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Mediocrity Meets Its Match: Nebraska vs. Michigan

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We are coming to you live...from 1997!

Michigan will be playing Nebraska in San Antonio some time in December, between Christmas and New Year's when you won't be paying attention because no one gives a fuck about games that don't get played in a new year.

Going to the Alamo Bowl is just horrible. First of all, Michigan cannot really win this game. If it scores more points than Nebraska, everyone will say, "Yeah, and?" If it doesn't score a lot more points than Nebraska, everyone will say, "Why didn't you kill that wack-ass team?" And if Michigan loses--not beyond the realm of possibility since Lloyd Carr will probably be approaching this game like he approaches games against Notre Dame, as though the opponent will be fielding an all-time team, in this case one composed of Lawrence Phillips, Tommy Frazier, Irving Fryar, the Winstroms, and all them other dudes from childhood when Nebraska mattered--then it's gonna be, "Wow, can you believe how bad Michigan is?" Awesome.

Second, going to the Alamo Bowl is like making out with the hot girl's not-nearly-as-hot friend. With the hot girl (a real bowl game), you're excited about the experience; you're proud of the accomplishment; your hard work getting to her has been validated; and you're suddenly someone who can expect to be with other hot girls if this hot-girl experience doesn't work out. But with the not-as-hot friend, you're disappointed that you aren't with the hot one; you can't muster the enthusiasm necessary for a premium effort; you're going to be bitter that you made a wrong turn and wound up where you are; you're really not going to feel good the next day about whatever happens; and you're suddenly someone who hooks up with second-tier people. Again, awesome.

And third, this bowl game against this opponent plays into the anachronistic inertia and masturbatory self-congratulation that afflicts the program and is far too popular among far too many UM fans and coaches: It's gonna be so special playing against an opponent with as much tradition as Nebraska; This will be our chance to show them who was the real champion in 1997; I'm glad we're playing such a classy opponent, unlike some school like USC or FSU; We have the longest bowl streak in the country and I'm damn proud of that! Um, in order: Nope; please join this century; enough with the self-righteous rationalizations; OK, but what about wanting more? I repeat: Awesome.

Fourth, Nebraska fans are going to travel much better than Michigan fans. Not only will the Alamo Bowl become a de facto road game for Michigan (always a problem), but it will also give Kirk Herbstreit and media jerks like him another opportunity to insult and denigrate the Michigan fan base as a stoic, mildly passionate group. Fantastically awesome.

Fifth, and worst of all, this spares UM the change-inducing embarrassment of missing a bowl game. Now, Carr and people of his ilk can cite an appearance in a bowl game as proof that the season was that bad. Effing awesome.

So anyway, see you in San Antonio. I'll be the one hanging himself.