Saturday, September 08, 2007

Pain in the forecast

Just because we usually bounce back doesn't mean we will this time. Just because we're Michigan doesn't mean that we'll stop the bleeding. Just because an 0-2 start, with losses in games we had penciled in as wins just eight days ago, is inconceivable doesn't make it any less likely that Michigan's defense will wheeze and sputter yet again. We could lose to Oregon today, and it could hurt.

A lot.

Why? Here's why, after nearly two season's of obsessively reading MGoBlog's excellent Upon Further Review series after each game, I predict further evenings spent with a bottle, a glass and some ice in a dark room, wondering what I did to cause this:
  • Michigan is stupid. This much is clear every time Chris Graham lines up to cover a wide receiver because we don't appear to have a dime package. This much is clear every time we shuffle our fullback to the side we plan to run to. This much is clear whenever we have safeties patrol the area 10 yards downfield from wide receivers we might otherwise task a linebacker to cover.
  • Michigan is slow. This is mostly based on anecdotal evidence, but Michigan's strength and conditioning program appears to predate leotards, leg warmers and Tab. NFL trainers and opposing players have intimated as much. Opponents, too.
  • Michigan does not adapt. Despite ample evidence that a team is exploiting our weaknesses, we steadfastly refuse adjust. Appalachian State kept running the same basic play -- with success -- last Saturday, and our defense showed no signs of attempting to stop them.

Stupid, slow and unadaptable. Sounds like the control in a Darwinian experiment. Unless PETA comes along to spring us, it's going to be a shitty dozen Saturdays.

Sure, we've got an offensive line that should pave Oregon's so-far unimpressive defense. And sure, Mike Hart is a nearly inexplicable wonder who deserves to have scholarships, academic excellence centers and babies named for him.

But ... man. That defense. It's going to inspire nightmares all year. It might be worse than 2005's. And the less said about that unit, the better.

Please don't let today's game be like this.

I was much more optimistic about the Oregon game before I revisited the game through Brian's stoic charting efforts. So now what? Well, assuming my pessimism is founded, the following will happen:

  • I'll become quite deft at explaining to the ignorant why Lloyd Carr is not going to get fired. (If you must know: three Rose Bowls in four years; the 1997 national championship; a clean record free of academic or recruiting chicanery; and possibly above all, the successful carrying of Bo's torch.) While the last three seasons have ended pretty badly, we are not Nebraska or Alabama.
  • I'll become much more impatient with my fellow alums. While I plan to never set foot in that bar again while a Michigan game is on, I still will have to read the trauma-seared minds of my fellow alums as they spaz out and call for heads on pikes.
  • I'll make a new friend. Me and Bourbon, we was just acquaintances before. We'll be best pals by October if this shit keeps up.


Mr. Shain said...


Crunk Raconteur said...

As I said last week, welcome to the good-schools-with-bad-football-teams club...

My fellow Commodores, as well as the student bodies and alumni of Duke, North Carolina, and the Ivy League welcome you.

Oh, and when Michigan's defense jumpstarts the four-year series entitled "The Legend of Jimmy Clausen" next week, then I'll be pissed.

dmbmeg said...

I'd rather go to a dumb school with a good football team. Oh wait...I did.

Cock D said...

Oh well, at least the Steelers beat....

Oh, wait. That's bad for you also. Yikes.

Hello Bourbon!!!

flop said...

Thanks, cock d.

I'm drinking right now, but it's (actually, really good) wine. That's only because I'm cooking, though.

When I turn off the lights to sit in a dark corner later ... that's when the hate and Bourbon will flow like a mighty river.

blythe said...

you know, i really wanted michigan to cream oregon since they fucked us (the other ou) over too, but alas, it wasn't to be. this too shall pass. i mean, if they can figure out how to pass. zing! no? ok.

flop said...

Hey, me too.

It's more the defense, blythe. But thanks. Your Sooners look pretty good, even if they've been running up the score.

I'd caution about karma being a bitch, but Michigan has never run it up in the history of ever, and we're reaping a bag of dicks right now anyway.

Crunk Raconteur said...

Speaking of Oklahoma, is it just me or do the impending matchups between "Sam Bradford" and "Colt McCoy" need to have some sort of western theme music?

dmbmeg said...

Oklahoma is ridiculous this year. When you start racking up as many point as your basketball team, you're just rubbing salt in the wound. Sorry, Blythe.

However, thanks for Adrian Peterson!