Deja vu? A ranked Michigan team loses in Iowa City on a last-second field goal, just like 1985

The Michigan Wolverines lost a football game on Saturday, TIME TO PANIC!

Just kidding. In all seriousness, the loss for Michigan doesn’t really damage their 2016 resumé nor their path to the College Football Playoff all that much. The main narrative for the Wolverines continues to be “win out, and you’re in.”

But their 14-13 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes was just a microcosm of a wild and wacky Saturday across college football. In addition to the No. 3 Wolverines, falling from the ranks of the unbeatens were No. 2 Clemson and No. 4 Washington. Add in No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 9 Auburn and you have half of the CFP top 10 losing on Saturday.

For Michigan specifically, one of the storylines from a historical standpoint coming into Saturday night’s game. Let’s flash back all the way to 1985, a mid-October game between AP No. 1 Iowa and No. 2 Michigan, also in Iowa City. It was an instant classic and typical Big Ten defensive struggle, in a game where the host Hawkeyes in the shadow of their famed water tower knocked off a then-undefeated Michigan team 12-10.

How that game ended? A game-winning field goal as time expired. 31 years ago, it was Iowa freshman kicker Rob Houghtlin splitting the uprights from 29 yards out.

On Saturday for the Hawkeyes, a it was another freshman kicker, Keith Duncan, drilling it from 33 yards and handing Michigan their first loss of the season.

The quarterback for the Wolverines in that 1985 game? Some guy named Jim Harbaugh.

And yes, as if the parallels weren’t eerie enough for Michigan fans to remember, as Mark Schlabach tells us here, 1985 was the last time the Nos. 2, 3, and 4 teams all lost on the same day. Back then, it was the No. 3 Sooners of Oklahoma and No. 4 Razorbacks of Arkansas falling in defeat.

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The 1985 Michigan team went on to finish 10-1-1 on the year and play in the 1986 Fiesta Bowl, defeating Nebraska to finish No. 2 in the final AP polls. That team allowed just 98 points all year, a season that included three shutouts and a 3-3 tie to Illinois. This 2016 edition of Wolverines, now with Harbaugh calling the shots on the sidelines has pitched one shutout thus far and has allowed 109 total points through ten games, with as little as three games remaining and as many as five left.

Following their first loss in 1985, Michigan slipped just two spots in the AP poll to No. 4 and were ranked No. 5 come bowl time. We will learn Tuesday night where this year’s Wolverines will end up in the latest CFP rankings after chaos ensued on Saturday.

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