Throughout June and July, we started a video series on our YouTube channel streaming every game of Michigan Football’s 2021 season. We were able to pull this off using the College Football Revamped mod of the PlayStation 3 version of NCAA Football 14, the last game released in the storied game franchise.
What followed was 13 streams of a lot of fun, our first (virtual) look at Michigan’s 2021 roster and more. It was never intended to be anything more than a fun exercise throughout the dead of the offseason. The prediction that was spat out by the game simulations is not the canonical prediction of Maize n Brew or its staff members.
So without further ado, here is the recap of Michigan’s virtual 2021 season.
Game 1 vs. Western Michigan — 28-24 W (1-0)
Michigan struggled out of the gate in this game, falling into a 10-0 hole early on. They were able to get back on track behind a strong performance from Cade McNamara. He finished the day with 264 yards passing and four touchdowns as the Wolverines avoided disaster in the first week of the year.
Game 2 vs. Washington — 42-35 L 2OT (1-1)
This one was a heartbreaker in every sense of the word. Michigan roared out to a commanding lead in this game in front of a raucous virtual Big House in primetime. Despite holding a 28-6 lead in the fourth quarter, Washington was able to come all the way back and upend the Wolverines in overtime
Game 3 vs. Northern Illinois — 51-15 W (2-1)
This was a get-right game for the Wolverines after a heartbreaking loss the week before. There is not much to say here other than kudos to them for taking care of business and moving past a rough Week 2.
Game 4 vs. Rutgers — 21-17 W (3-1, 1-0 B1G)
Rutgers gave Michigan everything it could handle last year and it was more of the same in the 2021 simulation, albeit in a low-scoring game. The Wolverines prevailed in a slugfest to win their conference opener.
Game 5 at Wisconsin — 24-17 L OT (3-2, 1-1 B1G)
This is one of the toughest games on Michigan’s schedule this season and the simulation backed that up. The Wolverines scored with under a minute to go in regulation to tie things up, but the Badgers struck first in overtime and that was all that was needed. Another tough loss in Madison.
Game 6 at Nebraska — 21-20 L (3-3, 1-2 B1G)
We recognize the results of this stream but I still refuse to accept them. Nebraska was able to hold off the Wolverines in a game that would send this fanbase into a frenzy in real life. Two-straight losses in this simulation series necessitated changes that would take place in the next stream.
Game 7 vs. Northwestern — 31-21 W (4-3, 2-2 B1G)
Cade McNamara wasn’t terrible in these streams, but the executive decision was made to turn the page and begin the J.J. McCarthy era with a .500 record midway through the season. This was another game that looked a bit bleak through three quarters, but McCarthy magic worked its way in and Michigan took control in the final chapter of play.
Northwestern’s rosters were not as updated as other teams, so we had to make some manual changes before. If people want to throw an asterisk next to this one, that’s totally fine. We’re here for fun anyways.
Game 8 at Michigan State — 31-24 W (5-3, 3-2 B1G)
This game was back and forth throughout with the Spartans leading by a score of 14-10 heading into the locker room. Michigan would take control in the second half for its fifth win of the season and its second-straight victory. Virtual Paul Bunyan returned home.
Game 9 vs. Indiana — 16-13 L (5-4, 3-3 B1G)
This was a brutal a loss as any in this series. Michigan and Indiana played in one of those classic bar fight games with the Wolverines sporting the all-Maize jerseys. Michigan had a chance to tie or win on its final possession of the game, but fumbled the ball after a big play, sealing a victory for the Hoosiers. The mood was down by all involved following this loss.
Game 10 at Penn State — 20-13 W (6-4, 4-3 B1G)
This last stretch of games could have gone any direction after the way the Indiana stream ended, but the virtual Wolverines were able to put that one behind them and win a big game at night on the road to move to bowl eligibility. Big road wins have not happened a ton in real life as of late, so this form of escapism was rather enjoyable.
Game 11 at Maryland — 38-22 W (7-4, 5-3 B1G)
This one was never as close as the final score indicated, as Michigan led wire to wire in its tune-up game before the Ohio State showdown. McCarthy threw for 295 yards and had three total touchdowns to help lead Michigan to win No. 7 on the year.
Game 12 vs. Ohio State — 45-10 W (8-4, 6-3 B1G)
Speaking of wish fulfillment...wow. There was some controversy involved in this one because the ratings of the two teams appeared to be the same at the loading screen. We checked the rosters and confirmed that wasn’t the case. There is no way this happens in real life and human being on this site would even consider this as a possibility. But, the stream has spoken.
Game 13 vs. LSU (Bowl Game) — 24-21 L (8-5, 6-3 B1G)
We had MnB followers vote on the opponent for this game and they decided to throw together that coveted showdown with LSU. We almost had a shot to witness what would have been Michigan’s first bowl win since 2016, but a blown lead with under 20 seconds to go helped the LSU Tigers to victory.
The takeaways that we have from doing this series have more to do with how fun it was to chat and engage with the people watching live than what the actual results were. Most of us have not landed on a final prediction yet, but 8-5 does not seem unreasonable at all. Will that come with Michigan losing two overtime games and at Nebraska while beating Ohio State? Probably not. But this seems like a fair projection in terms of what the record might look like.
Thanks to all who participated! Be sure to subscribe and join our YouTube community here for other videos from MnB.