Monday, October 03, 2016

I'm A Believer

I'm still trying not to get too excited.  Too much heartbreak involved.  But it sure looks like the Michigan Wolverines are for real.  They finally had a true test in the Wisconsin game and, despite problems, had what it took.

There have been some tough years lately.  In the Lloyd Carr era, the team averaged only three losses a season, including bowl games.  Then in 2008 came Rich Rodriguez, and a team that always won had two losing seasons in a row.  He was forced out and Brady Hoke took over for four increasingly bad years.  Now we've got Jim Harbaugh, and last year the team was 10-3 (including an opening game that shouldn't have gone that way, and another game that should have been a win which I won't go into.)

So maybe he made a difference.  Or was it a fluke?  This season would tell.

So far, the team has played five game (in Ann Arbor--they really need to get out on the road) and the first four were slaughters.  There was some trouble when Colorado jumped out to a big lead, but Michigan just ground them down and won handily.  But the fifth game against Wisconsin really showed something.  Whether or not the Badgers deserved to be top ten, they're definitely a real team.

Michigan clearly outplayed them:  21 first downs to 8, with over twice as many yards on offense.   Yet for much of the game it looked like Michigan was going to blow it.  After getting a touchdown just as the second quarter started, Michigan had trouble scoring.  They got close a number of times, but had to attempt field goals.  Which they missed.  Three times in a row. (I'm guessing this is something the team will be addressing this week in practice.)

Meanwhile, Wisconsin scored a touchdown in the third quarter and now the game was tied.  It seemed whoever got lucky and scored next would win.  Michigan finally got its second touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter, and thanks to some interceptions, Wisconsin never had a chance to get back.  14-7.  Still, when a game is that close near the end, the winner is almost a coin flip.

But for all the trouble Michigan had, they knew how to play, they kept at it and won. The official season ends in late November against Ohio State.  Till then, it's one week at a time.  But it's not outrageous to think the OSU game will be between two top-ranked, unbeaten teams.  The Buckeyes look pretty good, but there'll be plenty of time to worry about that later.  For now, at least Wolverines fans can dream.


Blogger ColumbusGuy said...

As I said, Neil Diamond is America's greatest living songwriter.

12:55 PM, October 03, 2016  

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