Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Michigan misery

That was a crappy way to spend a Saturday night, eh? I might've had more fun if I brought my mother to a bar with me while I tried to pick up women. ("Hey, she likes you! Okay, here's my number.")

It's easy to say something like this after the fact, but I had a bad feeling about this game all day, leading up to kickoff. What bugged me most was Michigan's poor record in its first road game over the last five years and Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez retiring after this season. You think his team and coaching staff weren't pumped up to give him one last victory over Michigan?

Suddenly, the 2005-06 Michigan football season looks pretty bleak. Sure, there's a healthy scoop of overreaction in that feeling. On the other hand, Michigan let John Stocco beat them. My sister was more accurate throwing me the car keys after dinner last night. (In fairness, she probably wouldn't have scored that game-winning touchdown.)

Michigan could beat Michigan State, Iowa, and Ohio State, and end up winning the Big 10 championship again. But does anyone think that's feasible right now, especially with Michigan State now looking rather unbeatable? I might be working with short-term or selective memory right now, but I can't remember Michigan looking worse going into a game vs. MSU. (Yet I still think Michigan will win next week. Go figure.)

♦ This should surprise no one, but Michigan dropped out of the USA Today Top 25 poll. (Michigan State moved up to #12 in the rankings.)

Jason Avant is as optimistic as you are right now.

♦ If the Michigan offense continues struggling (They get a "C" from the Ann Arbor News' John Heuser), is there any way they can beat MSU? The defense actually isn't playing that badly, but can they hold MSU to 24-30 points? And even if it does, can U-M score more than 24-30 points? Do you really think they can right now?

♦ C'mon, you can tell me. How many of you were thinking it might be time for Matt Gutierrez to get some playing time at quarterback? The ESPN2 announcers mentioned a few times last night that Chad Henne knows the offense so much better this year. ("Last year, he knew only 50% of the playbook!") So why does it look like Henne could play better when he knew less? Maybe the U-M coaches need to go back to that 50% playbook.

Normally, I'm not this reactionary, but Michigan's offense looks terrible right now. What if it could run better with Gutierrez at the controls? Would he be more accurate with his throws? He couldn't be worse than Henne, could he? How many times did Henne overthrow his receivers on deep passes, or throw behind his guys on quick slants? He just doesn't look comfortable at all, and Wisconsin didn't even generate that much of a pass rush on him. Shit, he's playing more like Scott Mitchell.

Sure it's a huge "what if?" especially with next week's game. But Michigan already has two losses. Michigan will never know if the offense could've run better if it doesn't get Gutierrez in there.

♦ Michigan needs to stop playing Steve Breaston at wide receiver. Mario Manningham (who scored U-M's second touchdown last night) is so clearly the better player at that position right now and has the height and athleticism to adjust to Henne's poor throws. Maybe I'm overreacting again ("Remember the Rose Bowl, Ian!"), but Breaston deserves to be on a milk carton right now. Bring him in for a few plays, and line him up in the slot where he can run past linebackers and safeties. But he's not getting the job done at wide receiver (and ain't doing too well as a kick/punt returner, either).

(Image via John T. Greilick / The Detroit News)



  • At September 26, 2005 8:04 AM, Blogger Chris said…

    I was listening to ESPN and Lee Corso said Michigan could loose 5 games this season! I'm beginning to agree with them. It's really time for Carr to go!


  • At September 26, 2005 8:05 AM, Blogger Chris said…

    Hey btw, speaking of football, I just bought Madden 06 for xbox, you have to come over and check it out!!

  • At September 26, 2005 8:37 AM, Blogger Ian C. said…

    Five losses certainly looks possible, though I bet Corso's including Iowa on that list, and they've been disappointing too. Or maybe he's thinking about the bowl game. But if Michigan ends up going to a lower-tier, non-BCS game, I think they'll be matched up against a school they should beat.

    And yes, I have to check out Madden '06! Have you tried that "QB vision" or whatever it's called? I've heard that's hard to play with.


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