The Game: Michigan vs. Notre Dame
Enemy Blog: One Foot Down
Relevant info: Maize n Brew Preview | Q&A with One Foot Down | What We Need To See | Your Friday Drinking Instructions | How Good Is Notre Dame? | College Football Preview: Week Two
Final Thoughts: Confidence isn't one of those things that comes easy with this game, at least not one that is often rewarded. I think Michigan is pretty good this year, and could even be great. But I'm not really sure yet and this game is always one that tests the bounds of one's sanity if you're too tightly wrapped up in it. The last four games in this series might be four of the top five most frustrating games I've ever watched. The wins are wins, and the victory tastes sweet, but I'll be damned if the journey wasn't the emotional equivalent of a twelve round heavyweight title fight. I have no clue how the players actually in the game didn't spontaneously combust under the weight of expectation and the pressure that must have been enough to form diamonds given the right materials.
I said Thursday that I didn't think this game could match the 2009-2011 games in terms of the finish. That would be akin to guaranteeing lightning striking something a for a fourth time. But that doesn't mean the game won't be tense and that win or lose I'll be a nervous wreck later tonight.
Yet the hands of time still spin, and in a few hours we will watch the last game in Michigan Stadium for the foreseeable future. I'm 28 years old, and the thought of the next UM-ND game under the lights happening sometime around the beginning of my 40's is sad (and not just because I thought about being 40 for a second). That this game is what it is without the long history speaks even more strongly to its importance, and to the pull of this matchup. Call it a regional or modern day rivalry if you will, but at 8pm there will be few people not watching it with something invested. For three and a half hours tonight, these two teams will be the center of the college football world, and there are maybe only four or five other games that can match that level of all-encompassing interest.
I don't know what is going to happen. I've got a pretty good feeling Michigan is going to win, but I had the same feeling in 2004 and 2012. The one thing I do know is that the odds are good that I remember this game for a long time. That the drama and tension burn it into my memory, win or lose.
And I know I'll be sad when its gone, not knowing when I'll get to see something like it again at Michigan Stadium.
Let's go blue.