...go with your heart. That's what I'm doing as well.
Let's Go Blue!
Michigan has the worst field goal kickers in the country and will use them only when facing preposterous situations like fourth and goal from the fifteen. One of MSU's kickers is basically a Michigan kicker but he was replaced and the new guy is 9 of 11. [shakes fist at sky.]
The punt games are a wash. MSU is 28th in net punting; Will Hagerup and co are a couple yards off of that but it's not a big enough difference to expect it will matter. MSU was decent at punt returns but Bumphis has all but one on the year so that's a question mark for them; Michigan will just fair catch it. Kickoffs are also a wash, though Michigan gave up a KR touchdown against OSU in their last game.
Key Matchup: DON'T ALLOW A DAMN TOUCHDOWN
Cackle with knowing glee if...
Fear/Paranoia Level: 5 (Baseline 5; +1 for We're Playing The Illinois Offense Again, –1 for But Denard Is Healthy And So Is Odoms And So Isn't MSU's Best WR, +1 for Mississippi State's Defense Will Not Be As Accommodating As Illinois, +1 for Burn The Gardner Shirt Or Run Wildcat If—When—Robinson Gets His Ding, –1 for Chris Relf's Erratic Throwing Is Defense-Invariant, –1 for Healthy Mike Martin, +1 for Mad Cowbell Disease)
Desperate need to win level: 8 (Baseline 5; +1 8-5 Is Undeniable Progress, –1 for That Might Not Matter One Whit Anyway, +1 for The Faint Memory Of January Happy Events Is Like Motes Of Dust In A Room Half-Remembered, +1 for The Slight Chance It Might Impact Our Ability To Watch Denard Finish His Career Here, +1 for I Just Want To Win A Damn Game, –1 for I Know It's Over And Oh It Never Really Began But In My Heart It Was So Real, +1 for Seriously, Win.)
Loss will cause me to... sigh and brace for a press conference.
Win will cause me to... smile and brace for a press conference.
The strictures and conventions of sportswriting compel me to predict:
I hate this section because predictions are stupid. I always have. That's why the bolded text is whining. I want Michigan to win so I think Michigan will win. I fear Michigan will lose so I think Michigan will lose. You see that behavior in the BlogPoll: the most irrationally exuberant voters are always from some team doing well at that second with caviar dreams and the most irrationally negative voters have just watched their puppy run over and loathe everything. I'm caught between the two, and don't really know what to expect in a game that seems like a replay of the Illinois game. The Illinois game turned out to be rather close.
A couple other blogospheric predictions have dispensed with the idea that predictions are anything other than hopes, with Blue Seoul declaring…
I hate making predictions, especially when the two teams are close. So instead I'll just put what I hope happens.
…and BWS saying…
This is probably a homer's prediction, but I don't like picking against Michigan when a game looks not only winnable but more or less like a coin flip
…and I'm here to tell you that I don't know what's going on, man. I want Michigan to win, so I'll predict them to win because I can, in defiance of Vegas and the vague hope it matters. I'll spare people the talking myself into it bit.
Finally, three opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:
...go with your heart. That's what I'm doing as well.
Let's Go Blue!
be cheering our fool heads off, no doubt.
I don't have the best feeling about this game, but that doesn't matter a single f'ing bit.
I like Michigan in this game. This much time for our defense to prepare against such a limited offense should see us play better...I would think...and hope.
... you are brilliant!
I think he just caught someone stealing the last slice of bacon. It was me.
Glad to see the GERG beaver is making its way into our hearts.
Not sure I need to see his beaver.
Are there going to be a lot of camera shots to the wives in the stands...?
Whatever happens -- and lawd , for good or ill, we're in the chute now -- I do look forward to the day when the phrase "Greg Robinson's beaver" is retired from our lexicon.
And without Tate around to pick up the slack should Denard get dinged, I like our chances even less. You know that MSU will be totally devoted to banging the crap out of DR so they can face Kennedy or Gallon or a rusty and supposedly injured Devin Gardner instead.
MSU will not have had fifteen practices to focus on Denard->?->profit, unless they found out about Tate before the rest of us.
Up to this point...
The point, which you apparently missed: before there was Tate, now there is not Tate, which terrifies Don. Lack of Tate will have surprised MSU planners as much as it surprised us.
They've already been planning to play Denard. They've probably spent no time getting ready for Tate. They don't need to alter anything. What Don was saying is that MSU will now be going all out to give Denard a little extra "somethin' somethin'", because now if they knock him out, they don't face a very capable back-up who they haven't really prepared for, but most likely a guy who isn't even a quarterback, or a freshman who's been injured. Risk-reward in injuring Denard was a lot closer before Tate went home. Now they're miles apart.
Quoting Don: You know that MSU will be totally devoted to banging the crap out of DR so they can face Kennedy or Gallon or a rusty and supposedly injured Devin Gardner instead.
This was not a relevant scenario before Tate was ruled ineligible. That's the whole point. Tate was only ruled ineligible recently, so MSU has only "been totally devoted to xxx" in the last few days, not for 15 practices.
have a hard time imagining anyone scoring less than 30 on us. I think in order for us to win, we will need to score much more than 31.
I'll take the Illinois game WITHOUT the 4 turnovers -- which would make it Michigan 53, MSU 37 in regulation!!
Michigan wins by 20. And if I'm wrong can someone tell me how to change my name on here.
Let's hope that you are right.
Maybe it's the fever talking, but I think our offense will be back to its early season form. I'm excited to watch our guys again.
for the excellent work on the Gator Bowl and all previews this season. Hard to believe that in 24 hours we won't be able to discuss actual football games (excluding the spring game) for 9 months. My heart says UM, but not with much confidence. I will enjoy the ride regardless and root like hell for the team, the team, the team.
