Western Michigan surrendered on Saturday following two defensive touchdowns by Brandon Herron and a couple of lightning strikes, saving themselves from having to have to mount a comeback against the new Michigan defense. If I were them, I would have demanded that the game be continued in the name of Jordan White's Heisman campaign. His 119 yards on 12 receptions in just three quarters had him on pace to break some NCAA records. Which if nothing else makes today feel like yesterday. The only "Michigan difference" was the offense, whose 8 minute, 33 second first possession virtually eradicated an entire quarter of play. The weather would eventually eliminate the fourth stanza, leaving us with a mediocre half of a football game and more questions than answers.
The Denard show never got started, and I am getting that Lloyd-era feeling (or at least hoping it was the case) that we were holding things back from this game in order to not giveaway our master plan to the next opponent. This idea is something that Michigan fans have held onto for many years and used whenever inferior opponents have a modicum of success. It helps us sleep at night. So ya, we didn't show Western our awesome arsenal because we're saving it for the most hyped game between two unranked opponents in college football history. Then again, we really didn't have a chance to see anything...between defensive touchdowns, sustained drives and rain delays, Michigan only mounted 7 offensive drives. There were only 15 possessions total in the entire game...both teams. Last year's Michigan - Illinois game had 39. Different era indeed. Right now, Michigan-Notre Dame is like Army-Navy or Havard-Yale, steeped in tradition with a historic past, but in the scheme of today's college football landscape, nearly meaningless outside of the team's hometowns.
This, however, is Ann Arbor. So Saturday means something to us. ESPN will try to make us relevant again in the name of Saturday night ratings, and the Gameday crew will be on hand to help honor Desmond Howard's election to the Hall of Fame. It's a very unique opportunity for Michigan...a chance to win a game against an opponent that sucks, but have it count as a big win based solely on the ESPN machine.
Also, Erin Andrews. Yessir.
So we go into next week, able to continue with eyes wide shut and high hopes, oblivious...to the inordinate amount of passing yards we gave up to the Broncos, and more importantly, to the meaninglessness of the last two Septembers. And that's neither a good or bad thing, it's just how we do it. Forget about everything else, just beat the Irish. With their fancy ascots and champagne tailgates and their golden domes and sexually segregated student cheers. And that little leprechaun, a living human mascot...creepy little bastard. Hate them, remind them that we taught them football, make a Ron Powlus joke and chase it with a Charlie Weiss anecdote and a "return to glory" pun....and do it all with a Lou Holtz lisp for good measure. Because Saturday we tailgate for 13 hours and then we head Under the Lights to put Notre Dame's latest group of echo wakers to rest.
Speaking of tailgates, we had a great one on Saturday, at least in the pregame. The new two-well deep fryer did it's job, and a tip of the hat goes to Frydaddy Frank for giving it all the food it could handle, as well the many pigs that gave of their loins for our grilling pleasure. Post-game hot dogs were cancelled because of the inopportune lake effect tropical storm, but we hope to get them out for a midnight snack this week. The tailgate stuff was a complete wreck, and thanks also go out to Tuba, Johnny Cleveland, Cakebaker Lisa, and everyone else that handled the crisis situation with vigor and got all of the stuff taken down and packed up in the downpour. It wasn't fun...and I really appreciate the help.
Pictures won't go up until later...having trouble with uploading on the road here in Cleveland (where I am leading the Tigs to a central division championship) so be patient. I think they are still using dial up in Ohio. Anyway...pics coming soon.