Detroit has had a team since purchasing the Portsmouth Spartans in 1934. Among the great backs to run for the Lions are Barry Sanders and Doak Walker. Among the many Hall of Famers who played at Michigan: lineman Dan Dierdorf, flanker Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch. Michigan State sent cornerback Herb Adderley on to Hall of Fame careers. Annual Thanksgiving games have kept a team, good and bad, in the national spotlight. Coach George Allen was born in Detroit, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady played at Michigan.
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The Wolverines have chewed up national titles and Heismans with the likes of running back Tom Harmon, wide receiver Desmond Howard and cornerback Charles Woodson, the only primarily defensive player to do so. Great coaches include Fielding Yost, Harry Kipke and Bo Schembechler (194 wins). Paul Bunyan Trophy rival Michigan State has been to four Rose Bowls and sent players such as receiver Plaxico Burress to the NFL.
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Brian Wyzlic: I cannot disagree with Michigan's overall ranking of the seventh best football state (and by state, apparently I mean land area with at least one seat in the House of Representatives). However, I don't understand how Michigan's college football ranks under Louisiana's. Each state has five college teams, but Michigan's are vastly superior. Read more from Brian
Michigan native Jerome Bettis was ubiquitous in Super Bowl XL coverage. Four Hall of Famers, including coach George Allen and guard Joe DeLamielleure, hail from Michigan. Spring 2006 DI signees: 45. Fall 2006 high school football teams: 620.
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