It’s Michigan Week! F%^k Michigan!

“Great college football rivalries engage the healthy, activate the disturbed, fascinate the thoughtful, amaze the detached, mystify the rational, horrify the scholarly, encourage the immature, enrich the greedy, and terrify the faint of heart,”

— Bill Curry, via Mark Schlabach on ESPN.

Personally I am happy to let my immature and disturbed sides out this week! Michigan football has been sad this year and here is hoping that the sadness continues!

My two earliest vivid memories of the rivalry:

  • Going to the game in Ann Arbor with the family in the early 70s. We had seats in the student section. Some drunk Michigan student next to me kept pushing into my seat and spilling wine on me. We brought a large helium balloon to the game with OSU signage on it, and someone shot it.
  • Driving home from the ’73 tie game, and hearing the announcement that OSU was going to the Rose Bowl, experiencing the double joy of knowing that OSU was going bowling, and Michigan was not. All the cars with Ohio plates on the highway started honking horns and waving, it was a mobile celebration.

Lovely schadenfreude, Michigan makes today’s OSU win even better!

Hey, it was a great day already watching OSU walk all over Purdue and avoid a stumble. The defense was great, the offense was great, that little ad-hoc flip pass that Braxton threw for a td was glorious.

And then Michigan just put the cherry on the top. You can glory in all the hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing over at mgoblog, but the highlight has to be Michigan’s all time rushing yardage low of -48 yards. That kind of futility doesn’t come easy, you have to really work at it.

Odd/interesting college football numbers

* Michigan is a “25 point favorite”: over Bowling Green this weekend. Really? Did anyone watch Michigan give up 37 to UMass? Not a betting man but tempted to start.
* Ohio State ranked “11th by Sagarin for purposes of BCS”: With a string of weak opponents still on the slate, this is a little concerning, tho if OSU wins out, its position in the human polls is pretty unassailable. My gosh, USC who has looked awful is ranked well ahead of OSU.
* Yay Duke is “#1 in kickoff return yards!”: That happens when you are always returning kickoffs because you’ve been giving up scores left and right.
* Yay “OSU is #1 in field goals”: Ignoring the implications for red zone ineffectiveness, this might lead you to believe that OSU special teams are doing great. Which they are not.

Another blow to ND's independent status

UConn (after signing a home and home series last week with Michigan) doesn’t feel like they have to bend over for Notre Dame anymore. ND has been able to stuff a schedule full of lower rank Div I opponents, but these are the teams that are exactly in demand by the top tier of Div I teams. So the price in dollars and return visits for all these games are heading up. It will be interesting to see how this plays out for ND, as the price rises for them to maintain their schedule, though obviously they still are doing fine economically as an independent.

The UConn/Michigan linkup tho is especially pointed, as teams from the two conferences which have been most desirous of ND inclusion have joined up to put a hole in ND’s schedule.

Amazing trained Michigan cat

A guy walks into a bar in Ann Arbor wearing a Michigan jersey. And carrying a cat that also has a Michigan jersey on with a little Wolverine helmet on his head, too.

The guy says to the bartender, “Can my cat and I watch the Michigan game here? My TV at home broke down and my cat and I always watch the game together”.

The bartender replies, “Normally, cats wouldn’t be allowed in the bar, but it’s not very busy in here right now, so you and the cat can have a seat at the end of the bar. But, if there’s any trouble with you or the cat, I’ll have to ask you to leave.”

The guy agrees, and he and his cat start watching the game. Pretty soon Michigan manages to kick a field goal and the excited cat jumps up on the bar, walks all the way down and gives everyone a high five.

The bartender says, “Hey, that’s pretty cool! What does he do for a touchdown?”

The guy answers, “I don’t know, I’ve only had him for 2 years.”