Sunday, December 03, 2023

It's Only Rock 'n Roll

Apparently, we can have nice things! (Patrick Barron)

If I could stick my pen in my heart
And spill it all over the stage
Would it satisfy you? Would it slide on by you?
Would you think the boy is strange?
Ain't he strange?

There was a long-time criticism of the movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially in the first two phases, that while Marvel has excellent heroes, there was a tendency to make the villain just a dark mirror of the hero.  Iron Man faces Iron Monger, Hulk faced Abomination, Captain America faced Red Skull, Ant-Man faced Yellow Jacket, and Doctor Strange faced Kaecilius.  In each case, the complaint was that it made the framework of the conflict sort of boring and predictable.  

In other news, it is worth noting that Michigan decided that the best way to beat Iowa and its nation's best defense was to basically become Iowa with a better offense.  How did Michigan win this game?  Lockdown defense (which, admittedly, was made easier by Iowa's offensive inability), timely special teams play (the Semaj Morgan punt return to give Michigan a short field on which they cashed in, James Turner being perfect on field goals.), and forcing turnovers (if you would like to believe that the Big Ten officials might have a bias against Michigan, the replay review where Josh Wallace's timely remembrance to pick up the ball and hand it to the official gave Michigan another short field), Michigan essentially became MegaIowa and the result was a 26-0 victory to end the Big Ten East/Big Ten West era of Big Ten championship games 10-0 in favor of the East.

If I could win you, if I could sing you
A love song so divine
Would it be enough for your cheatin' heart
If I broke down and cried?
If I cried

Michigan fans have long seen Pasadena as the just reward for a great season.  You win the Big Ten, you go to the Rose Bowl.  While the results of that game have not always been great, there have been great moments in the shadow of the San Gabriels.  While it would have been nice to have a Pac-12 opponent to face in the last "real Rose Bowl," a battle of the two winningest programs in college football history is a nice framework to look at as we head into the New Year.  Michigan has learned, hopefully, the lessons of the last two years, and know that Alabama, and specifically, Nick Saban, with time to prepare, is a nightmare.  But Michigan wants to win a national championship; they have a path they need to walk to get there.  We'll see if they can do it, but for now, at least they have the opportunity, which is more than other people can say.

I said, I know it's only rock 'n' roll, but I like it
I said, I know it's only rock 'n' roll, but I like it, like it, yes, I do

College Football is a deeply screwed-up sport, in ways that I do not need to catalog for you, the reader.  We have to accept that if we like, love, and appreciate this sport, there will be things that make no sense.  From the playoff selections this Sunday to NCAA investigations into petty infractions while looking the other way for years on other systemic wrongdoing.  All of these things are just part of what makes this sport what it is.  But for now, Michigan has a chance to win the Rose Bowl, something they have not had an opportunity to do since New Year's Day 2007.  California dreamin' indeed.

Tales from the Spreadsheet
  • Win 1,002
  • 26-0 is NOT a Scorigami (12th time, most recently 11/15/1980 while hosting Purdue)
  • 67,842 was the attendance (largest of Michigan's three Big Ten Championship game appearances.)

  • Michigan moves to 45-15-4 all-time against the University of Iowa.
  • Michigan has won four straight over Iowa.
  • Michigan moves to 1-0 all-time on December 2.

  • Michigan moves to 28-1 when scoring exactly 26 points (the loss is 27-26 to 1994 Colorado.  You may remember the ending of that game).
  • Michigan moves to 338-0-12 all-time when allowing 0 points to the opposition.  It is Michigan's second shutout of the season, and Michigan's eighth game holding its opponent to single digits.
  • Michigan has won 22 games all-time by precisely 26 points, most recently the 2021 Northwestern Game.