As a part-time (and eventual full-time) starter at Michigan, Tom Brady earned the nickname “Comeback Kid,” a handle he’s both outgrown and maintained all the way through his fifth Super Bowl title, the most unbelievable comeback (and/or collapse) in football history. In 1999, Brady helped lead four Michigan comeback wins of varying difficulty, including over Alabama in the first-ever overtime BCS bowl after falling behind both 14-0 and 28-14.
That's continued, obnoxiously. The top five close-game (touchdown or less) NFL career win percentages by QBs with multiple Super Bowl rings, via an excellent post by Sports on Earth’s Matt Brown:
- Brady: 69.2 percent (65-29)
- Peyton Manning: 65.8 percent (77-40)
- Roger Staubach: 61.2 percent (30-19)
- Terry Bradshaw: 57.4 percent (35-26)
- John Elway: 56.4 percent (66-51)
My colleagues Bud Elliott and Bill Connelly often discuss the theory that close games in football are basically coin flips, except when teams have exceptional talent at head coach, quarterback, or kicker. Then, it's similar to the difference that a top bullpen can make in a close baseball game. The Patriots have the best-ever head coach, probably the best-ever quarterback, and haven't exactly been hurting at kicker, either. And at Michigan, the Wolverines evidently had a better QB than anybody on earth realized at the time.
Since leaving Michigan, Brady has repeatedly praised his alma mater and showed his face in Ann Arbor, including at one of Jim Harbaugh's big recruiting productions. He ended his Super Bowl MVP presser, which furthered the Wolverines' all-time lead in those particular trophies, with a "Go Blue."
More college football
- Steve Sarkisian is leaving Alabama for the NFL after exactly one game amid some sort of dispute with Nick Saban over the system.
- Please just hire Chip Kelly, Bama.
- Bill C team of the day: Texas State, the right place for a start-up, with nothing to show for it yet.
- Who outrecruited their conferences the most on Signing Day? Boise State, Oklahoma, and Ohio State, for starters.
- Emails show Houston-area high school coaches were all in on Major Applewhite as the Cougars' new head coach.
- The most UCLA thing of the day: Onlookers being kind of unhappy with the new recruiting class that they're kind of happy about.
- In the news: It's the annually gross post-NSD assistant coach carousel, when coaches to whom players have signed just up and leave, whether of their own volition or somebody else's. Among the most consequential: Georgia defensive line coach Tracy Rocker out, an LSU shakeup that has New Orleans high school coaches unhappy, and stud recruiter Tommie Robinson from USC to LSU.
- It seems Lane Kiffin, folks, is at it again.