I think western Michigan. IMHO.
I don't start many topics, but I am so sick of recruiting and troll bashing that I wanted to try to get some discussion going about the season.
I read a rivals article about the MSU game this year and I was thinking about what would be the "most important" (define that as you wish) game of the year.
My pick is MSU. I know OSU has beaten us 5 years in a row and that sucks, but I don't expect to beat them this year and I think the year can still be considered a success if we lose.
I am not as concerned about the recruiting battle between us and MSU as much as some, but I don't want to see a trend and we haven't lost to them two years in a row since the sixties.
But the reason I think it will be the most important is because it is a rivalry game that could be a turning point in the season.
Looking at the schedule:
It is our first road game and against a rival. It is a winnable game with MSU replacing their qb and rb. The game was closer last year than the score indicated and hopefully we will have our snap count better prepared. With a win, we very likely could be 5-0 or 4-1, eclipsing the previous win total. People will be all aboard the UM band wagon if we win. This helps recruiting and my sanity. The rest of the season is rough but there are two very winnable games with Delaware State and Purdue at home, so MSU could be the difference between bowling or not. That is why I think win at MSU, we have a good season, lose there, and I don't think we make a bowl and more people get on the fire Rodriguez pitchfork squad. I also think that winning his first road game will help the team's confidence and may lead to a surprise win or two in the remaining road games.
So what do you think? Is there a make or break game for the team next year? If so, which one?
I think western Michigan. IMHO.
At 8pm EST on September 5th, Notre Dame.
Rinse and repeat until January 9th.
Exactly the closest game is always the most important.
I would contend it's the first game. Win and it starts to roll downhill. Lose and here comes another long season.
Always The Game
Notre Dame is important because it offers the most "opportunity" for the team to surprise. In preseason predicting it looks like an autoloss, given the wealth of talent and experience ND has coming back. But it's at home, ND does not look like it will have a good defense, and Charlie Weis can't coach his way out of a paper bag (especially on Saturdays). Compared to other autolosses on the schedule (e.g. Penn State, Ohio State), the stars are far more aligned with ND.
If ever there were an opportunity for M to surprise and steal a game and upgrade expectations for the season, Notre Dame is that game. It's important, IMHE.
I gotta go with Western, too. A loss to Western would be hard to take, but is very possible.
Must beat OSU. Repeat after me: MUST...BEAT...OSU.
This is probably the weakest team OSU will field in the next 4-5 years. Gotta get 'em now. We could be looking at a 9-10 game losing streak to OSU if we don't win this year.
I feel that the MSU game is the second most important game of 2009. Gotta stop this "MSU is taking over Michigan" crap post haste.
Simply, can not lose to WMU, EMU or Deleware State. A loss to any one of the three may signal the beginning of the end for the coaching staff.
Excuses can be manufactured for losing to any of the remaining opponents (well IU is bad but at least a Big X school).
It's a shame that argument is made when a team like WMU is probably better than IU.
...if they beat OSU. but only if OSU is good this year.
But, as it was said in the old TV show, "The Highlander:"
"There can be only one."
For UM, it will always be OSU. And as much as I believe a 9-3 record is appropriate this year, I would be satisfied with 7-5 as long as one of the seven was against OSU.
The unprecedented losing streak to OSU has to end. I really think "stopping the bleeding" against OSU is more important to the program than any of the other games. I wish I shared the optimism of the poster who said the NC game would be the most important, but even I don't have that much faith this year.
Serious question for you, Tater. You seem to expect us to be very good this year. What will your reaction be if we end up having another horrible season, as in a record of 5-7? Would your opinion of Rich Rod and his coaching staff change?
I believe Michigan is going to surprise a lot of people this year, particularly conference foes. Let's face it, this is a team predominantly made up of freshmen and sophomores. UM may lose some games it would otherwise win. But I do expect some surpringly decisive UM wins this fall also. I'd prefer those surprises to come against conference opponents and rivals, i.e. any team vying for the Big Ten conference title: at MSU, at Iowa, PSU and Ohio State.
