They’re not really blues, per se, but bye weeks are always kind of a pause in the action and you either welcome them for the sweet relief they bring or look at them like, “Damn, we’re rolling. Don’t stop now!”
Seeing as how Michigan is the latter at this point (but probably welcomes the break right in the middle of the season), I thought I would take this opportunity to evaluate the landmines that Michigan has to dance around in order to have the same amount of success as they did in the first 6 games.
Illinois – Homecoming. Next Saturday – 3:30 Kick. Can someone tell me why this is a 3:30 kick? Anyone? This shouldn’t be much more of a hurdle than a mix of PSU and Hawaii was. The Illini isn’t as good as PSU but not as bad as Hawaii. I think the Illini will threaten, score some points and be a nuisance for a half and then Michigan rolls…As landmines go, this one is kind of a dud – level 5 on a scale of 6.
@ Sparty – I don’t care how bad they’ve looked up to this point, Marc D’angelo will empty the playbook, hall-closet and throw everything but the kitchen sink at this game to score on our defense. Also look for the Sparty defense to take a LOT OF PENALTIES trying to jump the snap count (which they’ve done on us for years) and also take a lot of Pass Interference penalties rather than give up the big play. This game still poses the biggest threat in my mind (remember – Wiscy really only beat them 16-6 when you take the fumbled punt and the scoop 6 off Wiscy’s score). Therefore, I will say it’s the land mine ranked number 1 that needs to be diffused in order to get to T-Day weekend undefeated.
Maryland – I said in the Pre-Season Spectacular that this game scared the hell out of me and guess what – it still does. Maybe even more so now that the Terps have lost a little mo-mo but they aren’t afraid of anyone. Michigan will need to come off a big, emotional game (Sparty) and hit Maryland in the mouth….tied for 2nd on the list of landmines due to where it falls in the season and student (Derkin) vs. master (Jimmy) thing going on….
@ Iowa – For some reason, this game has lost a lot of the “scariness” that it had early in the season. If Michigan’s Defense shows up, Michigan will win a low scoring affair even though it’s played at night in the freezing temperatures of Kinnick. Land mine level: 4. Even though I had this as a likely and possible loss in the Spectacular. Things change….
Indiana – The entire blogging and tweeting world refers to Indiana as team “Chaos” because they can score at will and have your head spinning with respect to how they do it. Its home, which makes it a manageable land mine as far as land mines go. It’s tied for #2 on the list and I would like to take them out of the game early…but I have a feeling that won’t happen. IU plays everyone close….
@ ohio – The Game. It will have some significance on who plays in the CFP, that much is clear regardless of whether or not both teams are undefeated or if 1 of them has a loss….Michigan (and Speight – especially Speight) will need to be better offensively to win this game. But if I know Harbaugh, he’ll have them improving every game leading up to this one.
So, rankin’ em:
Worst Land Mines to No Worries leading up to November 26th (still hard to remember that it’s not the 3rd Saturday, but I’m getting used to it):
Maryland – Indiana (tie)
…And then there’s WAR!!!!
The Rest of the Mess
You know how some people dream and have nice dreams about puppies and fuzzy sweaters and such? When the MMQ dreams he dreams of seasons EXACTLY LIKE THIS! Michigan undefeated and two very hated rivals spiraling down the pit of despair! One respected rival is undefeated and while they may seem impossible to beat, beating them, if it can happen, will be that much sweeter when the time comes. I haven’t felt like this since….2006. And I'm a gonna' keeeep on dreamin’!!!
NC State @ Clemson: This game can be summed up in two words: COLLEGE KICKERS. Ever wonder why the MMQ in the Pre-Season Spectacular always kind of dismisses special teams and just asks – actually, BEGS these guys to Kick the Ball and Catch the Ball?? That result is why. Every NC State fan yesterday and this AM is sitting around the coffee station muttering about their lousy kicker. And how close they were to tasting what it would be like to defeat an undefeated on their home turf. Yep, College Kickers, man, College Kickers….
BAMA @ Cremesicles: I think a lot of people thought this game was going to be closer due to the fact that the Cremesicles had played everyone close this season. I wasn’t as sure based on the first two games the Cremesicles played and usually a bad sloppy team is a bad sloppy team. Bama is proving to be the measuring stick in all of college football. A&M will have their hands full next week, but upsets do happen.….
Stanford @ Domers: Domer Record: 2-5. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! That’s how it is in my dream, almost. I’m actually a little sad. Sad because the Domers somehow got those two victories (over Tulsa and Syracuse)! Things are really starting to come off the rails in South Bend, and while it wasn’t talked about during the game (as near as I could tell) some of the student body did leave the game in uniform fashion. I read that protest lost some of its luster as it was walking out on fellow students and that was wrong. Never the less, $warbuck$ has some explaining to do after last season’s contract extension of 6 years, a pay increase, and probably a hefty buy-out. I’m not that shocked that the Domers keep doing this with substandard coaches. It’s what they do. Here’s a nice little link to the Stanford strength coach telling Kelly “Bye-Bye”…Hee-hee….
