The Themes, The Themes, The Themes 2017

9/2 Florida - 3:30PM
Note to self: Drink and swear less than last time. 

9/9 Cincinnati - Noon - The Roman 
The team went to Italy for Spring Break and became the envy of the rest of the college football world. We will celebrate with a feast of Roman proportions, with intermittent breaks to visit the vomitorium. 

  • Attire: Togas 
  • Food (subject to change): Negronis, Aperol Spritz, Appertivo, Polenta Party, Pork Ragu, Sausage & Peppers 


9/16 Air Force - Noon - The Canadian 
Let's celebrate our neighbors to the north and the carefree lifestyle we provide to them. 

  • Attire: Mounty hats and hockey jerseys 
  • Food (subject to change): Pea-Meal Bacon Hash, Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwiches, Poutine 


9/23 @ Purdue - 3:30 

10/7 MSU - TBASwine and Wine  - All pig, all day, and hopefully in to the evening.  Hoping for a night kick here. 


    10/14 @ Indiana - Noon 

    10/21 @ Penn State - TBA 

    10/28 Rutgers Homecoming - Noon - The Old School Pizza Party 
    Been a while since we brought our yearbooks out and celebrated just how old this group is getting. Bring old yearbooks, pictures, and memories to share. 

    • Attire: Your oldest Michigan Gear 
    • Food: Pizzas


    11/4 Minnesota - TBA - The Godfather 
    A celebration of all things Dennis, from his bow legged stance and kmart jerseys of yesteryear, to his ill-advised bumble bee jersey purchase and his inappropriate relationship with Adam.

    • Attire: Jean shorts 
    • Food: Grilled cheese, fried catfish, baloney sandwiches 


    11/11 @ Maryland - TBA 

    11/18 @ Wisky - TBA 

    11/25 Ohio State - Noon - The Game 

    • Attire: Woodson jerseys
    • Food: Breakfast filet mignon with all the fixins

    Weekend Roundup, Apocalypse Now Edition: August 25, 2014

    Tiger Blood's dad!

    Tiger Blood's dad!

    It's almost time.  I mean, technically, it IS time.  It's game week.  Camp is over.  Practices will focus on an opposing team, on a game plan more than a technique.  Blogs will discuss App State, though mostly from a "what happened last time" and "it's so dumb that Dave scheduled this game" perspective.  

    Whatever.  

    It IS stupid.  I'm pissed.  You're pissed.  The state of the program has you pissed off in general anyway.  Screw it.  Let's tailgate our asses off and just get Saturday over with and move on.  

    The home schedule is a complete pile of crap, but should provide wins.  The business that needs to be dealt with happens in South Bend, East Lansing, and Columbus, and I need two out of three of those to go our way to put this season under the moniker "progress."  That leaves an game in Evanston that scares me, and Under the Lights 3.  So, between one and five regular season losses.  Four or less keeps the Brady machine moving.  Prognosticate from there on your own.

    I think the above qualifies as my season prediction.  A far cry from the detail that used to go into my Xbox simulated preview.  I think Matt Gutierrez won the Heisman one year.  I still wonder what that dude did to hand Henne the start for the opener back in '04.  Oh well.  Here's the weekend you missed...and it includes both a Freep link and a Rosenberg link.  Yes I'm a sadist:

    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?

    Michigan Wins the National Championship

    For those that don't know me all that well, I love video games...and I love football. The NCAA Football series by EA sports has brought these two things together in perfect harmony for years and years, going back to the Sega Genesis in the dorms of the University of Michigan ten years ago. Since the inception of UMTailgate.com, I have done a preview of the Wolverines upcoming season based on the game, not with me at the helm, but with the computer playing the computer as to not involve any human skills or bias. For the past few years, this simulation has been done on the Xbox.

    I simulate the entire NCAA football season, game by game, and I always take the first run simulation as the prediction, first posting on UMTailgate.com the season record and bowl destination, then following up each week with the Xbox predicted score for that game in the week before it actually takes place. Each year, the Xbox is eerily close in predicting the record, having never been off by more than one game, and often picking the right bowl and even the bowl opponent. Trust me, I want it to tell me that Michigan is going undefeated and winning the National Championship each and every year that I do it. As I progress through the simulation, it kills me when the Wolverines lose...but I move on, play it out, looking for an honest answer from the number crunching football mirror on the wall. Never has it answered back "Michigan...Michigan is the fairest of them all." Until today.

    Now, it wasn't all roses on the way to the Rose Bowl, with several close calls in a National Championship season that resembled the Buckeyes ugly run of 2002. But it was a 3rd consecutive Big Ten Championship and National Championship nonetheless.

    Not surprising was the Wolverines Rose Bowl opponent, USC, but it was surprising that they were #2 in the BCS, while Michigan was #1. It was a season riddled with losses for top teams, and Michigan was not undefeated, but one-defeated. But at the end of the season, Michigan was the only team with only one loss, and garnered all of the first place votes from both the coaches and media poll.

    The Wolverines were led by Lamar Woodley and Pierre Woods on a defense that grabbed player of the game honors in 4 out of 12 games, including the Rose Bowl. On offense, Chad Henne to Jason Avant became Michigan's calling card, with both in the top five on the Heisman watch list for most of the season.

