Monday, October 02, 2006

The 2006 Revenge Tour continues

2005 was such a painful year for Michigan football. It's hard to even count the ways. 5 losses, numerous painful moments, a horrible bowl loss, etc. Heading into 2006, the Michigan football team had a lot of goals to make up for last year. They wanted to beat the teams they lost to last year, they wanted to drop some pounds and be fresher in the 4th quarter, etc.

Well, they've just rolled off 3 straight wins over teams that defeated them last year. But I think I found another measure whereby they are atoning for last year. My Sanity! Any Michigan fan that thinks back to last year cannot help but remember the number of nailbiters that the Wolverines played. It seemed like every game came down to the final minutes. This year? Not so much. The final minutes of every game have been pleasantly uneventful. Just to compare...

2005
Northern Illinois: 33-17 (Win) - this would be considered one of the easiest wins of the year
Notre Dame: 10-17 (Loss) - close loss to what would turn out to be a good team
Eastern Michigan: 55-0 (Win) - nice boring blowout
Wisconsin: 20-23 (Loss) - Stocco's run with 24 seconds left won it
Michigan St: 34-31 (Win) - OT thriller

Five of Michigan's next 7 games would be decided by 4 points or less including 3 losses.

How about 2006?
Vanderbilt: 27-7 (Win) - it wasn't this close
Central Michigan: 41-17 (Win) - boring
Notre Dame: 47-21 (Win) - amazingly and completely boring in the 2nd half
Wisconsin: 27-13 (Win) - tight in the first half, one sided in the 2nd half
Minnesota: 28-14 (Win) - the Gophers tried to make it close but failed


It has been a joy to watch so many football games that didn't involve me being on the edge of my seat in the last minute. Last year, Michigan had a total of 2 games decided by more than 16 points (Indiana and EMU) and a total of 2 games decided by 16 points (Northwestern and Northern Illinois). Every other game was 4 points or less. This year? Nobody has been closer than 2 touchdowns.

So while Michigan cannot get revenge on a team that they lost to in 2005 again until the Ohio State game, they can continue to prove that they do not need to go down to the wire every week.

What else can I find time to talk about this week? Maybe a little bit about the growth of Chad Henne as a quarterback who had perhaps his finest passing performance of his career against Minnesota. I'll probably also find just a little time to touch on Michigan State and the rivalry. I might even find my way to looking at the resumes of the teams chasing Ohio State for #2 in the polls.

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