The first game vs. WMU will be important to set the tone for the season. Unlike last year, Notre Dame, as good as they may be this fall, will hopefully not receive as many gifts as last years game.
Forcier is going to be able to run and throw well I think. But I'm really expecting Michigan offensively to grind it out big time with Minor, Brown, Shaw and the incoming frosh.
That Wolverine OL should be pretty good this fall.
Honestly the most important game is the next game. I hope our players are taking it one game at a time. I don't want our players worrying about the 5th or 12th game on the schedule until its that week.
The 13th game vs. Florida in the NC
You always have to beat your biggest rival.
Sorry, I don't buy it.
Something about--what was it--8(?) wins in a row against them...
Something about not losing 2 in a row against them since the 1960s (well before I was born anyway)...
One of the radio guys in Lansing (where I live and work) even says it's a one-sided rivalry. (We have to have easily doubled them up on wins in this match-up.)
Think about this. Pretend you are the Michigan coach and you can cherry pick any guy off of the MSU roster that you want on the condition that he must start. Who do you take?
I'll do the example of last year...
Hoyer (only because he would have been better than Threet, I think, and Sheridan, I'm sure.) NOTE: as they are without an incumbent starter this season, I don't take their QB this year.
Ringer-but only early on (we were starting McGuffie for crying out loud at the beginning of the season. This desire is lessened by MINOR RAGE and Brandon remembering to hold the football later in the season.) So again, I'll keep the guys "I've" got this year.
Probably some (2-4) O lineman, but I couldn't name names. They started Ferrera 2 weeks after they switched his position! With a more experienced line, this probably goes down to 0-2 this season.
Nobody on the Dline and no receivers. I keep our corners too. And our kickers were good too, especially our punter.
I will take a Linebacker (Thornhill is pretty good) and probably a safety who can tackle (but I can't think of one just sitting here).
This is 7 guys...out of 24 starters. The key to this rivalry is getting our better players to, well, play like it. But really, don't be calling "little brother" our biggest rival.
at us becaue we can't be OSU's rival because we never beat them. HAR HAR HAR. I forgot about how football started in 2001 and Michigan isn't really OSU's rival, which is why you're here, right "five in a row." You should change your name to something like "17 more till .500"
Stop trolling here. Go to Mlive if that's what your life goal is.
I do so wish that we could have that 1902 game back. If we had taken that one, ten bucks says Campbell would've been a Spartan. Hell, if we had won in 1902, we probably wouldn't have even gone into overtime in a couple years back in the Big House.
or you would if michigan had a winning record vs State because of old games like 1902. I mean, what if you had won in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, or 2007. Those are all recent, aren't they? Woo..2008. You're 2 for the decade. Congrats. Stop trolling.
He doesn't think of the M v. OSU series as a rivalry because they are hopelessly behind in it?
I agree with the people who say this could set the tone for the season. I really don't like "tone talk" because the Utah game last year was almost pulled out of arse, and the Wisconsin game should have been something to build on.
But this year, with a younger team, and the QB Rodriguez really wanted and needed, healthy Minor and Brwon, more experienced OL, and yes, Greg Robinson (I've seen up close what a good DC can do with positioning, tackling, and pursuit angles--add in the talent on this team and BOFFO)--not to mention the dust HAS to have settled from the transition and everything that went with it-----Michigan needs to lambast Western Michigan. I mean kill, thrash, chomp, stomp and mutilate them. Not some 17-10 POS. Give me 49-14. Pull the tail out from between the legs. Git 'r dun.
No excuses, no bullshit, and you thrash MAC teams like they deserve to be thrashed.
I'm kinda wondering about people who say that UM will lose games we think they should win--this team has not the margin of error to do that. There can be no "upsets" this year because they play all six Big Ten contenders and Notre Dame. In fact, Michigan has to win a couple we think they shouldn't. Can't be the other way around.
