One Last Saturday

Freezing temps. 4:15am wake up call. In line at 5:45am. In a folding chair staking claim on the 7th hole green at 6am. Gates open at 7am. Tailgate.

It was a truly amazing turnout for a game with limited tickets and freezing rain in the forecast.

The tables were once again filled, this time with amazing Mexican themed recipes. Thanks to all that brought food, drinks, etc.

In lieu of a banquet, Godfather presented the yearly tailgate awards at the tailgate. There were so many awards given out, there was just no cataloging them individually. But everyone looks forward to the coveted birdhouse award, this year given to the most improved tailgater. This year's winner was Greg Bush. Greg, who is also known as "Greg not Craig," really stepped up his participation this year, and became an integral part of our tailgate. Thanks and congrats to Greg.

Got Hart?

How about those 2004 Michigan Wolverines? After losing to Notre Dame in what could be classified as the worst game ever, they would not be denied, coming out and crapping the bed again, leaving an overmatched San Diego State team in the game until the very end before squeaking out a 24-21 victory. Sitting in the stands this year has been like pulling teeth. Frustration, disdain, even hatred fills your thoughts as you watch the Wolverines throw away every opportunity, and crawl into their running-game shell.

Luckily there was a bright spot. True freshman Mike Hart had 25 carries for 121 yards, effectively doubling the singe-game output of any Michigan running back this season. In addition, Hart effectively saved the game for the Wolverines with an 11-yard first down run late in the 4th quarter that kept the ball out of the hands of the Aztecs preserving the 3-point victory.

Braylon Edwards had 8 receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns, but also fumbled the ball away at a crucial point in the game (trust me, the game was full of crucial points) resulting in his being benched for several stretches of the game. Jermaine Gonzales came in for Edwards, sometimes lining up as the sole wideout, at which point I think I heard the echoes of Aztec defenders shouting "RUUUUNNNNN!" as they moved eight men into the box.

So here we stand, with a true freshman running back and a true freshman quarterback. I don't know how it happened, but it's the hand we've been dealt. A rebuilding year. If the prognosticators could reshuffle the pre-season Big Ten standings, Michigan would be a middle of the pack team. All they have to do now is prove us all wrong, as underdogs, and come together and win.

Big Ten Season Starts Creole-Style

The Iowa Hawkeyes come to town on Saturday to start the Big Ten season. It's a 3:30pm kickoff so have your tailgating shoes on, it will be a long, fun, yucca-filled day. The tailgate theme for the week is Mardi-Gras, so bring beads, boobs, crawfish, and hurricanes.

Vamos Azul!

Ho Hum...

Breakfast burritos, quesadillas, fajitas, and tons and tons of chips filled the tables for the Mexican Fiesta themed tailgate on Saturday. This 'sandwich' game, in between the opener and Notre Dame, was less crowded but just as intense. The amount of food was certainly astounding, and had it all been eaten, we would have had some classic cases of Mexican-themed Montezuma's revenge.

Again, As Expected

Houston had little to offer, being unable to stop the run, and less able to move the ball than Central. The Wolverine defense took last week's lackluster performance to heart, and shut down Houston in every way, allowing only 3 points and sub 100 yard performances in both rushing and passing. Chris Perry held on to the lead as the nation's leading rusher with 184 yards, bringing his total to 416 for the season, 2 yards more than Anthony Davis of Wisconsin. Michigan is ranked #1 in the nation for total rushing offense as well, with 367 yards-per-game, and #2 in total offense in the country, just behind Boise State. The Wolverines scored 21 points in the 4th quarter, including two rushing touchdowns by Pierre Rembert, and defeated the Cougars 50-3.

...Now the season really starts

College football's version of the preseason ends for the Wolverines next Saturday, when the mystical Fighting Irish come to town. Michigan has a score to settle with the Irish, who narrowly defeated the Wolverines last season 25-23. In addition, the game is slated for a 3:30pm start, which means a 7.5 hour tailgate, so get your rest on Friday night, there's a long day of drinking ahead. The tailgate theme is Grill the Irish, so think burgers, steaks, chicken, or any other type of flesh that would make a vegetarian squeemish. Look for a post by Sister Kristen later this week, as well as the Notre Dame preview. Don't forget to coordinate the menu with Bubba's wife at theme@umtailgate.com.