Monday, November 16, 2015

I'd Almost Forgotten

Let me note that the story this weekend was what happened in Paris.  It may seem trivial to discuss college football after that, and maybe it is, but one reason you follow it is to have a little fun amidst all the bad news.

Anyway, the Jim Harbaugh era as coach of the Wolverines has brought back hope for fans.  And that's dangerous.  The previous several seasons, the team wasn't good enough to worry about.  Now that they're good--but not great--Michigan fans are reminded of how tough it is to care about a team that has so many close games.

Michigan lost its first game, but then won five in a row by solid margins with a defense that rarely gave up touchdowns.  But three of the last four games since have been coronary-inducing.  There's the disastrous Michigan State loss from a screw-up on the last play.  Then the Minnesota victory, where the Golden Gophers screwed up on their last play.

Next, after an easy time against Rutgers, we had this weekend's game.  I don't want to go into it too deeply because even tkough Michigan won 48-41 it was pretty hard to watch at times.  At first it looked like the Wolverines wouldn't have too much trouble handling the Hoosiers.  But Indiana didn't give up and suddenly seemed unstoppable, while the Michigan rushing defense collapsed.  At the same time, the Michigan offense wasn't doing its job.

In the fourth quarter Indiana easily marched across the field to take the lead, and then ran for the two-point conversion that was so easy you wondered if the defense was trying.  Now Michigan was a touchdown behind with two minutes left (thank goodness Indiana marched down the field so quickly).  They made it only after screwing up near the goal line more than once.  Then there were two overtimes, and Michigan pulled it out (when, some say, Indiana screwed up by not sticking to its running game).

This against a team that wasn't supposed to be so tough. Next comes Penn State in Happy Valley, which will be tough enough.  After that, for Thanksgiving weekend, we'll get to see the OSU game, which will be impossible.  A couple years ago you'd say "Who cares?"  But now that we do care, Saturdays are a lot tougher.


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