Vandy @ Georgia: Losing to the worst Vandy team that they’ve put on the field in a long time has to be close to a fire-able offense in the land of the SEC. And to lose in the fashion that you lost – domination of the Commodores and losing by a point…I know an SEC team wouldn’t can a coach in his first season…Right? I mean, Right? Anyone? Anyone? Hello Georgia fans???
Furry rodents @ Maryland: Claeys righted the road ship and got one against Derkin, which I have a feeling won’t get any easier to do to the Terps as time marches on. Looked impressive on the road. Are you guys trying to make Nebraska and Wiscy nervous?
Huskers @ Hosers: Again, Indiana in this game RIGHT TO THE FRIGGIN’ End, but the Huskers prevail to get to 6-0 for the first time since I don’t know when. And I’m still not sure how good this team is, but 6-0 is 6-0. I respect ya’, Huskers. And you’re making the B1G look good again. And I’m more and more nervous about the Hosers….They’re good enough to spoil someone’s season…
Northwestern @ sparty: SOS – SOS – SOS – SOS – SOS – SOS – SOS – SOS – SOS
First time ever in East Lansing that Donaltonio gets 53 hung on him….This almost isn’t fun anymore…it’s slightly embarrassing to watch (small tear wells up in my eye and slowly falls down my cheek)…I almost feel –
Nope, Nope, Nope!!! I can’t even fake it! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Oh, how sweet the misery looks on all those faces whenever I see anyone wearing that hideous green and white crap out in the street and I have on the Maize and Blue! If I see them eye-ball me, I simply give ‘em a “Go Blue!” and keep right on walking with a little spring in my step! Yes – there’s two programs whose fans I love to kick when they’re down. And this is one of ‘em. Has there been a better stretch to love hating Sparty in recent memory? The Hoops team losing to a 15-Seed and now the “football” team sitting at 2-4, looking at a 5-7 season, more than likely? Dantonninni simply doesn’t have any more rabbits he can pull out of his hat at this point. That’s a bad team in East Lansing, folks. A Bad Team. Yes, they’ll be pumped on October 29th with the “Save Our Season” adrenaline flowing in their veins, but the reality of 3-4 or 2-5 (after Maryland) will still be bitter. Perhaps the Pride got to Sparty before the fall? Is little brother feeling abused again? Michigan is a very complete team, Sparty Fan, and I have this feeling it won’t be pretty in East Lansing.
Colrado @ Arizona State: Colorado – remember that nobody Michigan played back in September, somehow has beaten what was in some places a dark horse to win the Pac12 South and sits at 5-2 on the season. And they DESTROYED the Sundevils 40-16. Hmm…..maybe Michigan has played some good teams! Speaking of which….
suckeyes @ Wiscy: Oh, we were so close to the big ole Wet Dream of the Wolverine Fan’s Trifecta of all three hated rivals falling on the same Saturday!!!! Wiscy revealed the suckeyes for what they are: A BEATABLE team that an efficient offense can move the ball on and a good to great defense can shut down. Wiscy played great football for about 52 to 54 minutes on Saturday night and then the somewhat inevitable happened. They let the Suckeyes back in it, couldn’t get down for a possible game winning FG, and went to OT. How you lower Wiscy in the national standings is beyond me (I think they dropped from 8 to 10). If anything I’d have moved them up for owing the stat line (313 yards of offense in the first half alone!) And then you’ve got Urban Legend (why is he always got his hands on his knees - does he have heart issues, too?) with this 15 yard penalty.
It’s funny how different people can look at the same set of facts and come to entirely different conclusions. I was asked Saturday who I wanted to win in this game and I said, “Wiscy”. Of course, a Sparty spoke up (so, you know, always look at the source of education and such) and stated it was better for Michigan if the suckeyes won. I asked why and he stated that beating an undefeated suckeye team in Columbus would be better for Michigan’s ranking in the event they lost the B1G Championship. And while I understand that rationale, a one loss suckeye team becomes a TWO LOSS suckeye team if Michigan beats them in Columbus. And if Michigan would lose the B1G Championship, they’re still sitting with just one loss…vs the two that the suckeyes would have who would be completely out of it at that point. And that would possibly make Michigan that much more attractive in the 4th play-off spot with only 1-loss. Way too many carts before horses, I know. Stop thinking that way. One game at a time….
The 5 Stages of Slappy Fan Grief
- Denial and Isolation –Clemson. While it was a close victory, all the fans will breathe a sigh of relief and be like, “Hey, were fine. We just have to keep winning and everything will be fine.” Sure. The CFP Committee (if they’re doing their job) will notice sucky wins (losses) and say that you were lucky to win that game to a completely unranked team. Any other 1-loss team will look more attractive than Clemson right now and everyone knows it.
