Monday, September 15, 2014

Run of the Mill

Well, that's a hole. (Photo by Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog)
On some level, it feels gauche to complain about a 24 point win over a MAC school.  Even one that has now lost nineteen games in a row.  But I think that there is a lesson in Saturday.  It didn't come on the punt debacle at the end of the second quarter.  It didn't come on the special teams meltdown in the middle of the second quarter.  It came at half time.

Watching the Michigan band, and the Michigan choirs, and the flyover, and the Miami band, and well, everything else that was happening simultaneously, my wife turned to me and said "It's like they're trying too hard."  Welcome to the last three years of Michigan football.

A game against Miami University, which is located in Ohio but don't you dare disrespect them by referring to them as Miami of Ohio because they're older than you are and you should respect your elders, even if Miami is in Ohio, should not, by definition be easy, because as Scott Van Pelt likes to say "They've got guys on scholarship too" but certainly there are understandings about what you get in to when you're playing a MAC team, let alone a MAC team that has lost quite a few games over the past two seasons.  But Miami put up a good fight, in part because Michigan was trying too hard.  Gardner interceptions coming from just trying too hard.  Special teams miscues because too many guys want to make a play, trying too hard.  As Lisa's new friend from Little Pwagmattasquarmesettport Ben says in "The Summer of 4 Ft 2", "The whole thing smacks of effort."

This isn't to say that Michigan shouldn't try, but this is the impact of feeling like you don't just want to be better after last week, but that you need to be better, because everyone's counting on you and you can't let them down.

The good news is that the whole of the Big Ten seems to be wallowing in a miasma of bad results and befuddlement.  There's still time to get things right and go forward well.  But for right now, can we just as that the boys dial back the effort like five percent and play within themselves and the game plan and see what happens?  Thanks.

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