No Respect...Or Nothing To Respect?
Feverish, excited, dedicated, determined, engulfed? Ready. That's what I feel right now. I'm ready. I spent the opening weekend of college football glued to the television. Season previews abound on ESPN and ABC, Wisconsin on Friday, Buckeyes on Saturday, while in between the action, I delved into my newly arrived ESPN The Magazine, SI's, and Playboy's (Note: Big 12 College Girl's Edition) college football preview editions. Here's an afterthought... MICHIGAN IS AN AFTERTHOUGHT. Quite possibly the most off the radar top 10 team ever.
Ask the 'experts' and the Wolverines aren't even mentioned in the same paragraph, let alone the same breath, as the words 'National Championship' or even 'noise maker'. The question du jour in the early previews was undoubtably 'Which team has a chance to come from no where to make it to the Fiesta Bowl?'. It came up on ESPN Gameday before the Wisconsin game, it came up on ABC before the Buckeye game, it came up several times on ESPN radio while I drove around Ann Arbor, scouting our spot on the golf course and giving a reverent nod to The Big House. Which team is going to be the surprise? The Georgia Bulldogs were mentioned often. Corso mentioned the Saban led LSU Tigers. Michigan State was talked about. Washington State got a nod. But no Michigan.
Is that because Michigan wouldn't be a surprise? Nope. The concensus around the media world is Ohio State will win the Big Ten. If not, then Sparty will surely win. No mention of the Maize and Blue. These media folk must have been absent during the Big Ten meeting where the Wolverines were picked to win the Big Ten just a month ago, and just weeks ago when the Wolverines became the highest ranked team in the Big Ten in the associated press poll. We're a victim of silent ballot syndrome. Sure, they'll write the Wolverines down on a piece of paper and send it in, but ask them a question on national television, and the Wolverines are no longer the glamorous pick. In the wake of a mediocre 8-4 season, the glamor is in NOT picking the Wolverines.
It sucks not to be talked about nationally, and it pisses you off a little more when your red-headed step-child of a neighbor is getting all the local press. Yet, there is a certain amount of gumption that builds when you feel you are underrated. The problem is, we're losing it both ways in the media battle. We aren't talked about, which may cause a team or two to not think of us as their biggest challenge, which would be to our advantage. However, we are a top ten team, and that's difficult for anyone to look past when preparing for us. So I take it all back. I no longer want the top ten ranking. I want to be 20. I want to come from no where, which is exactly where the media seems to want to put us in everything... except for the polls.
Michigan Replay Premier
Just when I thought that no one believed in us, Sunday morning Jim Brandstatter hosted the first episode of Michigan Replay with Lloyd Carr. The proverbial Michigan homer show brought up my spirits. Notably different this year were the preseason comments from the players. Everyone knows Michigan's goals each year are to win the Big Ten and let everything else fall into place on its own. But you'd never know it by the comments of the likes of Ronald Bellamy and defensive captain Victor Hobson. 'National Championship' was uttered by both players. Have the goals been changed?
Dawg Day Revenge
It's palpable now. The season is almost here. The Huskies are coming, and they're bringing 6'4'' 220 pound Reggie Williams with them. Pay backs are on the minds of Michigan fans, especially those that travelled the 2300 plus miles to see John Navarre and Special Teams throw away last year's game, giving the Huskies 2 touchdowns in 60 seconds off of turnovers.
Important tip for the season: Just remember that Marlin Jackson is #3 now, not #20. That's kind of important. Some of you may remember the previous #3 in the defensive backfield. I assure you this is not the same guy. The previous #3 is gone, I promise. This is particularly important for Steph and Bubba to keep in mind, especially after a few cocktails.
The pregame page is available by clicking here, or by going to the events page and clciking on the next game box.
No Respect...Or Nothing To Respect?