For a half, it almost felt like last year. Northwestern attacked Michigan's youth on defense with, among other check plays, the triple option (Picture-paged by dnak). With the "curse of 5-0 lurking in the shadows like some angry pedo-bear" (jhackney) and big chunks of yards (ST3's Inside the Box Score, includes ref commentary) coming off Michigan's hide all I could think about was how jamie mac said Michigan was tempting fate and the sharks by breaking every Just Cover Blog Rule in the book. Michigan was about to be the victim of the Ugliest Game of the Week (stubob). Then the Hoke things started happening again:
- Michigan forced a fumble, because Michigan leads the nation in fumble recoveries (Turnover analysis, by Enjoy Life)
- And baaaarely picked off another (Game Wrap with pics by Blue Seoul)
- The offense dominated in 3rd and long and 4th and short situations (Moving picture pages by Logicdangerchrisdanger),
- The Wolverines avoided the upset scare (can they do it again? –Maize_in_spartyland's Upset Watch. .<p>no<p>. says a guy from the future.)
- And entered the mid-way point of its season 6-0, a thing which in Lordfoul's life has happened just three other times.
Not So Much with the Hate Week
Yes, I still play NCAA'04 because it was awesome.
Since MSU had a bye week preoccupied diarists went back to State's offensively challenged game in Columbus to ask things like is our biggest rival a bowl team (Chi-Blue), and whether our arch-rival's ethical struggles teach us about the human capacity for lying to oneself (hailtothe).
RESPECT THE RIVAL, NOT THE RIVALRY
On the boards, Michigan Arrogance asked whence the great Spartan trollers of yesteryear? Perhaps with MSU recently closing the gap from 39 games back to just 36 in the all-time rivalry, things have gotten a bit more sanguine. Also the fact that Michigan State is a great university with a great athletic program that has beaten us in football three years running under a great football coach. RationalMSUfan previews the offense, while bama blue has their best-in-the nation defense covered. Smile, Mark Dantonio (at right, HT Six Zero):
Maybe it's just that the trolls coaching one of the big Detroit programs (HT: MGoAndy) and Spartan Bob (HT: Everyone Murders) have both been shipped out the of state. The Spartan Bob article makes it sound like Michigan fans are a bunch of classless griefers but nobody I know ever said they hate him; we hate that a guy named "Spartan Bob" was in a position to hair-trigger the clock when the Spartans needed it most.
After the jump: more from the board, a three-part preview of Three and Out, and other things Michigan is better at than Michigan State.
WHAT DOES A BYE WEEK DO TO M.S.U.?
Soulfire21 put up a board entry noting that bye weeks seem to hurt more than help within small Big Ten sample sizes. This got a diary in return from hart20 that shows Dantonio teams are not so good a week off, with Cincy losses to Miami (NTM), USF and West Virginia, and 1-1 at MSU with a blowout loss to Penn State and near loss to Purdue last year. My guess is the Michigan factor outweighs that.
MORE SPARTY STUFF FOR SPARTY WEEK:
Took me two plays to get this: a Chris Perry run up the gut for 8 yards, then
P.A. deep to Braylon from the same formation. #thosewerethedays
GOBLUE4EVR asked for some help writing M-MSU trivia questions, with mixed returns. Mgrowold has a non-poll up over your worst lost to MSU. I'm writing in '99, when I sat high up in the MSU student section and a Spartina grabbed my favorite hat and threw it over the side of the stadium, and I learned to hate all things Plaxico. Kirk Cousins going self-third person on Michigan fans who root for MSU except when they're playing Michigan, via Freep, via Maximinus Thrax:
"It's like saying ... I'm for you, but I'm not for your wife and kids. The bottom line is you're either for Michigan State and for Kirk or you're not. There is no in-between. I think this game is a perfect example of that, and that's why it's so personal."
I'm for Kirk opening his mouth more often. Michfan4borw is for comparing Cousins's grasping for motivational material with Mark Huyge playing this one for his friend Mike Kirby. When chunkums has photoshop, everyone wins.
ANSWER THIS: WHAT IF A HOT WOMAN WENT TO MICHIGAN
'Answer This', the movie that was being filmed around Ann Arbor in 2009, is hitting theaters this weekend. Last night Dhani Jones was at the premiere in Royal Oak. Tonight you can join user JeremyB in Grand Rapids.
MAgoBLUE takes Springsteen, makes sing-along.
SOPWITH SAVES THE DAY
The story of how a man in a bar in D.C. saved the Northwestern game, and other half-time adjustments.
Three and Out: The Diaries
People with advance copies are giving their advance interpretations. If you promise to buy the real thing, 03 Blue 07 put together a three-part Cliff's Notes with his own commentary that sums up the book pretty well. A taste:
One thing that strikes me is that the team really seems to stick together throughout all of the negativity- the Free Press stuff, the losing, the rumors, etc. Over and over again, Bacon muses that he figures the team would quit on the staff, that, at times, they probably should quit on the staff, etc. … But if that was ever the case, he didn’t see it. Until, perhaps, the Mississsippi State bowl game, where the seniors, at least (but really more likely the whole team) were of the impression that RR was done, win-or-lose
He did leave out some important things and I'm glad because read it!
Section 1 also chimed in twice to point out where the blogosphere had been right about the jihad. Right, "I told you so" is not exactly MGoBlog material. On the other hand, I like that we've got a guy like Section 1 out there. With the second, cries for policing (rightfully) hit the Moderator Action Sticky, and I moved his second diary over to Section 1's new Wordpress blog (if he chooses to accept it):
Section 1 is passionate about Michigan and how Michigan is portrayed in local media, from the worst Drew Sharpian hit piece to a John Bacon masterpiece. No media watchdogs here — just one Wolverine!
If you like Section 1, go there.
Other Countdown Clocks
While the football team is battling for the State of Michigan, the Solar team will be in Australia, fighting to take over the world. Bronco648 came in with two diaries this week covering the Solar Team. In the update, Michigan passed the scrutineering stage but you can get by reading the first one I linked there, which provides a timeline of how they got here. MIT, Stanford, Cal and The Principia (a Christian Science college in Illinois that a I had to look up) are the other U.S. representatives. Michigan State's beer pong table on wheels:
…won't be there. Before you make fun, they're a scrappy new team on their second car that finished 6th of 9 in May. Michigan used that race as an exhibition to try out different arrays.
In other other sports AceUofMer previewed this year's wresting team, which enters the season as a Top 10 pick. The Big Ten is the SEC of college wrestling, with four preseason top 10 teams (Iowa, PSU, Minn the others).
So this is weird: for the first time in a long time, no matter who loses tomorrow both M and MSU can come out of this game asking "when's basketball season start so we can get some revenge?" Soon. Yesman2221 previews what should be one hell of a group of cagers: Frontcourt and Backcourt.
And hockey has begun already. No diaries (Y U NO HOCKY DIAREES?) but last night Michigan beat St. Lawrence 10-3 to move to 4-0 on the season. Brian on Twitter last night:
Three goals tonight filthier than any scored last year. Moffatt, Treais, and DiGuiseppe.
Either the competition was so bad they didn't bother or they don't know the chants yet, but the students skipped the black hole, the CYA to a pulled goalie and most of the sieve chants.
More from the Twits, Angelique can't wait for Marcus Ray v. Valenti 2011.
Etc. Ace profiled Laquon Treadwell, who got his offer. Pick Six has me dead in the water but since that's mostly thanks to Ohio State losses I am comfortable with this and am now paying attention to the silliest names I am tied with. This week: awRAWKdt urtle.