The Revenge Tour ran over a trash program in the rain, and Michigan has themselves in the driver’s seat to get to both Indianapolis and into the playoff field. The bye week gives us an opportunity to watch some other football without pulling our hair out, and to also recap some of the season up to this point, and spend extra time worrying about Penn State and Ohio State. Fun!
Sam D: Finally, I get to watch Navy football!
With my professional hyper-focus on Michigan, I lose time with my Navy Midshipmen. For those who don’t know, I was a Naval officer for over four years, and my brother went to Annapolis. I get close to the program, as the triple-option and good, not great, defense would always upset someone weird every year.
In all honesty, they suck this year. They’re 2-5, and will probably miss only their second bowl of the last 15 years -- crazy considering the talent (lack thereof) they recruit. However, they get Notre Dame in a neutral-site game in San Diego at night. SD is a military town, so everyone will be begging for the upset.
With four wins over the Irish since 2007, let’s get No. 5. Go America!
Kevin: Well Navy plays the kinda slow-ass football that Notre Dame probably hates, so perhaps their strategy is: score and never let Notre Dame touch the football. Do I have that right?
It’s a nice feeling knowing Michigan can’t lose this weekend, but several SEC schools and Big Ten schools still can!
Sam D: 100% right. Navy racks up points. The only way they win is if Notre Dame mistakes on offense, since the Middie defense is terrible.
Daniel A: Before we move on to Michigan or B1G related stuff, let me throw in some words for my 2nd team, the Florida Gators. I’ve got tickets to the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party this weekend and am very excited to see how Mullen’s boys fair against the Bulldogs. Florida’s riding high after wearing down LSU a couple weeks ago, especially after the Dogs got stomped by the same Tigers team only a week ago.
Florida is basically Michigan if Michigan had Brandon Peters at quarterback - this is not a dig. Both Franks and Peters are serviceable quarterbacks with great defenses and running games. They also switched up strength and conditioning coaches like the Wolverines, and to say we’ve seen a payoff would be an understatement. Hoping to head back to Gainesville in good spirits Saturday night. A loss would probably be the most disappointing afternoon I’ve had since seeing The Last Jedi.
Sam D: First Navy tour was in Jacksonville. If you’ve never been, that party stretches all the way to the beaches. It’s a truly majestic display of inebriation. Josh, Last Jedi thoughts? Let’s not totally side rail this, though.
Josh: The world’s largest cocktail party, yeah that’s a pretty good way to describe it, Dan. I’m interested to see what Dan Mullen has got cooked up for 40 year old Justin Bieber aka Kirby Smart. This is a great opportunity for the Gators to expose some of the problems that have plagued Georgia all year.
The winner of this game is obviously in control of the SEC East to an extent, and I think is really going to challenge Alabama in the conference title game. I’ll be tuning in, that’s for sure.
Daniel A: On the note of “cocktail parties”, what is everyone’s go-to on game day? I’ve personally converted to the cult of White Claw.
Josh: Michelob Ultra, because ya boy is trying to watch his figure. You’re telling me I can get 4.2% alcohol, 2.6 carbs and only 95 calories in a 12 ounce glass of heaven?! What’s not to love! It truly is the superior light beer (this may have been an ad read).
Kevin: Brown ales and bourbon, and not necessarily in that order, Dan.
Sam D: Wigle Rye Whiskey. Smoothest finish on any hard alcohol that isn’t artificially flavored.
Kevin: If I may, for a moment, recap Michigan’s season. Week one: inept performance against the Irish. Week two: Directional Michigan school defeated soundly. Week three: seal clubbing, Texas-style. Week four: de-pantsing and out-hitting of Scott Frosty’s team. Week five: #grit deployed to prevent Northwestern from scoring for an entire half of football. Week six: Maryland. Week seven: cheese curd-melting performance on national television that was so glorious I thought Michigan had swapped places with Wisconsin for four hours.
Forget anyone? Good, didn’t think so. And here we are. Michigan is atop the B1G East after Ohio State forgot how to football in West Lafayette. Side note: I am super relieved Michigan doesn’t have Purdue on their schedule this year, unless the Boilers somehow win that division.
Dan P: How crazy would it be if Purdue pulled out a few more wins and ended up representing the West? We can blame Ohio State for not showing up as much as we want, but credit Purdue and that offense. The Big Ten should be absolutely terrified of Purdue, especially now that they already beat their glory boys in OSU. If Purdue can make it to the title game and somehow knock off whoever comes out of the East, there is no way that the Big Ten is represented in the CFP.
Kevin: Protip: let Rondale Moore do everything, and that can happen. Iowa needs to beat everyone left on their schedule and hope Wisconsin loses again. Literally everyone else is already mathematically eliminated, because divisions are dumb.
Josh: Oh I completely agree, guys. If, and this is a BIG if, Michigan wins out and makes it to Indy, I really am starting to think Purdue is the team that meets them there. David Blough at quarterback doesn’t necessarily terrify me but just like Kevin said, Rondale Moore scares the crap out of me.
Give Don Brown a few weeks to prepare and I’m sure he’d have something dialed up, but we saw what Jeff Brohm did last year with less talent and almost solely misdirection against the Wolverine defense. Now with Moore, an better QB play than last year and some serious talent at the skill positions I would be less than thrilled for Michigan to play them.
Daniel A: I’ll probably live to regret this, but I couldn’t care less what happens in the B1G West.
Sam D: Is this because you think Michigan will beat whoever wins it, or just because there’s a lot of boring football in the division outside Purdue?
Aside from watching other football, anyone have quirky bye week rituals or habits?
Josh: I second that motion, Kevin.
I like to take the time to binge watch my favorite movie franchise of all time, Star Wars. I’m super excited to see Episode VIII: The Last Jedi for the umpteenth time. Aside from that however, and to prove that I’m not as big a nerd as Darren Rovell, I’ll spend the time reliving past classic UM games.
The 97’ Ohio State game is on deck as is the 2013 Under The Lights game vs Notre Dame. They always get me fired up for what’s next.
Kevin: But Russian trolls told me to dislike that film, so now I don’t know what to believe. Except that it’s Star Wars for our adult selves, not the teenage us who built it into what was forced upon us.
And when you watch that ‘97 game look for me in the northeast corner Josh *wink*
I’ll spend some time thinking about which school I despise more between PSU, MSU and OSU. (Hint: It’s Michigan State). There’s no way to like even one sliver of a trash program when there are zero redeeming qualities across the board. None.
Josh: I know we will touch on it next week, but I’m so excited to see the beatdown that Don Brown has in store for Frames Janklin and the Penn State offense. You think he forgot about giving up 42 points? How about when Franklin ran a play with 10 seconds left inside the Michigan 20 yard line, just to run it up? Nope, he didn’t.
This BYE week will be fun -- having a few days off to step back, enjoy the finer things in life and not stress about a 52 year old in khakis leading a group of 20 something year olds in spandex and pads. But what will be sweeter than that is the march to Indy, and well, that starts soon. REAL soon.
I know how Michigan spent their bye week: game planning for Rutgers. Circle that date, Jim!