- ANGER –Oh, let’s see. Probably easier to just list ‘em and get it over with: Domers, Sparty, Puppy Dawgs, Ducks, Boilermakers. I’m probably forgetting somebody….But those fans are all angry for various reasons – some that their school hasn’t fired their coach and others that they hired a guy that can’t coach a win and still others that fired a coach that could have easily been canned last season if you were going to do it anyway…more on the Boilers in a minute….
- Bargaining –Wiscy. 2 losses to the teams that you are supposed to lose to ranked 2 & 3 in the country does not make you a bad football team. In fact, I think most fans are thinking that Wiscy might be better than one of those teams, they just couldn’t close the deal. ….
- Depression – Domers and Sparty…Just you two this week. Nobody else to share your misery with. The pit of despair and depression knows no final depth or bottom and it can and will continue downward into a black and numb nothingness that leaves you feeling completely empty and hollow inside. No hopes or reasonable goals left for the season. These teams might come out swinging in the next couple of games, but at the first sign of adversity, they’ll fold like a lawn chair… There’s no joy in South Bend or East Lansing, friends of the MMQ. And that makes me HAPPY!!!!
- Acceptance – Purdue. This is the 2nd time you’ve earned the spot this season and I wasn’t going to put you down here, but your school fired Hazell. At least now, you can move on and hopefully, this is the bottom….
Idle Thoughts from Saturday
-Apparently, I, like many others, stated I was going to get to “a lot of Crap” during Michigan’s first bye week.
-To give you an idea – I was 5th in line at the boat launch to yank out the ski boat on Saturday morning.
-And there were a half a dozen guys behind me.
-Summer’s officially over.
-And the guy in line in front of me said, “Did we all wait for Michigan’s bye to do this?”
-I guess so…
-Saturday’s just aren’t the same when Michigan’s not playing.
-I feel more objective and less connected to the action.
-I mean, there’s games I wanna’ watch to see how they play out, but it’s different.
-The week prior seemed longer, too.
-NC State hanging with Clemson!
-This game is tied!!!
-Oh, would this be sweet.
-All right little kicker dude – Keep your head down and follow through!
-OMG! 33 yards and you MISSED IT????
-College Kickers, man….They rip your heart and soul out…
-Clemson losing would have been nice
-But this might be just as good.
-I think they might be the biggest fraud in the Top 5 right now.
-And that’s good if your team makes the CFP as they’re beatable.
-Sparty is not good.
-Uh-oh. Northwestern rolling.
-Hey – Sparty’s making a comeback!
-Oh, Wait – Nope. Wildcat Kick-Off return to the HOUSE!
-35 points in the 3rd quarter alone? Sparty nor the Cats understand the concept of Defense.
-Cats hang 53 on Sparty. Wow. Nice….
-Bama abusing the Cremesicles now.
-Bama’s abusing them Bad. That Defense is for real…
-Yikes. The CFP Champ will have to go through the Team from Tuscaloosa
-Not that I’m looking ahead.
-I have to keep reminding myself that the transitive property does not apply.
-Meaning: A&M has a chance…
-Not much of a chance, but a chance….
-Here we go.
-Wiscy hanging tough!
-Taking the lead and all the stats into half time!
-I know, the TRANSITIVE PROPERTY DOES NOT APPLY!!!
-Meaning: Wiscy only had a little over 200 yards of total offense on Michigan.
-The TRANSITIVE PROPERTY DOES NOT APPLY IN COLLEGE FOOTBALL!
-I need to keep reminding myself of that.
-Come On CHEESEHEADS! Shut them down!
-Whoo-Hoo! Domers lose! It’s FINAL!!! The Domers are 2-5!! HAHAHA!!!
-Back to Wiscy beating suckeyes.
-All Right, OT at home is what you want, but it shouldn’t have gone to OT.
-Crap. All right Wiscy, You know what you need to do. Score and get to 2OT.
-Okay, Michigan still gets a shot and Wiscy showed us a WHOLE BUNCH OF STUFF!!!
THE MMQ’s “I DON’T NEED A COMMITTEE!”
7 Weeks into the season known as the College Football Play-off and I know who the frauds are. AT least I THINK I know. And I know who’s large and in Charge:
Top 4 teams in the Country and if the play-off were played today: Without a Doubt: Bama. Michigan and the suckeyes. (just cause they won.) and Clemson only because they won.
Who’s still got a shot:
- B1G Champion: Nebraska and I can honestly see the argument for a 2 loss Wiscy team if they can somehow get a re-match with either Michigan or the Suckeys and win.
- SEC Champion: Bama, Texas A&M, LSU or
Tennessee. I had Tennessee in there, but there’s just no way an SEC East team is going to do anything to an SEC West team this season in the Championship.
- ACC Champion: Clemson. This is on very shaky ground right now. 1 loss and Clemson will be on the outside looking in with that pathetic win Saturday. Regardless if they win the ACC.
- PAC 14 Champion: Washington. Just keep playing….
The Hot Seat