It's Homecoming! The Northwestern Preview

We now take you to the cushy part of the Wolverine's 2006 schedule, with the three-headed monster of Northwestern, Ball State, and Indiana before we head to Columbus. How easy should these games be? Really easy. How vanilla will the offense be for the next three weeks? Super vanilla. We will spend as much time hiding plays that we unleash on the Buckeyes as we will actually preparing for games. We will rest Mike Hart. We will suspend Adrian Arrington. We will rehab Mario Manningham. We will celebrate the near guarantee of a BCS bowl game.

So let's have fun and enjoy it...first up, the Wildcats of Northwestern.

The School:

  • Established in 1851

  • Enrollment: 13,000

  • Mascot: Willie the Wildcat

Notable Alumni:

  • Jerry Springer

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus

  • Charlton Heston

The Numbers:

  • Michigan leads series 50-14-2, and is 27-5-2 at Michigan Stadium

  • Northwestern blew a 35 point lead to Michigan State last week, the biggest choke job in the history of NCAA football

  • Michigan is 33-5 in their last 38 homecoming games.

  • Chad Henne has a league best 65% completion percentage in Big Ten play

  • Michigan will be going for their 400th win all time in the month of October, Northwestern will be going for their 437th win all time...in all months.

This Year:

  • Northwestern is 2-6 on the season, with their only wins coming against Miami of Ohio (21-3) and Eastern Michigan (14-6)

  • Northwestern is 94th in the country in total offense, and 93rd in total defense

Watch For (I guess):

  • Tyrell Sutton, RB, averages 84 yards per game

  • Nick Roach, LB, leads team with 7.75 tackles per game
Predictions

The Hammer:

Who do we play this week? Oh, that's right Northwestern.Man that was a whirlwind first eight weeks! Still undefeated and the redemption tour has taken a hiatus and now its just getting down to good old fashion fine tuning. Don't sleep on these teams though. We need to perfect our execution. We have three weeks of preparation and it starts with the Wildcats.

1st half prediction:
Michigan 24
NWU 3
2nd half will be on the second team so I leave that up to them.

Go Blue.

The XBox:

Michigan 52
Northwestern 14

The Webmaster:

Tough to make predictions when the team is only going to play a little over a half, but I think our 2nd team would still dominate this poor excuse for a Big Ten team. Mike Hart better have less than 20 carries. Can't wait to see Brandon Minor get his game legs under him. Oh, and Jason Forcier...that should be fun.

Michigan 42
Northwestern 7

The Pre-cogs Don't Just Predict Wisconsin...They Know

The real season begins Saturday! And much like the first three games, the Wolverines will come out victorious. Pay back game number two will certainly produce a more difficult challenge than the pathetic job the

Irish attempted to complete in South Bend. The Badgers have a tough defense and should provide our toughest test to date. With that being said they won't score more than 13 points. And if they hold us under 13 I'll become a

Badger fan (bad weather not included).

Michigan 30
Wisconsin 13

Chad Henne Offensive MVP
Lamar Woodley NFL MVP

Johnny Cleveland:

Still flying high from ND win, the squad rolls the badgers and easily covers the spread:

Michigan 48
Wisconsin 10

OMVP: Grady
DMVP: Crable

The XBox:

Michigan 34
Wisconsin 7

The Webmaster

After what happened last Saturday, anything that the Wolverines accomplish against Wisconsin will look like a letdown. But I just can't figure out how the Badgers are going to cross the goal line.

Michigan 31
Wisconsin 6

OMVP: Hart behind Obi Oluigbo
DMVP: Branch

You've Gone and Done It Now!

by Tuba

They said it just for me. They knew I had just turned on the tv, I know they did. I can accept criticism but I can not accept a lack of respect. Whether it puts the University of Michigan in a better position by being disrespected, if that's what it takes to get motivated...well I guess I can accept that. But you should never need motivation to play the game of football. You should never need motivation to knock the head off of your opponent. And you should never let people disrespect you. If they do...KNOCK THEIR HEAD OFF! My friends, I have been disrespected...


These sons of bitches on the tv have just uttered that Notre Dames' two toughest games in September will be @ Georgia Tech and @ Michigan State. In a little game that ESPN likes to play called "fact or fiction," both Lee Corso and Herb Alpert stated that Notre Dame will still be in the National Championship hunt after the month of September. I have no problem with that my friends, but to then qualify this by saying their two toughest games will be on the road?! 'Dem are fightin' words right there son!

I swear every year I say "I haven't felt like this since '97." (I'm sure that's not really true seeing that we had John Navarre at quarterback for four years but...) Regardless, I am in true form this year my friends. In March of 1998 I was talking trash to Ohio State hockey fans...In August of 2006, there is no cap on how far I will go. And seeing as there are only three days left in August we are all fairly safe. But I will not accept being disrespected. I will not tolerate a lack of passion for this team. I will not accept pesimism this year. We have the same caveat as to every title contender...If we stay healthy...we won't lose.

Now I've gone and done it haven't I! This talk disturbs some I know, but I'm mad damn it and I'm not going to take it any more. And neither should any of you. Do your part to represent your team. Leave it on the field. I don't want to see another post about the lack of heart of the Michigan fans. It starts here. It starts now. Do the damn thing!

