Peppers at 10, which seems low.
[Ed: you know what? I'm just going to bump this instead of linking it again.]
[Quick JCB plug: We’ve got you covered on all the weekend action, including a great preview on the stellar prime time schedule tomorrow night from SteveY and a breakdown of the Evil Empire vs Little Brother match tomorrow afternoon. More to come later today including a deeper look at the Nebraska-Wisconsin showdown and, of course, my weekend card of picks, so bookmark us already!]
October is hours away. And so is the start of the 2011 Big 10 conference season. Out of conference games are more or less over and we're about to begin an historic Big 10 season, one with Nebraska in it, two divisional races and a winner-take-all championship in, of all months, December. This will be season to remember, but will Michigan be a factor? The numbers from September are in, and the early math points to the Wolverine's showdown with Nebraska in November being for the division title.
But we've all been here before with Michigan looking good on the verge on the conference campaign only to see the September numbers wither with the changing seasons. I have a feeling this year will be different, but that doesn't mean the Wolverines will run the table or boss their division. My prediction for the division has always been its pretty mediocre and that we'll see three teams tied atop at 5-3. Michigan has as good a chance as anyone to hit that 5-3 mark. My other prediction was if they beat ND, they would be one game better through ten games than a year ago, so that's 8-2 heading into the nasty double date at the end of November with the Huskers and Ohio State coming to town.
There are plenty of storylines to be had in tomorrow's league opener for Michigan against Minnesota. The Little Brown Jug is on the line, fer gawd's sake!! We get another data point in the evolution of the new offense. How does Minnesota look with the whole Jerry Kill situation? Can these young, new playmakers on the Michigan defense continue their progression. And, of course, in my world, can Michigan cover the point spread. Generally speaking, I don't consider covering the line or not a true storyline for the masses. But in Michigan's case this season, I do. Don't forget, the Wolverines didn't cover a single point spread in Big 10 play a year ago. That's only the fifth time in the last decade that any FBS school didn't cover against the closing game in all their league games.
The paranoid ninny in me is naturally not happy that Michigan is the biggest chalk on the Big 10 board in the wake of last year's 0-8 ATS mark and 4-20 ATS mark the last three years against the Big 10. Obviously part of that is Minnesota's serious sucktitude so far this season. But some of it is indeed a changing mindset towards Michigan within the gambling community. Back in the summer, not only was nobody betting on Michigan, but everybody and their pet cats was betting against the Maize and Blue. However, a month into the season, Michigan has showcased some defensive competency, they still have Denard Robinson and, well, the rest of the Big 10 just looks terrible. The result? A major shifting of the odds in favor of Michigan. The Wolverines used to be 8th in line on the board with Big 10 Championship odds, checking in at +1600. But with the shifting Big 10 odds, today they are third in line at +800, behind Wisco and Nebraska. And when books re-released lines for future games on Monday, Michigan, which had been an underdog in almost every Big 10 game available, is now the favorite in almost all those games.
[ed: specifics after the jump. Thanks for being terrible, Big Ten.]
I am still working on finishing up my Michigan Cave which is really coming along nicely. This week I bought a replica Paul Bunyan trophy and a replica Little Brown Jug trophy. I plan to put them on wall shelves that I will be mounting this week.
I have been looking for a replica Stadium with the suites and updated scoreboards but there is really nothing out there to my knowledge. Has anyone seen a replica stadium anywhere with the upgrades?
As we get ready to enter BIG play and 1/3 of the season to evaluate do you think M can win the Leaders? I don't think M wins the Leaders this season, but is exceedingly nice to see M exceeding my expectations. The schedule doesn't favor the Wolverines. M, MSU and Minn all have 3/5 games in Legends on the road, while Iowa, Nebraska, and NW play 2/5 on the road.
I have to make Nebraska my fav to win it. If they protect their home turf and can get a win at M or Minn they will win it
Home: Minn and Nebraska
Away: NW, MSU, and Iowa
Home: Purdue and OSU
Home: Neb and Iowa
Away: Mich, MSU and NW
Home: Illinois and Wisconsin
Home: Mich and Minn
Away: Neb, Iowa and NW
Home: Wisconsin and Indiana
Home: MSU, NW and Iowa
Away: Minn and Mich
Away: Wisconsin and Penn State
Home: NW, Mich, and MSU
Away: Minn and Neb
Away: Penn State and Purdue
Home: Mich, Minn and MSU
Away: Neb and Iowa
Home: Penn State
Away: Illinois and Indidana
So there is a new piece at the Detroit News about Pop Evil's "In the Big House," a song regularly reviled in these here parts. http://detnews.com/article/20110930/SPORTS0201/109300356/‘In-the-Big-House’-finds-audience#ixzz1ZRqz4H1s
Brian's antipathy toward the song is well known, and some have blamed DB for giving it any positive credibility. However, the article focuses on one key demographic: Michigan Football players, who (supposedly) want the song. Here's a few money quotes:
Hunter Lochmann, Michigan's chief marketing officer, said there has been considerable interest — good and bad.
"It's gaining traction," Lochmann said. "We know there are people who love it and some people who hate it, but our core customers — the players — they want to hear it."
That's an interesting quote, and one which has to be considered. What do the players want? And beyond them, the student body? I am clearly over the hill, and my opinion doesn't really matter that much. But it strikes me, if the team, and football alums, and the student body, are behind something, well, you might hate it and think it has terrible taste, but it isn't for you to decide. In fact, apparently, other Michigan athletes like it:
Lochmann said other Michigan teams have responded positively to the song, available for download at iTunes and Amazon.
"The other teams like it even though it's about the Big House, because it's also about being Wolverines," Lochmann said. "It's going to have (some) shelf life."
The article ends with what some what consider the ultimate nightmare scenario:
For Kakaty, (Note: author, lead musician) who hasn't attended a Michigan game since he was a kid, he has one goal for the song, and Lochmann said Michigan would be all ears.
"We'd love to get into the Big House and play it," Kakaty said. "It would be our dream to play with the Michigan marching band. It's a song for fans, and we're fans, too."
EDIT: I realized that I should put my personal opinion down. I am neither for nor against the song, but I don't particularly view it as a terrible abomination. Musical tastes are just that: tastes, and they change. I am sure that "In the Big House" will be dated soon enough, and won't have the staying power of the Michigan Fight Song, etc., but if it pumps people up now, well, that's ok. And also, I don't find it nearly as ridiculous as "We Are Notre Dame."
After I saw Denard take that speed option to the house I was nagged by the feeling I had watched this before but not quite. I finally figured out what I was watching and I went to the Youtubes. I found 2 interesting things.
1. Go to 0:50 of this video. I guarantee we'll be seeing this play soon. This is the exact play we ran except it was from the shotgun. Koger will have a walk in TD in the next few weeks. If you watch the whole video they have some other plays I think we'll see soon. They have a QB counter trey from the gun at the 2:30 minute mark that would look great with Denard. I think you see in this video how much Osborne influenced the current spread craze.
2. I went back and watched a Tommie Frazier highlight package. Can you see Denard in there? I think the running style with the combo of power and speed is pretty similar and his throwing motion is pretty dead on.