The University of Michigan fielded its first intercollegiate football team in 1879. That’s 142 years ago, according to math. The Wolverines began playing what people later called home games in year 1883, which is 138 seasons back, also per the assistance of math.

In all that time, through all the sturm and drang, the championships, the Heisman Trophies, the glory piled on top of glory, and even the periodic downturns that never seemed to last long, the Wolverines could be counted on to win a contest in front of the local fans every autumn. 

The Big House itself, born in 1927—Michigan’s vast football cathedral that is both the largest in the United States and third-largest stadium in the world at a 107,601 person capacity—has never hosted a season without a home victory for the Wolverines.

But 2020 finally broke everything. With the cancellation of the Maryland game, the final home contest of the season, the Wolverines have now secured the first winless home campaign in 138 seasons of hosting them. The year of Covid-19 has claimed many things, but for Michigan football that is likely the most notable of all. 

As the proverb states: All good things must come to an end. There is an end to everything, to good things as well. For Michigan football, 1883 to 2020 marks the end of one almost uninterrupted era of good in Ann Arbor. Next up for the Wolverines and their flock is the proverb of hope: This too shall pass.