Know Your Foe: Vanderbilt

Less than three days before Michigan takes the field in an attempt to get their 850th all-time victory, which is, of course, a record. Ann Arbor will welcome the SEC into the city limits for the first time since a 1980 visit by South Carolina. As you well know, Michigan is no stranger to the teams of the SEC, as the Big Ten-SEC bowl contracts seem to arrange for a holiday matchup nearly every year. Simply put, if you are in the Big Ten and you don't make the BCS, chances are you'll be staring across the field at an SEC opponent. Come to think of it, sometimes you'll see the SEC even when you are in the BCS.

This will be the 28th time that Michigan has faced an SEC opponent, and the 11th time they have faced Vanderbilt, compiling a 21-5-1 and 9-0-1 record respectively. The Wolverines last squared off against the Commodores in the 1969 season opener...the first game for Michigan under Bo Schembechler, in a season that would see round one of Woody vs. Bo.

The University

The Long Past:

  • Vanderbilt is 538-526-50 all time.

  • Vanderbilt was 352-140-31 through 1950. That's right, a pre-WWII powerhouse. However...

  • With a 186-386-19 record since 1950, Vanderbilt finds itself dead last in winning percentage in all of college football for that period.

  • Last winning season was in 1982

  • Most wins in a season: 9 (1904, 1915)

The Recent past

  • Finished 2005 with a 5-6 record

  • Had big wins at Tennessee and at Arkansas, though Tennessee and Arkansas both had horrible years.

  • Had an embarrassing loss to Middle Tennessee State

  • Lost QB Jake Cutler in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft

Player to watch:

  • Sophomore WR Earl Bennett
    • Freshman Team All-American in 2005

    • Preseason all-SEC

    • Preseason Biletnikoff Candidate

    • 42 catches for 545 yards and 9 touchdowns in the final five games of 2005.

Fun Facts:

  • Vanderbilt's head coach from 1995-2001 was Woody Widenhofer, who grew up in Riverview, Michigan and was childhood friends with Lloyd Carr and Bill McCartney.

  • Vandy QB Richard Kovalcheck and Michigan QB Jason Forcier played for the same high school in San Diego.

On the Line:

  • Michigan's 7-game home opening winning streak. Last loss in a home opener came at the hands of McNabb's Orangemen back in 1998.

  • Michigan's two-game losing streak, their last win coming against Indiana on November 12th. Hurts, doesn't it?

  • Michigan's 28-2 home record under Coach Carr in the month of September.

  • Michigan's home streak of 193 games with 100,000 or more fans in attendance.

  • Lloyd's job?

  • My sanity

The $400 Magic 8-Ball

You don't need season preview magsCorso or Herbstreit or Mark May. You don't need The Wolverine Football Season Preview in all of its glossy glory. You don't need websites or weblogs or monkeys throwing darts. Everything you need to get an accurate gaze into the future is right there in your living room, right under your TV. It's sleek, it's off-white, it has cool glowing green lights, and it sends millions of pixels of HD glory right to your idiot box. It's the XBox 360. Not an early adopter? All it takes is 399 bucks and a dream...oh and another 60 for EA Sports NCAA Football 2007.

Since UMTailgate.com first took flight, I've been taking the simulated season and posting the results before the first game. It started with the Playstation 2, went to the XBox, and now it is as advanced as it has ever been on the XBox 360. Fun? Perhaps. Accurate? Rarely. Waste of time for you and me? Absolutely.

As with previous years, I will give you the full season overview now, and drop the individual game scores on a week-to-week basis:

The Michigan Wolverines finish 9-4, 6-2 in the Big Ten. That alone should clue you in to some obvious outcomes. The final Big Ten standings look like this:

  1. Minnesota

  2. Penn State

  3. Michigan

  4. Ohio State

  5. Wisconsin

  6. Iowa

  7. Purdue

  8. Illinois

  9. Indiana

  10. Michigan State

  11. Northwestern

The final AP poll looks like this (and keep in mind I removed Rhett Bomar from the Sooners)

  1. Oklahoma

  2. West Virginia

  3. Louisville

  4. Auburn

  5. Texas

  6. Nebraska

  7. Florida

  8. Notre Dame

  9. Virginia Tech

  10. Utah

The BCS Bowls plus Big Ten Bowl appearances look like this:

  • Champs Sports Bowl: Iowa vs. Virginia Tech

  • Alamo Bowl: Kansas State vs. Wisconsin

  • Outback Bowl: Tennessee vs. Ohio State

  • Capital One Bowl: Florida vs. Penn State

  • Rose Bowl: Minnesota vs. USC

  • Orange Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. West Virginia

  • Sugar Bowl: Louisville vs. Michigan

  • Fiesta Bowl: Nebraska vs. Utah

  • BCS National Championship: Auburn vs. Oklahoma

The Heisman Trophy goes to RB Kenny Irons of Auburn.

Individual accolades for Wolverines:


  • First Team All-American: Alan Branch

  • Second Team All-American: Steve Breaston

  • Steve Breaston finishes 5th in Heisman voting

  • First Team All-Big Ten selections:
    • Alan Branch

    • Mark Bihl

    • Jake Long

    • Mike Hart

    • Morgan Trent

    • Prescott Burgess

    • Steve Breaston

    • Tim Jamison

    • Willis Barringer
  • Second Team All Big Ten
    • Adam Kraus

    • Chad Henne

    • Garret Rivas

Interesting that we have a couple of All-Big Ten selections that are not currently listed as starters. Can you live with 9-4 and a BCS Bowl game?