guide, Dieter Heren was born on this day in Connecticut. However, his family moved and he attended Snider High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Heren became an outstanding athlete in high school (football and track). Dieter was an All-Indiana football player at three different positions (defensive back, linebacker and tight-end). Bo must have liked his versatility since he offered Dieter a scholarship to play at Michigan in 1982.
Dieter Heren came to Ann Arbor in the summer of 1982. He did not see any game action that season and burned his red-shirt. Fortunately, Heren saw plenty of action on special teams in 1983 and played enough to earn his first varsity letter.
The 1984 Michigan football season started out great with an upset win over top-ranked Miami. Dieter made a season high 4 tackles in that game. He earned one start at strong safety and recorded a tackle in six games (12 solo and 4 assists). The good news is that Heren played well enough, and often enough, to letter for the second time. However, the bad news is that the Wolverines finished the season with a final record of 6 wins and 6 losses – the worst of the Schembechler Era.
The biggest room in the Michigan Football facilities was the room for improvement in 1985. Bo had a healthy squad that included a quarterback named Jim Harbaugh. Michigan started fast and finished strong. The Wolverines posted a final record of 10 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie. They ended the season as the second ranked team in the country in both the AP and UPI polls.
Dieter Heren added some weight in 1985 and was up to 219 pounds. He started one game at outside linebacker. He made at least one tackle in nine games and posted 13 for the season. Dieter earned his third varsity letter, but there was still something missing. The Wolverines failed to win, or tie, for the Big Ten Championship for the third straight season. All the seniors and fifth year players knew what they had to do in 1986.
The dedicated Heren started 11 games in 1986 at outside linebacker. He recorded a career high 64 tackles and also broke up 5 passes, forced 1 fumble, recovered a loose ball and intercepted 1 pass. Dieter’s excellent play earned him the Dick Katcher Award for the 1986 season. More importantly, he helped the Wolverines win a share of the conference championship for the first time since 1982.
Dieter Heren finished his career as a four-year letterman and a Big Ten Champion. He helped Michigan win thirty-six games. Thanks to Dieter for his dedication and hard work. Dieter Heren is one more reason why Michigan Football is the winningest program in the history of college football. Happy Birthday Dieter and Go Blue!
What are the chances that Michigan wins the Big Ten Championship if they have an All-American center or offensive guard?
Today we will continue to look at the kind of players it takes to win a Big Ten Championship. Heading into the 2018 season, the Michigan Wolverines have won 42 Big Ten Championships – more than any other conference team. Yes, it takes a lot of good players to win a conference championship, but a few great players really help.
Michigan has won a lot of championships with outstanding ends, offensive tackles and defensive backs. The next two most important position groups are center and offensive guard.
When the Wolverines have an All-American at the center position they have won the conference title just over twenty-one percent of the time (21.4). Surprisingly, the offensive guard position has yielded the exact same result (21.4). Yes, strong offensive line play is critical to the success of any team, isn’t it?
Michigan Men have earned nine All-American selections at the center and offensive guard positions. William Cunningham, a center, was Michigan’s first ever All-American player. John Vitale was the last Wolverine to play on a Big Ten Championship team and earn All-American honors.
Surprisingly, Reggie McKenzie was the first All-American offensive guard to play on a Big Ten championship team in 1971. Dave Baas was the last man to achieve this lofty status in 2004.
Michigan definitely has some outstanding talent at the center and the offensive guard positions in 2018. Hopefully, they can play at a very high level and help the Wolverines win their first Big Ten Championship since 2004.
What are the chances that Michigan wins the Big Ten Championship if they have an All-American running back?