Lovin' the Sphincter
you want a true freshman QB, who may or may not be god, to go into his first collegiate game versus a decent-good WMU team and hang 50 on them? You want a underachieving defense with youth in the secondary, with a new coach in their first game against a good offensive opponent to hold WMU to 14? Any win is a good win at this point. I dont care if its 17-10 or 50-14. I tend to think it will be closer to the first, say 28-21.
No, no, no, we are Michigan, anything less than the thrashing a MAC team deserves is unacceptable. You know, the sort of thrashing Illinois, a team that beat Michigan in the Big House, gave them last year. Only TDoR would be happy with just a win.
set the tone let the country know that Michigan football is back and they should be very scared. A 30+ point win against a good WMU team would be a huge statement. If we barely pull the game out 0-7pts that gives ND confidence going into week two.
I think Western... I dont care about Hiller blah blah not that bad blah blah... it would be an absolute disgrace if we lost....
Then of course, MSU and OSU are always important
There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that we need to go out on the 5th of Sept and show everyone what we can do and who we are.
By going out and laying it on WMU,would go a long way establishing some mo going into the game with NL.
OSU will always be the most important, but after that I think it's Notre Dame.
Both teams are at turning points: Weis could get fired for a bad loss, while it'll be a first test for a whole bunch of young guys on our squad.
A big win over the Irish will really springboard us and give young guys confidence that they can play with the best (whether or not Notre Dame qualifies as "the best" is arguable, but perception counts and perception is that they are enormously talented). I think the ND game is as important as the MSU game.
#1 would be MSU because of not losing 2 years in a row but it was close with ND at #2 because they are our first big challenge and they are a rival this game could set a tone forthe rest of the season
It's hard to pick a non-conference game, but the season needs to get off to a good start. I think they will handle Western, so ND is next and a natural rival.
MSU is another good argument, since it will impact recruiting, the conference standings and havinmg to stomach watching Dantanio win again.
ND or MSU...I'll go with MSU for most important.
They're a rival and it's our first true test
but I think taking down MSU would provide a good boost to the start of a shitty stretch of games for us. @ Iowa, DWSU, PSU, Illi is gonna be a difficult stretch.
@Iowa at night is gonna be a dog fight.
DWSU should be a good time to jump out to a big lead and coast the rest of the way, but if you lose that game, it quickly goes down as the worst loss in Michigan history.
Penn State should still be a good team with leadership in the backfield and they always seem to replace people on D. O-line and receivers may be a problem, but it will be a tough game.
@Illinois is going to be tough if the Illini havent quit on their season again. A senior Juice and good receiver core headed by Benn is going to be a real test.
Man that’s a tough question. I would say Western b/c it could set the tone. It would also be nice to win an opener for a change seeing how the last two seasons were disasters (App St and the 3-8 rec)
Delaware State…yes Delaware State b/c I think we’ve suffered enough embarrassment the last two seasons and I cannot take another FCS loss. I just don’t have it in me and neither does the program.
HOWEVER, I think the most important game and will always be the most important is tOUS simply b/c I hate them and b/c I’m from Ohio and I suffer a lot from their obnoxious and irritating fans. I would go 1-10 if I could guarantee a win against those ‘A’ holes.
If we lose to WMU, we will go in with no confidence to the ND game. Then we will 0-2 and have very little chance of making a bowl. So I would say the WMU game. 2nd would be State. It would be nice to start on the road with at win.
IF WE BEAT WESTERN, WE CAN BEAT ANYBODY! INCLUDING FLORIDA!
so tOSU MSU and ND games are important, but rival games are always important.
personally i think the Iowa game will really show us how good we are, and if this year will be a good one. Iowa lost its interior line on both sides, and the interior, besides left tackle is one of the most important positions, not to mention they probably have the best linebacking corp besides Penn State.
