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Game Day – December 30, 2016. Michigan vs Florida State

Posted on December 30, 2016 by Barry Gallagher

Today is another big game with Michigan vs Florida State in the 2016 Orange Bowl. It is the last game for many Wolverines and they want to go out with a big win over the Seminoles. Nothing will make up for the disappointment of the loss to Ohio State, but a win today will put a smile on millions of Wolverine faces. Let’s take a look at some of the history of Michigan’s December bowl games and previous games against Florida State.

Calendar and Some Bowl History:

The Wolverines have only played one game on this date in their football history. The Maize and Blue footballers played the Colorado State Rams in the Holiday Bowl on December 30, 1994. Michigan won the game by a score of 24-14.

Overall, Michigan has not fared too well in December bowl games. The Wolverines have played in seven bowl games in December. Currently, Michigan’s record in December bowl games is 2 wins and 5 losses. So, the biggest room in the Wolverine locker room is the room for improvement in the last game of the season.

Here is a quick look at Michigan’s record in December bowl games:

Date Bowl Opponent Score


12/29/1979 Gator North Carolina



12/31/1981 Blue Bonnet UCLA



12/21/1984 Holiday Brigham Young



12/30/1994 Holiday Colorado State



12/28/1995 Alamo Texas A & M



12/28/2005 Alamo Nebraska



12/28/2013 Buffalo Wild Wings Kansas State



Totals 5 Different Bowls

7 opponents

  2 wins 5 losses


Michigan’s biggest win in a December bowl game was the 33-14 defeat of UCLA in 1981. Of course, their worst loss in a December bowl game was Kansas State. That was ugly!

Actually, Michigan has played slightly better in January bowl games than in the December games. The Wolverines have an overall record of 19 wins and 18 losses in January bowl games. They own a record of 17 wins and 16 losses on January 1st bowl games. They are even at 2 wins and 2 losses when they play on January 2nd.

2000 Orange Bowl | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Michigan’s last Orange Bowl was a winner. Michigan 35 – Alabama 34! Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library.

The Wolverines have played in two Orange Bowls prior to today. In the first non-Rose Bowl game ever, Michigan came up short against eventual national champion Oklahoma on January 1, 1976.  Final score: Sooners 14 and the Wolverines 6. Michigan fared better in the 2000 Orange Bowl against Alabama. The Wolverines won an overtime shootout 35-34 when the Alabama kicker missed an extra-point on the last play of the game. Hopefully, things won’t be that close today!

Series History:

Today’s game is only the third game between Michigan and Florida State. Both of the previous games were played in Ann Arbor. On September 27, 1986, the fifth ranked Wolverines held off the twentieth ranked Seminoles. Quarterback Jim Harbaugh helped lead Michigan to a Homecoming victory (20-18).  It was a tough game, but Michigan was just a little bit better. Florida State came back for more in 1991, but this time the number one ranked Seminoles got the victory. It was a track meet with Desmond Howard and his teammates winning some races. However, the Seminoles won more races and all the relays. Bobby Bowden’s team won going away. Final score: Seminoles 51 and Wolverines 31.

Holiday Bowl 1994 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Michigan defeated Colorado State 24-14 in the 1994 Holiday Bowl. It is the only bowl game that the Wolverines have played in on December 30th.


There is no doubt about it – today’s game is almost a championship game. Both teams have highly skilled players at every position. Michigan has the advantage in experience at most of the key spots, so I give the edge to the Wolverines. I think it will be a fast, hard-hitting game. Jim Harbaugh would love to get a belated birthday present from his players. Team #137 accomplished so much this year, just not everything they set out to do. A victory over Florida State would send the seniors off with their heads held high! It will also serve as a great launching pad for the 2017 football season. I think Michigan is the better team. I think the Wolverines win by a score of 34-20 today. Go Blue!



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