    The top five in the Big Ten includes (in order) Michigan (11-1), Purdue (9-3), Minnesota (9-3), Iowa (9-3), Ohio State (7-5). Just looks crazy enough to maybe be right.

    Game by game scores will come as the season progresses. For now, I gotta run, because the virtual parade down State St. should be starting soon. Enjoy!

    Back To The Real World

    The Wolverines came up big in the polls again, coming in at #4 in the AP. This keeps the streak alive for Michigan, who has been in every AP poll for the last 6 seasons, and holds the active record for most appearances in the AP poll, with 712, entering the 2005 season.

    Come Back Soon

    Along with coverage of the Michigan Fan Day at the Big House next week, be sure to log on to get more information about the first game against Northern Illinois, theme information, and a special report on the upcoming UMTailgate.com Hall of Fame and Century Club inductions. Should be an exciting year.

     

    It's Time

    7-Year Itch

    Year after year. Blue-chip recruit after blue-chip recruit. Promise after promise. Where is the big payoff? The National Championship we pine for each year only makes us crazy. No player on the roster has seen better than a 3-0 start to a season. Lately, the race has been over before it's started. In 2000, it was UCLA. In 2001, it was Washington. In 2002, it was Notre Dame's return to glory. In 2003, it was Oregon and their crowned field.

    Yes, 3 out of 4 of these were west coast trips. We don't have one of those this year.

    Yes, 4 out of 4 of these came with a (being nice here) less-than-clutch (save Minnesota 2003) quarterback at the helm. He graduated.

    But since 1999, the Wolverines have not once strung together more than 6 straight wins in any one season. Running the table in the Big Ten has been a big enough challenge, let alone an undefeated season. And now, entering the 2004 season, we are left with question marks at THE two skill positions, QB and HB. As much as I look to him as the savior of the team, Matt Gutierrez and his undefeated high school career is unproven at the collegiate level. David Underwood has never looked like a gamebreaker in mop-up action for Chris Perry, but he will get the nod when the season starts.

    Mix in a few losses in the trenches and that should be enough. Enough to slap the "rebuilding year" monniker on the 125th edition of Michigan Football and call it successful when we lose four games and head to the Outback Bowl.

    But then you look at the media's top picks for the Big Ten and you'll find that each of the teams listed are sporting new QB's this year. And none of these new QB's are throwing to a more talented group of receivers. Edwards, Avant, and Breaston. You'll look back in a few years and say those names together, amazed that all of them played on the same team at the same time.

    And then you look at successful Michigan seasons of the past, namely 1997, and you'll notice that a running back mix can be more successful than just a single running back. And we are deep at this position, very deep if freshman Max Martin makes his mark.

    And then you bask in the reloading power of the Wolverines on offensive and defensive line. Competition breeds success, and word out of camp is that spots are still up for grabs with less than two-weeks to go.

    Finally, you become optomistic. If you listen to the prognosticators, defensive captain Marlin Jackson will be leading one of the nation's top defensive squads. Michigan is a concensus top-10 pre-season team. Michigan is picked to repeat as Big Ten champions. By default, that puts the Maize and Blue in the National Championship hunt as long as they survive the non-conference schedule. We will be building on last year, when the Wolverines had inexcusable early season losses. Oregon should not have beaten us, and a 14-0 first quarter lead at Iowa should have put them away. Senior leadership will make this point. We CAN avoid the early upset.

    But how will these Wolverines handle the spotlight if they enter Big Ten action undefeated? They have the talent, they have the seniors, they have the schedule. But do they have the swagger, the x-factor we are looking for to satisfy our 7-year itch?

    15 short weeks from now the story will be told. Miami or Tampa? South Beach or Mons Venus? Two destinations so close in proximity couldn't be further from each other with respect to college football.

    How do I get by? Well, get your leis out. There's at least seven trays of cheesy potatoes to eat before these Wolverines solidify their legacy.

    X-Box Says: "Deja Blue"

    I will now present the unbiased predictions of the X-Box and NCAA Football 2005.

    Michigan will go 9-3 on the season, winning the Big Ten title outright once again, but falling short in any National Championship bid. They end the season ranked #11. The Big Ten standings have Purdue, Ohio State, and Minnesota following the Wolverines.

    Steve Breaston earns first-team All-American honors with 2000 all-purpose yards and 10 all-purpose touchdowns. Gutierrez, despite missing a game with an ankle injury, comes in 2nd for national QB of the year, and joins Breaston and Edwards as All-Big Ten first team honorees.

    Carnell Williams of Auburn wins the Heisman trophy. Florida State wins the National Championship, defeating Kansas State in the Orange Bowl. The final top 11 in the country are:

    Florida State

    West Virginia

    Georgia

    Miami

    Tennessee

    USC

    Oklahoma

    Kansas State

    Florida

    Virginia Tech

    Michigan

    Game-by-game x-box scores will come on a weekly basis as the season goes on.

    Up Next... Miami of Ohio Preview

    GO BLUE!