You've been saving that one up, haven't you?
Yes, D Rob is healthy, and we've had a couple weeks to prepare. Those are good things. But MSU has a very strong D, and is well coached. They are a physical team, and we haven't fared that well against physical teams this year.
I agree with Brian. I want to win so I'll say "we'll win!". Then I know what we have - awesome offense, no special teams, no defense (hell, one out of three ain't bad), and it gives me great concern. So I start thinking "we're going to get killed".
I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. I need to start drinking now so that I still have a buzz at game time, because of all the stupid things I've done in the last few months this may be the dumbest - I'm starting a new training program tomorrow that includes weight training, heavy cardio, and... wait for it - no drinking. Damn. Tomorrow is going to suck. Unless it doesn't.
I've watched this team far too closely to predict certain victory in this game. I am definitely very optimistic about our chances, though. Healthy Denard makes it so. And more practices for our young secondary can't possibly hurt, can it? CAN IT?
this actually seems like a game the 3-3-5 was built for—a matchup against a dedicated spread rushing attack.
We're going to win going away. BOOK IT.
Sheesh. I was referred to this page via EDSBS. I've learned more about my own team after several days of reading this page than I care to admit... and I go to the games.
We need something like this. This is fun.
Best wishes for a happy new year to you and all your readers. Don't freeze your tails off up there.
That's not an infectious disease site, is it?
Everyone would have one! But yes, there is a cornucopia of information here.
And hey, it was 48 here today...not bad considering how cold Jacksonville was earlier in the week... But it only matters if it's cold at game time, and it's supposed to be nice and warm. (Too bad, liked seeing Miami act like they didn't want to be there...).
Hey, there is absolutely nothing wrong with adopting Michigan as your second favorite team!
UM will win because they have something "real" to play for - even if it isn't going to be a factor, a win tomorrow means 8-5 and further validation that their coach should stick around. They won for Carr when he left, and I expect that this group of kids will do everything it takes to get RR a win.
waiting to board a flight to Jacksonville. Already got a high five from a Delta employee and a loud "Go Blue!" We totally got this you guys. Happy 2011!
Happy New Year!
This game reminds me alot og the Uconn game. Specifically, a game I think/thought we should win, but was terrified to lose due to the consequences and series of events that are/were sure to follow.
That said, I am super excited for this game and feel,after the game is over ,it will be thought of as a coming out party for this teams future.
Therefore, Michigan 38 Miss. State 21. RR is the coach for 2011 o and beyond.
I'm 95% sure we'll all be happy tomorrow night.
I know. My mother in law lives there.
Bank shot off the far goal post?
Hoping for a great, hard fought game! No matter the end result tomorrow, Michigan Football will rise above all this uncertainty surrounding CC, recruiting decommits, redshirts, and all other BS and once again reign victorious in the college football world. Bet on it!
God Bless and Happy New Year folks!
Michigan shocks the world and rolls, 56-21.
I am just going to watch and enjoy. I have been surprised by the amount of good games, the underdog wins, the crazy plays at the end of the game, the big hits, teams coming out flat, and the poor kicking. I hope it is exciting.
Sitting in my sister's apartment in Johannesburg, I'm furious that I booked my flight in July. I'll be boarding the plane back to the states (and praying that the plane has wifi) right around kickoff.
Currently in my "Worst State Ever" shirt... switching to "Strike a Pose" before takeoff, I'll just say happy new year to everyone, and GO BLUE!
I think the "Intangibles" clearly favor us today
I think this looks like a pretty close game on paper. That leads me to think that the emotional state of the two teams will be the decisive factor. I have no idea what MSU's emotional state will be. But I have compiled a quick emotional ledger to weigh those intangible moral factors for Michigan.
Possible Emotional Motivators
1. The desire to win the game to Save RR's job gives M a boost
2. Disrespect from Vegas gives M the killer underdog mojo
3. RR silenty vows to put up 70 in a final defense (pun intended?) of his tenure
4. Denard dials the dilithium up to 11 in his first game in front of home town fans.
5. M inspired by Illinois and Iowa wins, starts to believe again in the B1G.
6. Being back in a Jan. 1 bowl puts some swagger back in the Blue team.
7. The defense, tired of the mockery and humiliation, conducts a voodoo suicide pact ritual and seeks bloody vengeance on the hapless Bullies.
Possible Emotional Downers
1. RR's unclear future spawns doubt and sows low morale
2. Losing Tate for the game drains players' confidence
3. Losing Tate for the game freaks coaches out, who play to protect DR and get conservative
4. RR knows his job is toast and doesn't care anymore
5. Denard gets so nervous in front of family he reverts to freshman form
6. M watched Nebraska get trucked and realizes The Age of Traditional Powers is over
7. Team realizes they are finally in a bowl game again and choke from the pressure.
Of course, this could all be bull*.
Michigan 42 MSU 35
is a stretch to say the least. There are probably a couple dozen players on the team that don 't even know who won that game, much less care.
"sigh and brace for a press conference"
"smile and brace for a press conference"
couldn't have said it better
Too many cow bells... give them back to your gf already. For some reason Lot J is all miss st. Anyone know a better "michigan" lot?
One more "Worry if..."
WHEEL ROUTE (of doom)
Especially since this is Illinois, part II...
Nineteen years ago today, Michigan thrashed a team from Mississippi in the Gator Bowl (and provided a springboard for the next year's Heisman Trophy winner - it may shock you to know that in the following day's National, Jay Mariotti predicted Desmond would win the 1991 Heisman).
I would love to see that movie again today.
I got my hopes up, Brian.
I saw Denard look sharp on the first drive, "zinging accurate balls hither and thither."
I cackled with knowing glee. I knew how this story was going to unfold....
Then the pain, the horror, the suffering, and the numbness returned - in that order.