Inside the Ford School: Michigan Football 101

It’s the first day of Fall here in Ann Arbor, which means college football is in full swing. While last season looked a bit different due to public health restrictions, Michigan Stadium is open again and fans can be there in person to watch the Maize & Blue take to the turf. 

If you’re new to the University of Michigan, the hype around football can be a bit overwhelming. Game days in Ann Arbor brings tens of thousands of people from all over the country and world to our little corner of the Great Lakes State. So whether you’re returning to the Ford School or setting foot here for the first time, let’s do a crash course on the basics of Michigan Football. 


  • The University of Michigan’s athletic teams are known as the Wolverines, known for their distinctive winged helmet design and bold maize (yellow) & blue uniforms.
  • Since 2015, Jim Harbaugh has served as head coach of the Michigan football team. Previously, Harbaugh was head coach of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers and the Stanford Cardinal football team. A “Michigan Man” through and through, Harbaugh previously played for the Wolverines as a quarterback from 1982-1986. 
  • The Wolverines play at Michigan Stadium (known as “The Big House”), a massive 107,601-capacity arena that is the largest stadium in the U.S. and the third-largest in the world. 
  • The Wolverines play in the Big 10 Conference and have major rivalries with the Michigan State Spartans and the Ohio State Buckeyes. 
  • The Michigan Wolverines are one of the most successful collegiate football programs in history, holding the record for all-time wins and claiming 11 national championships. 
  • On any game day, you can be sure to hear “The Victors”, the famous fight song of the university. 
  • The only Michigander to serve as president of the United States, our namesake Gerald R. Ford, played football for the Wolverines in the early 1930s before attending Yale Law School and enlisting in the U.S. Navy.

The 2021 season for the Michigan Wolverines:

  • The team is currently 3-0 to start the season after wins against Western Michigan, Washington, and Northern Illinois. 
  • This weekend at 3:30 PM ET, the Wolverines will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Michigan Stadium for the annual Homecoming game.
  • After their undefeated start to the season, the Wolverines are currently ranked 19th in the nation in college football. 
  • Going forward, the Wolverines are set to face the Michigan State Spartans (Oct. 30), the Penn State Nittany Lions (Nov. 13), and the Ohio State Buckeyes (Nov. 27) in Big 10 matchups sure to entertain. 

We could go on and on, but hopefully we’ve given you enough of the basics to really ace those on-campus conversations throughout the season. Stay tuned for more from “Inside the Ford School”.