Today is about coming together to fight for a win. In-fighting and differences aside, this is still the same as it's always been - fighting for win #914, always climbing and reaching, confronting every new challenge with a business-like consistency. Today is about football, just as it has been every other Saturday. Nothing more. Nothing less.
How to witness
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET on BTN.
Radio: WWJ, AM Radio 950, Sirius Radio, Channel 113, and XM radio, Channel 195.
Online streaming: Available on BTN2Go.
Indiana has struggled converting its third downs (103rd in the nation), and converting once it gets in the red zone (T-98th). While Michigan hasn't been great at third downs, either, and its red zone success is much better, its scoring offense ranks as one of the worst in football at 20.4 points per game (110th) while Indiana has cobbled more points together than the Wolverines with long, explosive runs by Tevin Coleman.
It might be a working formula if Indiana could stop people on defense, but the Hoosiers defense will give up yards in pieces (73rd in rush defense, 86th in penalties) and in big chunks (111th in passing yards allowed, with many of its penalties occurring downfield). Michigan might not have much going for it, but against Zander Diamont, it should have enough to win.
Three names to know
Michigan's Jake Ryan leads the team in tackles (68) and tackles for loss (10.0), and he will be a key part of defending Tevin Coleman. If Ryan is able to wrap Coleman up inside, read his keys and get in position to plug up holes, Indiana will be hard-pressed to score.
Coleman, meanwhile, will be a threat both running, where he has a chance to break the NCAA's record of 7.81 yards per carry set in 1981 (Coleman's is 8.83), and catching, as he is the team's third-leading receiver. Perhaps it isn't Michael Jordan vs. the Somebodies, but T.C. will be doing everything he can to keep Indiana's offense going.
Finally, a figure whose presence will be felt most of all is resigned athletic director Dave Brandon. T-shirts emblazoned with "We Support The Team, The Team, The Team... #FireDaveBrandon" will be visible for Michigan's homecoming game, and Michigan fans will look svelte and sprightly for having that weight off their chest. Here's looking at you, Mr. Hoke.
Celebrate. Try some spiced pumpkin eggnog, lay out a table with sausages, cheeses and vegetables, and don't forget to include a cheese fondue made with ground pepper, Swiss cheese, and white wine. What are we celebrating? The approaching of winter (and Christmas)? Michigan, which has lost eleven of its last sixteen games (and, now, David Brandon)? Dropping gas prices? Kids trick or treating? The sun shining through the cold?
Everything's not that bad, really, when you think about it.