It Was A Michigan - Wisconsin Game

Fuller / MGOBlog

Fuller / MGOBlog

You have to feel bad for the Badgers. Desperately attempting to recapture the sucess of their recent history in the face of a bunch of quick coaching changes, perhaps brought on by their version of Bo not being a fun guy to work for or follow in the footsteps of, all while still trying to convincince you that football didn't exist prior to 1993. Seriously, Wisconsin had a 40% winning percentage over the THREE DECADES of the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Dudes at the tailgate that are 50+ years old will tell you of a Wisconsin that was akin to Indiana (oh, hello Sparty), a rollover and die Big Ten team with no fanbase and no future.

When you've played a team 65 times but only managed to muster 14 victories, you'd like to take advantage of them when they are down. But while the Wolverines were vulnerable and mired in the worst years in their program history, the Legends/Leaders/East/West realignment debacles kept Wisconsin vs. Michigan on the shelf for 6 years. Prior to that, the Badgers had won 4 of the last 6 ('05-'10), their best stretch by far in the series, but nowhere near the 23 of 24 the Wolverines once took from them from 1965-1990.  Even the upstart Wisconsin teams, the ones that boasted all those Rose Bowls and got Ron Dayne the first and only longevity-based Heisman, typically had their success despite a loss at the hands of the Wolverines. And in the cases of the Badger's one-loss seasons of 1998 and 2006, their only defeats came vs. Michigan. Ouch.

But hey, these boys don't remember that. Maybe some of their fanbase does, but there was no history on the field on Saturday, it only looked that way. Wet and sloppy, lines dictating the action, straightforward offenses (minus the 11-man I-formation), strong defenses, and always less than a touchdown between us. Oh, and a patented unsuccessful Lloyd Carr double reverse. 1993, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2016...they're all pretty much the same.

Not sure how this got in here.  Whoops.  

Not sure how this got in here.  Whoops.  

There was a lot of "disappointed with a 17-point win" banter after that Colorado game. Now it seems Colorado is also part of the 90's revival tour of 2016, as they join Nebraska, Tennessee, and Washington in the top 25, (hello unranked Sparty) and you dig up your Soundgarden cassette. But there was some murmurs of disappointment on this Saturday too. There seems to be an stigma with winning and not beating the spread. There's also a national discontent with strong defensive football, which is why Louisville and Clemson are sooooo good even though they each gave up 500+ yards to their opponent.  Anyway, couple that with the field goal frustration and those goddamn punt team penalties, and we ended up coming out of the game just happy and relieved as opposed to hugging each other and spraying champagne in the air. We just beat a top-10 team. A team good enough that after we beat them, they still remained at #11, and are the 2nd highest ranked team with a loss after Louisville. And I hate to sound all Scott Frost here, but we outgained them in the air 219-88, and outgained them on the ground 130-71. No, yards are not points. But they usually translate accordingly when you don't have a kicker with the yips.

So celebrate your ass off people! Worried about kicking field goals? Well, we've got until 10/29 until we will need to kick one that has any meaning. That's 26 days to make a kicker. Any chance Harbaugh brings in a special coach to work with kickers? Yes. Any chance it will be Janikowski on his bye week and I can hang out with The Polish Cannon? I hope so.

GO BLUE!

What's Up This Weekend? Taste it again for the Third Time Edition

Tonight (Friday 2/8/13):

  • Ice Hockey (7-13-2, 10-16-2) at #12 Notre Dame (12-7-1, 16-11-1):  Your fair Wolverines have moved out of the basement and up to an 8th place tie with Bowling Green in the CCHA standings...yet the Wolverines 96 goals-against leads the league (in the bad way).  Notre Dame is in third place in the conference and #12 nationally, but is coming off a win-less weekend in Columbus.  Puck drops at 7:35pm in South Bend.  It's live on your TV if you have the CBS Sports Network.  Live audio lives here

Tomorrow (Saturday 2/9/13):

  • Basketball (8-2, 21-2) at Wisconsin (7-3, 16-7):  For the third time this season, a Michigan win means a #1 ranking on Monday.  We're 1-1 in such games so far this season.  Someday we'll not care about such trivial things in February...we're not quite there yet, this is still new (relatively) and fun.  The Badgers are coming off a Wednesday night win over Iowa, and a big win Sunday at Illinois (which is more than I can say for Indiana).  The Badgers also beat Indiana...at Indiana.  Anyway, in a perfect world where I didn't have to work today and tonight, or where the game wasn't at 11am locally, I'd be making this trip.  I miss Madison.  This is a big road game. I feel like Wisconsin is just barely outside of the top tier in the Big Ten this season, which means this is a VERY losable road affair.  Tipoff is Noon here in the east.  It's on ESPN, so its also on Watch ESPN.  Live audio will be here

  • Ice Hockey (7-13-2, 10-16-2) at #12 Notre Dame (12-7-1, 16-11-1):  See above.  Puck drops at 7:05pm.  Live audio here.   Televised in A2 on Comcast local (channel 900).

Sunday 2/10/13

  • Women's Basketball (6-4, 17-6) at #13 Purdue (7-2, 18-4).  Noon tip on BTN.

Twitter Tuesday: 8/7/2012

It's day two of practice.  It's 25 days until gameday.  It's the best of twitter from Tuesday:

I remember when Wisconsin was Indiana.  Now they have been to 8 of the 67 Big Ten appearances in the Grand Daddy, trailing only Michigan (20) and Ohio State (14).  USC (32) is the only program that has been to the Rose Bowl more than Michigan.

Yes Penn State, let's drag this out some more.  I will enjoy watching this play out in court with lawyers.  You're hemorrhaging money.

Oh ya.  Practice play-by-play on radio is a great idea.  But hey, I'll listen.

I'll take it.  I think.  Oh wait...in this era of 14 possible games, that means 9-5.

Might be time to settle the referee labor dispute.

I Did Not Enjoy That

I felt that coming the whole time.  And I'm not the only one.  The doom was palpable in Crisler, with every missed free throw, with every missed lay in, with every missed opportunity, there was a growing sense that the other shoe was going to drop...perhaps not off the glass and in...but drop nonetheless.

Even more unfortunate is that I am completely numb to shit like that these days.  Yep, I'm a little dissappionted, but certainly not shocked.  I've seen 3-9.  You can't phase me. 

And this season is far from over.  We needed that one, but we didn't NEED that one.  And tournament or not, what has been accomplished here with the hand that has been dealt is special.  I'm a Beilein fan, and that's something I've never said before.  The future is bright, and as for the present, there is only one thing I want....a sweep of the Angry Midget's Minions.

Thanks to my old friend Mischa for the tickets, and to Cooper for the halftime upgrade.  I took horrible pictures...but I will share them anyway.  Denard sighting!