After two straight disappointments at the Big House, the Wolverines made sure that not even the most pessimistic fan had a moment of worry on Saturday. Or should that read, "Notre Dame made sure that not even the most pessimistic Michigan fan had a moment of worry on Saturday"?
Wow that team is bad. So bad, in fact, that it's hard to use this game to say anything about the Wolverines beyond: "Mike Hart is good", "Jake Long is big", "Ryan Mallett has a strong arm but isn't very fast", and "Carlos Brown fumbles a lot".
Again, I think this game said a lot more about Notre Dame than it did about Michigan. I saw a stat over at The Wolverine which was pretty remarkable. The poster, I believe it was Chewbacca, indicated that this is the 5th straight game that Notre Dame has lost by 20+ points, and the 16th time since 2000 that they've lost by such a margin. By contrast, the Wolverines have been downed by 20+ points six times since 1970 (the poster said five, but I doubled checked those numbers and I believe it to be six). Yikes.
But even if you can't take too much away from this game if you're a Wolverine fan, there is at least some reason for optimism. Notre Dame's line couldn't have been worse if they were starting Courtney Morgan, but that being said, the defense was really, really solid in their first test against a "conventional offense". Donovan Warren looks like he's going to be a darn good one at corner. Mike Hart is still amazing. And if he keeps doing his thing, it takes a lot of pressure off of Mallett.
This coming Saturday is the big one. This is the week where it will become evident if Michigan has a chance to make a BCS Bowl as the Big 10 Champion or if last week was simply a function of Notre Dame being horrifically bad. Penn State comes in as a Top 10 team, though they haven't been overly impressive thusfar (which means that they let Notre Dame score). If the Wolverines win, first-and-foremost, it'll really send the PSU fans off a cliff. And that would be funny, as it always is. Additionally, it'll make a statement to the world that you may make fun of us for the whole App State thing, but we're still a contender to win the Big 10 Championship.
Win, and we've still got a lot to play for. Lose, and the main goals for the season are officially gone. The only things left to play for would be the chances to beat Ohio State, keep little brother at bay, and win a bowl game finally, even if it is the Champs Sports Bowl.
A couple of other things that aren't football related:
Marty Turco looks to be wearing gold pads this upcoming season, and they're pretty sweet:
Volleyball finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 12-0 record and a top 10 ranking.
Matt Hunwick will likely be in Providence, but he wants to make it tough on the Bruins coaches to send him down.
TJ Hensick has been great in the camp thusfar for the Evilanche. He's turning heads, but also has a battle on his hands because the Avs are pretty deep at center. Good thing we drafted Justin Abdelkader and a guy who we relinquished the rights to instead.
Mike Van Ryn has two working wrists again.
Edit: I can't believe I forgot to mention this. It's not as big of an issue because they won, but Kentucky's head coach nearly made one of the biggest blunders I've ever seen. They were trailing Louisville by a single point late in the game. The Wildcats scored on a long touchdown pass to make it 39-34, and they kicked the extra point. It amazes me how after all these years, coaches can still bungle when to go for two and when not to go for two. Going up by 6 vs. going up by 5 doesn't really matter, unless it's Tecmo Bowl and you have Lawrence Taylor on your kick block team. I imagine that in the excitement of the go-ahead touchdown, they didn't get the right unit on the field. There's still no excuse. If that Hail Mary would've worked (and the guy got to the 10 yard line), Kentucky loses. Plain and simple.