As Brady Hoke trotted across the Superdome field, his Michigan players celebrating all around him, a big bucket of ice water suddenly came splashing down on the coach's head.
It had been quite a while since the Wolverines won a BCS bowl and they were going to enjoy it.
"All the tough times we've been through makes it even more special," senior defensive tackle Mike Martin said. "To be the fifth team that ever in Michigan history has won 11 games in a season, it means a lot."
Brendan Gibbons drilled a 37-yard field goal down the middle in overtime, lifting No. 13 Michigan to a 23-20 victory over 17th-ranked Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome on Tuesday night.
The victory capped an impressive debut season for Hoke, who has led the Wolverines (11-2) back to prominence with their first BCS bowl victory since the 2000 Orange Bowl.
"I'm just real proud," Hoke said, noting that only five Michigan teams in 132 have won 11 games in a season. "Real proud of our seniors, real proud of how they took this football team last January and molded it and did a tremendous job,"
Denard Robinson highlighted an otherwise unspectacular night with touchdown passes of 45 and 18 yards to game MVP Junior Hemingway.
"It shows everything we put in from Day One, all the long days, long nights," Hemingway said, his voice cracking with emotion. "Man, I'm telling you, it feels too good, man. Too good."
Virginia Tech gave the Wolverines all they could handle and might have won if not for some key miscues.
"I'm about half-sick right now," Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said. "They weren't stopping us; we were stopping ourselves."