Whoops! Posted this to my test sandbox instead of here; sorry for the lack of content this morning.
Okay, so Michigan is 2-6 and we're resigned to watching the worst season in Michigan football since… uh… sometime in Bump Elliot's tenure. Lame. The last thing I want to do is give readers any sort of hope whatsoever, since that hope will boomerang on you and slice your head off.
So unless this sounds like a good idea, stop reading.
Now that 95% of you have kept reading, intrigued by this whole sinless self-decapitation thing, I have to tell you some things.
1. Purdue might be starting a combination of John Ferrara and Nick Sheridan.
Curtis Painter's Heisman bid suffered a serious blow last weekend:
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A slight separation of his right, throwing shoulder kept Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter out of practice Sunday.
Coach Joe Tiller said he didn't know whether Painter would practice today. The Boilermakers were off Monday.
"If he doesn't, there will be some question about whether or not he can get ready (for Saturday's game against Michigan)," Tiller said. "But he's a tough kid. Knowing him, I think he'll be ready, but I don't know if (the doctors) will let him go."
With backup Joey Elliot out with another shoulder separation, this is the guy Purdue might start:
Siller had not been practicing behind center for several weeks after his switch to running back.
(You might remember Siller as the OLSM quarterback Michigan had little interest in a couple years ago.) So, yeah, Purdue might be starting a guy third string a few weeks ago and, more recently than that, a running back.
2. Minnesota, while still probably better than Michigan, isn't your typical 7-1 team.
Aside from Florida Atlantic and, to a lesser extent, Purdue, the Gophers haven't exactly overwhelmed anyone. Their deficits in total yards and yards per play are small enough to call "Push," but not many teams are able to turn "Push" on a down-by-down basis into 7-1 in the big picture. …
• The Turnover Margin. Plus-15 is the best number in the country, but it's hard to trust any team that rides the giveaway/takeaway fairy to the bank. Minnesota led the nation in turnover margin under Glen Mason in 2006, too, eking out a bowl game by finishing +18, then immediately collapsed in '07 when that fortune didn't go its way again. Last year's national turnover leader, eerily, was Kansas, which also lost the only game it finished in the red (against Missouri). This year, KU is 1-3 when finishing in the 'Minus' column, where the only win was the frantic second half comeback over bottom dweller Iowa State. 2006 turnover leader TCU fell from 11-2 to a disappointing 8-5 with a negative margin in '07. Big turnover margins are hard to sustain/
This same backslide can happen within a season, too: if the well dries up, I wouldn't expect the Gophers to win any of their last four based on the way they're actually playing offense and defense
Allll right! WOO—
(except perhaps at Michigan, where the Wolverines have been far too sloppy to oblige that hypothetical).
3. Northwestern just lost to Indiana.
Again, Indiana could well be better than us. But.
4. They have just cancelled the Ohio State game because of the election.
That's the ticket!