Today is a great day to remember the Happy Birthday anniversary of an All-American Wolverine named Merv Pregulman. Pregulman, shown above (#67), was a two-way player for Fritz Crisler in the early 1940s (Note: Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan). According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Mervin “Merv” Pregulman was born in Lansing, Michigan in 1922. Personally, I think Pregulman, and Harry Kipke, are the two greatest Wolverines ever born in Lansing!
Merv Pregulman came to play football for Michigan and Fritz Crisler in 1940. He put in his time as a freshman learning the Michigan system and he learned his lessons well. After two games as a Sophomore, Pregulman became a starting right guard and never stopped playing until his career ended in 1943.
Merv Pregulman was tough and he was smart. So, he became Coach Crisler’s most versatile lineman. During his three years on the Michigan varsity he started six games at right guard, ten games at center and six games at right tackle. Oh by the way, he also was an accurate placekicker for the Wolverines as well.
Merv Pregulman’s outstanding play was recognized early since he won the Meyer Morton Award in 1941 as the most improved Wolverine. He continued to play at a high level in 1942 and earned All-Big Ten honors at center. Even though he and his teammates were winning a lot of games they continued to come up short in the conference. After tying for second in 1941, the Wolverines slipped to third place in 1942.
Pregulman’s career ended on a high-note! His stellar play earned him All-American recognition in 1943. More importantly, he also helped the Wolverines give Coach Fritz Crisler his first Big Ten Championship that year. Michigan went 8-1 for the season and finished 6-0 in the conference. Their only loss was to the top ranked Fighting Irish in early October.
Pregulman, and his talented teammates, finished the 1943 season with a career record of 21 wins, 5 losses and 1 tie. They won almost eighty-percent of their games (.796) and a Big Ten Championship to boot! Pregulman and his fellow lineman became known as the “Seven Oak Posts” for their toughness and hard-nosed play.
After his career at Michigan, Pregulman did what most men of his era did. He served his country in World War II as a Navy officer. He returned home and fulfilled his dream of playing professional football. After four years in the “league” Merv Pregulman went into business. He continued to serve his community and the University of Michigan for the rest of his life!
Merv Pregulman was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982. He earned a place in Michigan’s Hall of Honor in 1988 along with many other noteworthy awards. Please take a moment to appreciate the amazing life of Michigan Man Merv Pregulman who died on November 29, 2012. He left a legacy of excellence and service that very few men ever achieve. Go Blue!
When did the Wolverines earn their first Western Conference win over Wisconsin?
Fielding H. Yost’s Wolverines posted the first Western Conference victory over Wisconsin in 1902. The Wolverines won the game in Ann Arbor by a score of 6-0. Remember his was a time when Yost’s “Point-a-Minute” teams were running up some impressive scores.
In fact, Michigan outscored their opponents by a final margin of 644-12 for the 1902 season. That worked out to an average victory margin of 58-1! Four of the Wolverine wins that year were by 86 points or more. So, it is safe to say that the 6-0 win over Wisconsin was the toughest game that Michigan played during the 1902 season. Personally, I would like to see our Wolverines put up a bunch of points in a BIG win on Saturday night. Go Blue!
What is the biggest victory margin that the Wolverines have ever posted against the Badgers?