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Michigan Preview

Wolverines Dead Ahead!


The Wolverines are 5-0, ranked, and feeling pretty confident. Their fans are ecstatic. With a win, they become bowl eligible. With a loss, they look vulnerable.

The Wildcats are 2-2, unranked, and not sure what keeps going on. The fans are split between mystified and furious. With a loss, going bowling becomes more remote. With a win, the season turns around.

Divergent trajectories for two programs, all riding on the results of the game.

Let’s look at “trajectories” with this week’s The Good, The Bad, and The Predicted.

The Good:

The game under the lights in Evanston is the Wildcats’ Big Ten home opener. National coverage, hype, NUMB, it’s all there. It is a pivotal game for both teams - winning has huge implications. For Michigan, it would serve as reassurance that the Wolverines are back. For the Wildcats, it would turn around a season that seems to be going wrong in horrible slow motion.

The expected shootout begins. Both teams score pretty quickly and some fans begin to see parallels with the 2000 Michigan/Northwestern game. The defenses try to stop the galloping offenses. At halftime both teams have scores in the 20’s, with NU leading. Wildcat fandom holds its collective breath as the 3rd Quarter begins…

The Wolverines feel pressure mounting and start to get desperate. Robinson throws a pick. And another. Going into the 4th Quarter the Wildcats have a two score lead. But rather than going into “prevent” mode (which prevents nothing, mind you…) the Wildcats continue to pour it on. Michigan folds and the Wildcats triumph in a huge way. The fans ask, “Where was that team the past month?”

Final Score: Wildcats 42 - Wolverines 24. The Wildcats serve notice that they are now operating on all cylinders.

The Bad:

The game under the lights in Evanston is the Wildcats’ Big Ten home opener. National coverage, hype, NUMB, it’s all there. It is a pivotal game for both teams - winning has huge implications. For Michigan, it would serve as reassurance that the Wolverines are back. For the Wildcats, it would turn around a season that seems to be going wrong in horrible slow motion.

The expected shootout begins. Both teams score pretty quickly and some fans begin to see parallels with the 2000 Michigan/Northwestern game. The defenses try to stop the galloping offenses. At halftime both teams have scores in the 20’s, with Michigan leading. Wildcat fandom holds its collective breath as the 3rd Quarter begins…

The Wolverines come out of the gate with just the right adjustments to take full advantage of the NU defense. Persa throws his first pick of the year. That leads to a score that takes the winds out of NU’s sails. Going into the 4th Quarter the Wolverines have a two score lead. The Wolverines continue to pour it on. NU limps to the finish and Michigan triumphs in a huge way. The fans ask, “What happened to the season?”

Final Score: NU 24 - Michigan 44. The Wildcats fans are very nervous about the rest of the season.

The Probable:

The game under the lights in Evanston is the Wildcats’ Big Ten home opener. National coverage, hype, NUMB, it’s all there. It is a pivotal game for both teams - winning has huge implications. For Michigan, it would serve as reassurance that the Wolverines are back. For the Wildcats, it would turn around a season that seems to be going wrong in horrible slow motion.

The expected shootout begins. Both teams score pretty quickly and some fans begin to see parallels with the 2000 Michigan/Northwestern game. The defenses try to stop the galloping offenses. At halftime both teams have scores in the 20’s. There’s debate about whether it’s good offense or bad defense. Wildcat fandom holds its collective breath as the 3rd Quarter begins…

Both teams feel the pressure mounting and start to get a little wild. Robinson throws a pick. Going into the 4th Quarter the Wolverines have a one score lead. But the Wildcats have the momentum. Northwestern pushes hard and wins a crazy game by not going into full blind panic mode. The fans ask, “Where is my blood pressure medicine?”

Final Score: Wildcats 42 - Wolverines 38. The ER at Northwestern Memorial is overrun with CardiacCats fans.


Looking Ahead...

I still owe the world my own opinions regarding the cacophony surrounding conference realignments and the miasma of ethical lapses throughout college football.

Go Cats!

BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)
NUMBSpiritLeader@gmail.com
Twitter: #nuspiritleader.

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