Michigan football had the week off, but there was still plenty to keep fans occupied in conference and outside of it.
Remember a long, long time ago, way back, when Michigan was the butt of every joke for narrowly defeating an Army team that was receiving AP votes? Yeah, that old chestnut. You could hear the jokes echoing all the way from East Lansing. Turns out it’s much better to narrowly win than to lose in any fashion.
Maryland was a five point road favorite against American Athletic Conference contender Temple, but forgot to bring their high powered offense to Philly. Despite winning the turnover battle 3-1, the Terrapins could not manage to score more than two points in three of the four quarters.
Mike Locksley’s team is still talented, but they are a year away from being a year away.
Meanwhile, Penn State took Michigan’s place in the world of frustrating Big Ten football as they escaped their last scheduled rivalry game with Pittsburgh, 17-10. Fortune favors the bold and kicking a field goal on the 1-yard line does not qualify as bold; it merely precipitates losing as Pitt failed to scored any points in the fourth quarter.
At least the Backyard Brawl rivalry with WVU reginites in 2022 for the Panthers.
Lastly, Ohio State is the best team in the Big Ten and it’s not close. Can the Buckeyes avoid the annual bad road loss? This defensive front and revived running game should prove the difference this year and with their favorable schedule, Michigan could be the only team that stands between them and the College Football Playoff. Gulp.
Thought I forgot about Sparty?
Instead of taking shots across the bow and kicking them while they are down (for now), I won’t even waste 12 seconds of your time discussing Michigan State. I’ll save it for November.
The national picture had little to no change this weekend with the only scare coming courtesy of the Florida Gators.
Florida again looked awful, but like Michigan, remain undefeated. All roads lead to the showdown with Georgia and whilst they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, they will have to manage the rest of the season without starting quarterback Feleipe Franks.
The rest of the contenders cruised to victories and the path to the Playoff seems open to as many as 14 teams.
A week without Michigan was a week without stress, joy, fury, happiness, rage, and satisfaction.
There were no errant Shea Patterson throws nor big Joss Ross hits. It was a week to catch our collective breaths before Michigan travels to Madison and before season expectations become increasingly concrete.
Next week will either be ‘Michigan can’t win big games’ or ‘Wisconsin is overrated,’ but neither headline interests me, only winning does.
Remember the three lessons from Week 3, pack your offense for road games, go for it at the one, and always, always play with 11 players.
See ya in Madison!