7-5; losses to MSU, Iowa, Neb., OSU.
No, that's not a summary of 2010. Substitute "Loss at home to Nebraska," for "Loss at home to Wisconsin." It's a prediction for 2011. Not my prediction; I don't do predictions and I'm not very good at them.
It's the long-winded prediction of one "Jon Machota" who is apparently a "Special Writer" for the Detroit Free Press. I think "Special Writer" means, "Guy from whom we can get some occasional page-filler, without keeping him on the payroll and enrolling him on the Freep Blue Cross policy."
Anyway, to fill up nearly an entire page of the largely content-free Sunday Free Press sports section, they asked Mr. Jon Machota (who seems to drift between the Dallas Morning News and the Free Press and wherever else in between that he can sell his stories) to do a "Future Watch" consisting of a game-by-game rundown of the 2011 season. It is a silly exercise, regurgitating every one of the common 2010 myths about every team on Michigan's upcoming schedule, and of course defining in precise terms a Michigan team that nobody, I'd suppose, knows much about, yet.
The Freep sports editors had the chutzpah (or the self-effacement) to say this about the Machota feature:
So clip and save, because you read it here first:
Now, I am not going to worry about a season's worth of predictions, almost a year in advance, and I recommend that you don't, either. Who knows what will happen? But what got me was the way the guy ended the predictive-summary of the OSU game. It was essentially the last paragraph of the article. I've added my emphasis in the block quote:
Prediction: Pryor and his buddies are not returning for their senior years so that U-M can end its seven-game losing skid to OSU. Even at the Big House, Hoke's gang won't have enough for a Bo-like first-year upset. This will be a closer game -- only a nine-point difference -- than in the last few years. Despite the same 7-5 record as 2010, the U-M fan base will feel energized and like the defensive progress.
"Energized," eh? And the metric for our feeling "energized," is what, exactly? As ever, "Michigan," as the topic of the day, just rules for the Freep. It's mo-ney. Cover stories, complete sections, in-depth analyses. They pulled in a half a dozen writers for the five-and-a-half full pages that they devoted to the Hoke-a-mania hiring day in the Sports section, not including Michael Rosenberg's column that occupied the paper's front page below the fold -- only because the Hoke-a-mania headline occpied the space above the fold.
Anyway, here's to 7-5, and losses to MSU, Iowa, Nebraska, and OSU. With the "Michigan Man" who is now beloved by our favorite local newspaper. Oh, and feeling energized, too.
In the hope that no one will feel the need to look up the Machota story at Freep.com and give them the page-click that they want from us (you really won't be missing anything), here is the rundown on the Machota 2011 Prediction:
Western - W
Notre Dame - L
Eastern - W
San Diego St. - W
Minnesota - W
Northwestern - W
Michigan State - L
Purdue - W
Iowa - L
Illinois - W
Nebraska - L
Ohio State - L