Biggest Opener?

Submitted by Augger on September 3rd, 2010 at 9:43 PM

Hey all,

It has hit me as I watched the Shortsgoblue hype video for the 400th time today that tomorrow may be the most important opener in my lifetime.  I have been going to games since the mid-80s and we have certainly had some big games to open the year in that timespan but nothing with the implications of Saturday.  I have vague memories of games against ND where both teams were ranked high, and we always seemed to find a way to lose.  Plus much clearer memories of games like that super hot day against UVA where Ron Bellamy had the greatest drop in UM history followed shortly by Mercury Hayes with his silly catch in the corner of the end zone.  Still while those games were important, and could often set the tone for the season, a loss was only a passing thing, it wasnt the end of the world there was always next week.  Though when Lloyd went on that run where the team was eliminated from the national title hunt like five years in a row by the end of September that certainly wasnt cool.  In the end though, we could absorb it and move on and still think we were going to the Rose Bowl.

This year is so completely different in so many ways.  This is just my personal opinion but I really see this game as the turning point of the whole year.  Not because it is first, but because I can't seem to get a handle on how good UConn actually is.  I know they will be decent and should put up a good fight, I just wonder about what it will say about us in the long run.  My general feeling is that most of the games this year are sort of predetermined...BGSU, UMass, Indiana on one side, OSU, Wisconsin and Iowa on the other.  With a number of the others as toss ups.  Doing the math I dont see a great record but I do see progress.  Still one game will make a difference, and while I dont think a win says a ton about us, I have a sinking feeling that a loss is pretty much the death knell of the Rodriguez era at UM barring some crazy upsets against heavy favorites later in the year.

I didnt set out to be a downer, and I have all the hope in the world that we are going to win, but a loss would be a real blow.  Still no matter what happens I will be in the stadium every week and I will scream my head off, and I will stand until my legs hurt and maybe just maybe the team will give me something to remember.  That's all I can ask.  And should things go poorly, I will still cheer because no matter who the coach is, those players gave everything they had on the field and deserve our support...





September 3rd, 2010 at 10:07 PM ^

I think the boys will find the W tomorrow.

But with that being said, a loss does not our season make.

We can still beat ND no matter what happens tomorrow. And with a 3-1 record in the non-conference, 7 wins is still attainable and 6 very doable. 

Even 2-2 in the non-conference would not be the death knell. We would just have to beat Indy, Illini, Purdue, and one other team (MSU, Iowa, etc) to get the 6 wins needed to ensure RR another year IMO.

Fortunately for all of us, these scenarios will be moot when we start the season 6-0 going into the Iowa game. 

Let's smash some skulls!


September 3rd, 2010 at 10:12 PM ^

This reminds me a lot of the '97 opener.  Another third-year M coach facing public criticism.  Another "trendy" opponent coming in.  Another time when people wondered about the direction of the program.  Hopefully we'll respond likewise. 


September 3rd, 2010 at 10:13 PM ^

Well, I dont think this is nearly as important a season opener as the 1989 ND game. That was 1 vs 2 in the country. Imagine all the hype, anxiety and everything we're feeling about tomorrow, but wrapped up as a #1 vs #2 game.

And, once the results came in, the 1981 Wisco and 2007 Appy State game ended up being historically important with the top-ranked and 5th ranked Wolverines going down repsecitvely in the opener.

The 1995 UVA game become som due to the comeback.

But, I dont think you're that far off by putting this one near the top. Going into the game, I'm not sure anything but the '89 ND game would top it as far as importance to the program.


September 3rd, 2010 at 10:20 PM ^

I think even a loss tomorrow is not doom, if they play poorly (I dont think they will ) and lose then maybe then DOOM. I look at this season as a whole, the defense is really young, they are a year away from being balanced. I think they will learn and continue to grow this year and RR will be back and the team will be very good next year. The team will be better at the end of this year then they are now of course, I believe even if they lose tomorrow they will be close to beating OSU by the end of the year and going into next year will be a top B10 team. The team is still a work in progress.

Zone Left

September 3rd, 2010 at 10:21 PM ^

I don't know about the opener, but I'd make the argument this is the most important season since 1969--seriously.  Solid improvement probably gets the team back to perennial Top15+ status in 2011.  If things go poorly, we're looking at a coaching transition, another group of post-coaching change transfers, rebuilding, and the dreaded "descent to mediocrity" that every powerhouse not located in a recruiting hotbed should fear.

Big, big day tomorrow.


September 3rd, 2010 at 10:21 PM ^

One thing I would start promoting is to start to build support for rich rod, although I believe we should win tomorrow, I strongly believe that win or lose this season our coach should be allowed an extra year of fan support. I really believe that we are still rebuilding and as such a change of course at this stage would be the worst thing for this school. Just imagine getting a new coach, having a bunch of student athletes transfer and start the rebuilding again.. We need to support this coach no matter what!! He is huge for our future and I will live with 6-6 or 7-5 record this year in hope of a 9-3 next year and 10-2 the next.. So uconn here we come... Go blue


September 3rd, 2010 at 11:14 PM ^

I hope that RR gets the job done this year.  I would hate to see a coaching change and even greater risk to the APR with transfers etc (maybe on of theose other factors that Brandon will be considering as well).  I am looking for a big day tomorrow.  Go Blue!


September 3rd, 2010 at 11:37 PM ^

As you say, this is one of the swing games, and I think it's the one most favorable to us: Purdue and ND are both on the road, and MSU and possibly Purdue and ND will have good passing attacks. If we win this game, we should need to win only one of the other tough games to get to a bowl assuming we take care of business against Illinois and Indiana. If we lose, it'll be a challenge to get to 6-6 and a very tall order to get to 7-5.


September 3rd, 2010 at 11:47 PM ^

One small correction on that Virginia game.  It was Tyrone Butterfield who had that glorious drop leaving just enough time to get that last play off to Mercury Hayes. 

Ron Bellamy didn't play for us until years later.