by Mike Coffey
As the late great Mike Royko once said, some things you wonder, some things you think, and some things you just know:
To paraphrase Sally Brown, if anyone had told me I’d be praising a Bob Diaco-led defense in the wake of the Navy veer, I’d have said they were crazy.
Speaking of defenses, the old adage says a team that wins on its defense won’t have a lot of style points. That’s certainly held up to scrutiny this season. My cardiologist may not be liking this season, but I sure am.
Another old adage says games and seasons are won and lost based on the line play. Once again, scrutiny is bearing it out. As much criticism as the offensive line gets on gamedays, they’re putting together an outstanding season. Mistakes are being kept to a minimum, and Golson’s getting a chance to make things work. On the other side, the contributions of the Bane-masked Stephon Tuitt get stronger every game, and the front seven continues to allow a young secondary to grow at a pace allowing them to succeed in their own right.
Imagine what the ground stats would have looked like with GA3 available.
Michigan’s all-time win percentage lead shrinks by the week. And with Denard Robinson out, it might be history by season’s end.
As we wait for the trip to SC in a couple weeks, be prepared for our strength of schedule to be harped upon. The trouble with all the Big 10 games at the beginning of the year is if we lose them, the opponent usually uses the victory as a springboard to a great season. If we win, the loss saps their momentum and they end up mediocre. As menacing as the schedule looked at the beginning of year, some of the diamonds are turning out to be stones. That has a tendency to happen, which is why 4-4-4 scheduling is so important.
Speaking of our Midwestern friends, the fact that the Indiana Hoosiers are still mathematically eligible for the Big Ten title game tells you everything you need to know about that conference this season. I watched the Hoosier/Illini tilt in a bar yesterday, and thought they were televising a Bombardment tournament. When you need football real bad, they’ve got real bad football.
As long as this trip through the desert has been, it says a lot about the student body that they put together a welcome-the-team-back at 4am. These classes need their Notre Dame Moments, because God knows there’s been a shortage the last 20 years.
So many youngsters asked on the board last night if “this is how it felt in the old days”. Yes. Yes it is. Now the key is to keep the feeling going.