The Slowest Week of the Year
Note to self: Find something to do this week to keep mind off of impending season.
Like a five-year-old waiting for December 19th to turn into December 25th, I can't seem to find a way to ease the restlessness and anticipation for the upcoming college football season. It's now August 24th, and less than six days remain before we will gather in our famed corner of the golf course. No doubt, we will come together as we always do, which is as if we had been doing it all summer.
Preseason rankings are high for the Wolverines, #4 and #7 in the AP and coaches poll respectively. In addition, with the Clarett scandal, every college football analyst is scrambling to attach themselves to the Wolverines, both as the Big Ten champion and as a potential Sugar Bowl representative. Without a doubt, this is the most preseason hype We've had since the creation of UMTailgate.com. Be weary, as this is a double edged sword. This takes some pressure off of Ohio State as they were the mark, the team everyone else circled on their schedule. Of course, they still will be, at least until they lose. But OUR potential as it pertains to the media will only add to the fire that burns inside the teams of the Big Ten to beat Michigan.
Not that I condone looking past any games, but assume we beat Central and Houston...the mark begins to shift towards us. Any slip up, or even a close game, by anyone in the top 6 (coaches poll) or the top 3 (AP poll) and we slide up. Get out of the non-conference schedule undefeated, followed up by a cupcake (Indiana) to open Big Ten action, and the real season starts. We BECOME the mark. At Iowa, at Minnesota, Illinois, Purdue, at MSU, at Northwestern, OHIO STATE...that's a lot of teams gunning for us. Depending on what the rest of the country does, we may even hit a point where we are the National MARK, ranked #1. That can be deadly for a team, because everybody wants to beat #1 as bad as they want to beat their biggest rival. We become everyone's biggest rival. Are the Wolverines ready for that pressure? Or will they falter early, making it all a moot point?
To partially quote Coach Norman Dale "I know playing in the championship game in the Sugar Bowl is beyond your wildest dreams, so let's just keep it right there." Watch yourselves for delusions of grandeur, for the predictions you make, for the trash that you talk to that jackass Buckeye in your office telling you about Clarett's backup and how they're not going to lose a step. All of these things have a way of coming back to bite you in the ass. I beleive in the karma. Be humble, because humble pie tastes so much better when you are the one serving it to those son's-of-bitches on January 5th. Of course, I am preaching this message both to you, the tailgating public, and to myself. I personally won the National Championship for the Buckeyes by taking a 10 to 1 bet from a Buckeye fan on the Fiesta Bowl. I've eaten the humble pie. It tastes like shit and it sticks in your teeth so you taste it for 8 months.
The Box Picks the Bucks
Once again to avoid my personal bias, the season has been simulated, this year by NCAA Football 2004 for the X-Box. Similar to last year, the scores will come on a per game basis. According to the X-Box the Wolverines will finish the season 11-2, culminating their season with a trip to the Orange Bowl to play the Miami Hurricanes. Ohio State plays against, unbelievably, Oregon State in the Sugar Bowl, and defeats them handily to win a second consecutive National Championship. Of course, the X-Box doesn't know that Maurice Clarett is missing the first half of the season, so take this whole thing for what it is...a bunch of randomnly generated numbers crunched by a black box in my living room...which probably makes it a little more accurate than Lee Corso (who by the way has Michigan and Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl).
Don't forget, dust off your pineapples for the first tailgate, which is a Luau themed event. Get your recipes together, and coordinate with Sister Kristen AKA Bubba's Wife to find out what we might need to make the theme run smoothly. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Slowest Week of the Year