It is also in Kinnick, which at night games can get CRAZY. so it will test our freshmen since it is the first real road test. Im hoping a friend of mine gets me tickets to the game, and that i can laugh in his face, the whole ride home.
The next game from the team's perspective.
As the Badgers said a few years back, "Let's go 1-0 this week." This week is the only one that you can control. The only one that you can mentally prepare for. Last week doesn't matter, it is in the past. Next week will come when it gets here. This week must be our #1 priority.
Now from the fans' perspective...I'm going to go with Western. They weren't a doormat last year, and they may not be one this year either. Win now and wash that acrid 3-9 taste out of your mouth. Have hope about this season that isn't based on something abstract like "potential" but a real, well fought and played VICTORY. If we lose that one, in the back of our minds, we'll all be going, "Here we go again..."
This philosophy is unique to this year. Usually, I think about the rivals during the pre-season. (Or the pre-pre-season like we are in right now.
So there are always two things I know off the top of my head. Who are we playing THIS WEEK? and When is the next big game?
To answer your question, I think it is without a doubt the first game against WMU. We have to start the year off with a head of steam. ND will not be a gimme! M drops a close one at home to the HUTS! We will be 3-1 when we play sparty. Also, the only way we will be victorious against tOSU is if we force TP to throw the ball.
TP RUNNING = DISASTER
TP THROWING = Good chance of VICTORY
Delaware State. If we don't kick the living sh@* out of them...
I don't want to start another season off with a loss. Hopefully a win here shows everyone is buying into the system and it calms the team and the fans down.
it is going to be the ROSE BOWL against USC
that's the most important win this season
If for no other reason we get away from all the dull summer/non-football crap.
Without a doubt the MOST important game will be WMU. It has to be. Every one of the 107,001+ fans in the stadium plus all the rest watching on TV or listening to the radio will be wondering the same thing we are right now . . . Is RR and his staff a cohesive group that has brought this team together with a single purpose of being the best they can be in every game this season?
A lackluster performance, even as a win will not quiet the doubts and fears that we all have somewhere deep in our souls. The opener against the Broncos needs to be a game of agressiveness, precision and taking them out of the game early and keeping them down until the final seconds tick off the clock.
If the team gets all over them early and takes that "maybe Michigan still isn't good yet" thought out of WMU's collective head, we cann enjoy a good old fashion Maize and Blue ass whoopin' like we all used to expect. Instead of expecting it, we hope and pray for it. If we thrash WMU, maybe we can all get back to being truly positive about what this team and this coach can do, instead of what we hope they'll do and what we don't want them to do.
After that, kick the livin' SHIT out of fat ass and the domers and we can start talking about "MICHIGAN football" again!
They are rated as high as #7 in the nation by some of these pre-season magazines. I honestly think that WMU's QB and offense are more effective, and that will be a good pre-curser to the ND game. Last year, Tim Hiller threw for 64%, 3,725 yards, 36 TD's and 10 INTs. Compare that to Clausen who threw for 60% 3,172 yards 25 TD's 17 INTs (5 of these TD's were in the bowl vs. Hawaii). Beating ND will pull UM closer to the top 25, and send a message to the nation.
They are over-hyped, and they will underachieve. They do have plenty more playmakers than a couple of years ago, but it's the same team that blew chunks last year with the same coach. It's not like Weiss just had his first year and he doesn't have "his guys" in there yet. Charlie will be run out of town screaming, and UM will start the riot. I'm sorry, but as horrible, confused, and awkward as Michigan was last year - if we don't turn the ball over NINE times we win that game. The crazy weather didn't help us hold on to the ball much, and even with us coughing up the ball every other minute we were still in the game in the 4th quarter.
I don't agree that MSU & Iowa will be such difficult games. Both teams had one guy who accounted for 85% of their entire offensive production, and those two are in the NFL now. Who will replace these people and do even half as well? I also think Hoyer was better than most people realized at converting 3rd downs, and that will be missed.