It's Michigan Sucks week, and Matt over at Her Loyal Sons is hosting this week's Irish Blogger Gathering. Check out his blog for his answers and the other members of the Irish Blogger Gathering as well.
1) Being that you're a ND blogger, and thus follow a Catholic university's football team religiously and/or are Catholic yourself, you're probably very familiar with the notion that bad things happen to good people. For a concrete example of that, look to every Irish player, coach, and fan who had to suffer through the last 2 seasons. But never forget that bad things can happen to really rotten people too. For a really fun example of that, look to Rich Rod going 3-9 in his big debut season in Ann Arbor. Now let's mess with your heads a bit: Give me one very good reason why great things might happen to very bad people by explaining to me A) How and why Michigan (sucks!) might beat ND this weekend and B) How Michigan (sucks!) will compete for a BCS berth in 2009.
Michigan Sucks. I won't even humor you by answering such a question that clearly requires me to throw out an established fact in analyzing this game. May as well ask me to predict the score if God decides to turn off gravity just prior to kickoff.
The only way Michigan beats Notre Dame this weekend is if the travel itineraries get mixed up, and we send our Women's Cross Country team to the Big House.
And if Michigan plays in the BCS this season, I'll eat my shirt.
2) After week 1, just as in 2008, the leading tacklers for the Notre Dame fighting Irish are both safeties: Kyle McCarthy with 7 and Harrison Smith with 5. DE Kerry Neal isn't even on the stat sheet, Brian Smith, while making 2 very big plays, didn't make a single other tackle, and Ethan Johnson had 1 tackle all game. Convince me that Michigan (sucks!) wont just run a "9 yards and a cloud of dust" offense against ND all freaking game.
Because Nevada had 153 yards rushing, compared to the 278 yards/game they averaged last year. Michigan averaged only 147 yards/game last year. Oh, and they lost their most talented athlete in Sam McGuffie. So, they showed they could move the ball against Western Michigan - paint me unimpressed.
And I don't care who makes the tackles, as long as we get the stop and get their offense off the field.
And I doubt they'll be able to stick to their run game for long if our offense continues to produce. Of course, that's probably the biggest question this week, as Nevada's pass defense is probably not the best barometer to use for testing our offense.
3) We've now got the concrete data of 1 game to bat around. Aside from any answers involving T'eo, tell me what position changes/depth chart engineering you hope to see the staff at least tinker with during the Michigan (sucks!) game.
I'm actually pretty happy with the lineup in their current positions. We shut out an explosive offense which returned nearly everyone when we were on defense. We scored at will when we were running our full offense - especially when we threw to #3.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
4) The state of Michigan has decided that they've ripped off the Rudy soundtrack long enough and need a new advertising scheme to attract people to their state and support tourism. "Pure Michigan (sucks!)" is so two-thousand-and-late. Give me the new hotness. Give me your best new tourism slogans for Michigan (sucks!).
Michigan: A Classless Society
5) Navy took tOSU down to the wire, Washington actually looked like a team that's coached to play football games, WSU put up some fight. After Week 1, do you now feel like the Irish '09 schedule is tougher or easier than you felt heading into last week? Why?
Tougher - no question. Washington outgained #11 LSU. Navy abandoned their bread and butter in a crucial situation (2 pt conversion) in barely losing to a preseason Top 10 OSU team. Michigan dominated WMU, despite all of their trials lately. Purdue, BC, and Pitt all put up big numbers against their warm-up opponents. While it will take a while to really see where everyone is, but the early returns show that there should be some more difficult challenges than appeared at first glance.