Saturday, September 13, 2008

Week 3: Michigan at Notre Dame

This image, taken from the 2006 Michigan-Notre Dame game, is an image that I hope will sum up today's game between the Wolverines and the Fighting Irish. Unlike the 2006 matchup though, the two teams facing off today are both unranked in the polls and being overlooked by everyone in college football. There's good reason for that, seeing as how Michigan is 1-1 after a tough loss to Utah and a less-than-stellar win against Miami (OH) and Notre Dame barely escaped their home opener against San Diego State with a win. But, even though this contest will lack some of the luster from the usual Michigan-Notre Dame game, these two teams are still the top two winningest programs in the history of the sport (Michigan's #1, as they should be). Here are some things to keep in mind when the maize and blue take the field in the third week of the season:
  • Michigan is ranked 36th and Notre Dame is ranked 45th, in the CBS Sports Top 120.
  • There is a 90% chance of rain in South Bend, Indiana today, where the game will be played.
  • There is a 100% chance of this game being the ugliest game you will see in all of college football this season. Both quarterbacks are pretty bad, although ND's Jimmy Clausen can throw the deep ball pretty well. Neither offensive line will do much to help the quarterbacks out and the defenses will both dominant their sides of the game. All of this, combined with crappy weather, will make it a smashmouth run-first pass-second style game, which will give Michigan a slight advantage because their defensive line is so strong. If Notre Dame is going to win this game, Jimmy Clausen is going to have to beat the Wolverines with his arm.
Overall, I think both of these teams are pretty bad. Both of them will be trying hard to get this victory to get their team one step closer to bowl eligibility. I don't have much confidence that Michigan will win, but I definitely think that they can. It's their first road game, so it will be interesting to see how they react to a hostile atmosphere. But, in the end, I always want my team to win and I don't believe in picking against them so...I think that the rain will help Michigan and hinder Clausen's chances of beating the Wolverine secondary with the deep ball. Prediction: Michigan 13, Notre Dame 9. Like I said, it's gonna be an ugly one.

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