Preview 2017: Wrap Comment Count

Brian September 1st, 2017 at 3:38 PM


Hello. You have made it to the end. This year's preview checks in at 50,962 words. Also this year's edition had approximately four hours of audio content. Many thanks to Sam Webb, Steve Lorenz, Isaiah Hole, Ace, Adam, Seth, Eric, Bryan, and Patrick, who were either quoted repeatedly or provided the images that are such an integral part of the whole.


Kylie To Korn. It's a metaphor, you guys!


Quarterback. Ol' Groot gonna groot ya. 

Running Back. Spooky juke time.

Wide Receiver. Freshman Wide Receivers Suck, unless they don't.

Tight End And Friends. A fleet of downfield dudes and a hammer panda.

Offensive Line. No pressure, Nolan.

5Q5A: Offense. Pep and Frey impacts.


Defensive End. He's out the barn!

Defensive Tackle. Get in his belly.

Linebacker. It's a man catapult. A manapult.

Cornerback. Profit and peril.

Safety. Projection: boring.

5Q5A: Defense. Aggression and three safeties, always.


Special Teams. They'll kick it far. Straight? Ask again later.

Podcast 9.0A, 9.0B, 9.0C. It's long!

MGoRadio 3.0. I eat hummus halfway through.

Heuristics and Stupid Prediction. 10-2.


Bring Your Champions, They're Our Meat:

There's an entire school of analytical thought dedicating to pooh-poohing the results of individual games that are determined by small sample freak events like fumble recoveries, missed field goals, and players falling down and clutching at their hamstrings over the hushed, lilting tones of Fox's injured player version of the Football Robot Murder March before playing a bunch of commercials for truck boner dorito pills.  The entirety of college football is an epistemological project proving that human beings cannot actually determine whether football teams are better than each other.

After a long and fruitful discussion, two college football fans agree on 
the importance of Conference Championships in the Playoff Picture

In this uncertain sports environment, it is silly to try to make predictions.


The game can’t save you. But practice, though: practice can. Practice is hard, practice requires work, but practice keeps things alive—in games, in kindness, in love. Practice is hard because it has to be sustained through tedium. The urge to hide, to tunnel away from the endless sea of trash and malice, isn’t a discipline. Fighting that urge is, and it takes some kind of practice to beat it even once. It takes so much more if getting through all that practice means moving across and through a series of days that will make you question whether any of us survive any of it.

Matthew Walther:

We are talking about a coach whose competitive instinct borders on the pathological. His obsession with preparation is so extreme and all-consuming that there is now a rule unofficially named for him banning off-campus practice sessions during college vacation. (He celebrated the introduction of the rule by taking his team to Rome, where the winner of an intra-squad essay competition was allowed to accompany him during an audience with Pope Francis.) He waited so long to release this year's official Michigan roster that Rutgers actually filed a request under the Freedom of Information Act hoping to receive it.


Last year was hope and then expectation and then a deep, abiding hurt that still makes me sigh when people say "JT was short" not because they're wrong or the refs were wrong but because I don't want to address that particular dark time in my past. Put me on a couch and try to get me to work through my feelings about this and I will clam up and think about recruiting, always recruiting. Always forward, never back.

So too you and everyone you know and like and everyone you don't know and hate for no reason other than their tendency to dress up in the wrong colors and sing an abomination they term a fight song. Never backwards, which is weakness. Michigan State fans clinging to something that was while looking at their depth chart. Michigan fans citing all-time records. Nebraska: university, state, all of it, lock stock and barrel.

For the next four months, nothing has ever happened before. The future is a vast plain of possibility. I can pick out two distant hills who are likely 2020 offensive line recruits. Closer to hand, a running back who coaches football when he's not playing football and scouts football when he's neither playing or coaching football, a fullback we've named "Ol' Murderface," a coach who is always himself at maximum volume, a stadium that is the second largest city in Michigan six times a year, a new generation of men in winged helmets who know only that they are on a team, and that this may be the only team they'll ever really be on.

Nothing but the present, nothing but the ever-sailing now, for 12 or 13 or 14 or 15 Saturdays. Relief, for a time, from phantoms and ghosts.


[Bryan Fuller]

Go Blue.


Chuck Norris

September 1st, 2017 at 3:53 PM ^

Yeah, based on these numbers the Big House is between the 4th and 6th largest city 6 times a year:…

It'd be more accurate to say that the stadium is IN the 2nd largest city 6 times a year, since you could add in Ann Arbor's population.

Although some of Ann Arbor's population is in the Big House 6 times a year, so you'd have to adjust for double counting. So who knows.


September 1st, 2017 at 6:40 PM ^

and this is the worst Michigan football preview yet.

...not because of the front page content; that's been great. Simply because there's still something missing: THE_KNOWLEDGE hasn't given us the season review yet.

Edit: My prayers have been answered. I'm sorry to have doubted you, oh great one.


September 1st, 2017 at 6:11 PM ^

Brian - thanks to you and the whole staff for exceptional content filled with insight and humor.  MGoBlog has become part of Michigan's cultural glue - well done and Go Blue!

Glow Blue Mike

September 1st, 2017 at 6:29 PM ^

It's been a great week of content thanks to all the writers here.  I like so many other UM football junkies have enjoyed it to no end.  I think we have a good to great year.  Youth will be served.  We will beat UF. We will beat MSU.  We will beat an overrated PSU team in happy valley.  Camp randall will be toughbut,  they wont have enough offense; we will beat UW in Madison.  It will come down to that Saturday in November, like it should.  This may be our time, it may not be.  It has been a long 15 years.  All i know is that I will be there, cheering this team on to what i hope is a victory and birth in the big ten championship game! 


Beat Florida!


And Forever Go BLUE!

JWG Wolverine

September 1st, 2017 at 7:51 PM ^

Thank you so much as always for a great week of CONTENT (and sleepless nights) Brian! This is the week each year when I realize that your second-to-none ability to cover Michigan Football for us is more than outstanding!

Let's win tomorrow and Go Blue!

Goggles Paisano

September 2nd, 2017 at 7:05 AM ^

Well done Brian, Seth, Ace, Adam and everyone else that has added value to this years preview.  It's 8 1/2 hours away from kickoff and I still have a lot of content to catch up on.  


September 2nd, 2017 at 10:15 AM ^

And at Michigan it's just classic. And living for college football and football Saturdays in Ann Arbor and around the country for the appearance of Maize and Blue even if today it's mostly Maize, never gets old. It's just right and so we will see today what we can be and where we might be headed. And we will argue, fight and curse along the way, laugh and applaud and just feel pride in our team because we know they will be prepared and ready to play every week.

And so all the rest will take care of itself. Go Blue!