Saturday, September 29, 2007


So, for the first time in like two decades, I won't be able to watch or record the Michigan game today (thanks Comcast!), so I decided it was the perfect opportunity to get out and see some other teams in action. I made my way down to my brother's abode in Austin, TX, and the two of us, along with my dad, secured some tickets to the Texas / Kansas State tilt this afternoon.

I have not watched much of either Texas or Kansas State this year, so I don't quite know what to expect. Texas will probably have the talent edge at most positions, but I do know that Texas fans have been somewhat dissatisfied with their performance so far this year. Heck they almost lost to Arkansas State. For more info and analysis on this game, I refer you to one of the best Texas blogs on the planet, Burnt Orange Nation. I will try and take good notes today, and will do my best to compare and contrast the Austin game day experience with the Ann Arbor one.

Not much to say about our game today. We should be able to run at will against the Mildcats, and given how the season started, I doubt we take them for granted. Still, this is the first road game (although, there is often as many Michigan fans as Northwestern fans in Evanston), it is a spread offense, and the possibility exists that it is closer than it really should be. My guess, something like 35-14, with us putting it away early in the second half. Chad Henne starts, plays two series and then gives way to the young, tall Texan, Ryan Mallet.

After watching South Florida's historic win last night, I don't know if I should be happy, worried, or disinterested. On one hand, it always nice to see a home underdog win. The crowd was excited, the team was enthused, and the whole scene was electric, much like the Rutgers / L'ville game last year. On the other hand, South Florida is only an 11 year old program. That's right, the players have little brothers and sisters who are older than this program. There is some sense that it big time success shouldn't come so quickly, or so easy for them. Sunday Morning Quarterback had an excellent article on this from the perspective of a Southern Miss fan. Southern Miss, the model mid-major program. 13 straight winning seasons, the occasional upset over an SEC team, probably the premiere program in the CUSA. Now they have to watch this upstart surge towards the brink of BCS bowl? Then again, maybe I shouldn't worry about this game at all. After all, the Bulls did beat West Virginia last year, and they still have to travel too Rutgers and play Cinncy and L'ville (who has to find a defense eventually, right?!?) at home. They could easily end up the same 8-4, bowl team they were last year.

The big game in the Big Ten this week is MSU / Wisconsin. State has started out the season 4-0, as they've a number of times in the last few years. But each time they've done that, they've lost a tough game (to ND last year, at OSU a few years back) and have just collapsed. Given that, it's not surprising that most Spartan fans are still in wait and see mode with this season and with their new coach. If they beat Wisconsin, look out. They will jump into the big ten title conversation, and Coach Dantonio will be hailed as the second coming of Duffy Daugherty. Of course, even if they do win today, there is at least a 30-40% chance they lose at home to Northwestern next week.