clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Eyes on the Nation: Mega-Michigan rooting interest guide for Rivalry Week

An extensive look at who Wolverine fans want to win and lose during Week 13. Yes, Ohio State is the No. 1 choice.

Citadel v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Throw a rock, and you’ll hit a Michigan fan foaming at the mouth for their Wolverines to finally prevail in Columbus. The last time that happened was Nov. 18, 2000.

The quarterback was Drew Henson, who clinched the 38-26 victory with a naked bootleg touchdown (9:05 below).

Here’s how long ago that was. My rabid Michigan dad had to take me to my Pop Warner football finale, so he recorded the game on a VHS tape.

Also in vogue in 2000: The Y2K scare, PlayStation 2, printing out directions from MapQuest, “What a Girl Wants” by Christina Aguilera and Jim Carrey’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.*

Obviously, it’s been a long time coming for Wolverine partisans. The only team that needs to lose in their eyes: the Ohio State Buckeyes.

The College Football Playoff and Big Ten Championship are important, too.

With that said, this is national hate week for all of college football. Hell, Georgia-Georgia Tech is literally called “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.”

Some of these games have significance for Michigan’s playoff hopes should they conquer Columbus Saturday. It’s time to talk rooting interests.

  • Ole Miss (5-6) against No. 21 Mississippi State (7-4) (Thursday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN)

The Bulldogs need yolk on their snouts in this year’s Egg Bowl. Despite four losses, Alabama declares this as a high-quality win. Should the Tide lose, a Mississippi State loss would hurt the SEC’s resume.

  • South Florida (7-4) against No. 11 Central Florida (Friday, 4:15 p.m., ESPN)

Should the Knights finish undefeated again, the CFP champion would have to deal with their fans all offseason.

The CIA is developing new torture techniques that force detainees to have to read UCF tweets. That’s cruel and unusual punishment.

  • No. 9 West Virginia (8-2) against No. 6 Oklahoma (10-1) (Friday, 8 p.m., ESPN)

The Big 12 has almost fully cannibalized itself. A 12-1 Michigan could miss the CFP with two possible scenarios. One involves the SEC, so that comes later. The other is a 12-1 Sooner squad with two ranked wins in the final two weeks.

The Mountaineers have a chance to snuff this out here and now. With the Oklahoma defense ceding 40 points to Kansas, Dana Holgersen’s offense may reach 70 points.

  • No. 8 Washington State (10-1) against No. 18 Washington (8-3) (Friday, 8:30 p.m., FOX)

Never change, Mike Leach.

  • Georgia Tech (7-4) at No. 5 Georgia (10-1) (Saturday, 12 p.m., SEC Network)

This is the other scenario. If a one-loss pack of Bulldogs bests Alabama in the SEC Championship in Atlanta, there’s the potential for two teams from the same conference in the CFP.

The Yellow Jackets have split the last four, with both upsets coming in Athens. Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense has sparked a four-game winning streak this past month, so the potential for an upset is more than extant.

  • Florida State (5-6) against No. 13 Florida (8-3) (Saturday, 12 p.m., ABC)

Former Harbaugh assistant Willie Taggart has faced a tough road in his first year in Tallahassee. Fan indifference has increased literacy rates in the Panhandle.

Funny enough, this guy is a Michigan grad (M.A. in Psychology, ‘82). With the Taggart connection plus a fellow shirtless Michigander, what other motivation do you need?

  • No. 1 Alabama (11-0) against Auburn (7-4) (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., CBS)

An undefeated Alabama makes matters simple for Michigan. Should the Crimson Tide win out, you don’t have to worry about much (maybe Oklahoma).

  • South Carolina (6-4) at No. 2 Clemson (11-0) (Saturday, 7 p.m., ESPN)

Not happening. An absurd upset would allow Michigan to avoid Alabama in the semifinal.

  • Southern Cal (5-6) against No. 3 Notre Dame (11-0) (Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC)

Also not happening. Same reasoning as Clemson. There’s no way a Fighting Irish team losing the finale to the worst USC team since Paul Hackett makes it over Michigan.

Screw head-to-head.

*With the new one coming out, and the holiday season upon us, let’s indulge in some classic Dr. Seuss lyrics.