Sunday, October 14, 2007

College Football is Funny; Michigan Defeats Purdue 48-21

If there was ever the year for the University of Michigan football team to stumble at the start of the season and still find themselves in the middle of the National Championship hunt, this was the year. In what has been a truly mixed-up college football season, a Florida team is undefeated and in the top 5, but it isn't Miami, Florida, or Florida State. And no team in California is unbeaten, but undefeated teams call both Massachusetts (and I'm not counting the New England Patriots) and Kansas home.

If only Michigan, ranked #5 to begin the year, had only stumbled against Oregon. They surely would still be in the top 10, likely in the top 5, and would be primed for a National Championship birth if they won-out and defeated Ohio State. If only. Instead, before Michigan ever stumbled against the Oregon Ducks, they fell flat against the Appalachian State Mountaineers which knocked them out of the Top 25 (and out of contention for the National Title). So after a night where both the #1 (LSU) and #2 (Cal) teams in the country are upset, the best Michigan can do, after a 48-21 drumming of Purdue, is hope to just get back into the Top 25, after being unranked since before the college football season started.

Michigan also has to hope that Mike Hart (pictured above, running over the Boilermakers defense in the game's first half) is not seriously hurt. Hart left the game late in the second quarter, after crossing the 100 yard mark for the afternoon and inching closer to the 1,000 yard milestone for the season, and if his twisted left ankle causes him to miss any significant time, the Wolverines won't be back in the national polls for very long. Even though previously hot Illinois was cooled off by Iowa, next week's game, a night road game (a potentially very dangerous combination) will not be easy. Neither will games at Michigan State, Wisconsin, and of course, against the new #1 team in the country, Ohio State. Mike Hart will have to be healthy if the Wolverines expect to win most, if not all, of these tough games to come in the 2007 season.

The hopes for a National Championship may be lone gone (which is made even more maddening by the amount of one-loss teams this year in college football) but as Michigan proved today, they still have a lot of fight left in them. Hopefully, as they face the rest of their schedule, and try to salvage their season, and Lloyd Carr's legacy, by winning the Big Ten and returning to Pasadena, they'll be at full strength, giving them a fighting chance to redeem themselves.

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Anonymous said...

This sweetie wanted to wish the Ohio State Buckeyes good luck in all their games. Go Bucks!!

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