Brian Cook writes MGoBlog He is a professional blogger and only puts on pants when he's cold. Yes, he has a girlfriend.
Michigan's main asset this year is its rich history. And its stadium renovation. Michigan's two main assets this year are its rich history and its stadium renovation. And its irresistible attraction to people who want to get the hell out of West Virginia. And nice blue uniforms with lots of frippery that references the aforementioned rich history.
I'll start again.
Michigan's main asset this year is Mike Fucking Barwis. Raised by wolves in the northern reaches of the Yukon Territory, a bloodied Barwis wandered into Morgantown, West Virginia several years ago without knowledge of human civilization. Though Morgantown failed to provide such knowledge, it was close to Pittsburgh. To this day Barwis has not discussed the circumstances of his escape, his arduous journey across most of a continent, or the two-ton grizzly bear corpse he arrived with and refers to only as "Jerry Hinnen, formerly of the Saline Reporter."
In West Virginia, Barwis — and, yes, Jerry — shaped a rag-tag bunch of coal miners and convicted felons into a team good enough to choke away the national championship game and thereby facilitate Rodriguez's departure from West Virginia. (Woo!) Steve Slaton ran past everyone. So did Pat White. Owen Schmitt broke facemasks. The defense was kind of shockingly good given the coal-miners-and-felons thing.When eight-time All American center Dan Mozes arrived on the West Virginia campus, he was a canned ham. Four months later he assassinated Franz Ferdinand from the future.
Barwis also gave birth to a litter of wolves during this time. They are currently the light heavyweight UFC champions.
Also, the defense returns seven starters, including what should be a hellacious set of defensive ends and cornerbacks. And our punter is named "Zoltan" and he is a space emperor.
Also-also, the new defensive coordinator looks exactly like 80s-era professional wrestler IRS.
So we've got that going for us.
The departures of Jake Long, Mike Hart, Chad Henne, Adrian Arrington, and Mario Manningham to the NFL, Adam Kraus and Alex Mitchell to... uh... somewhere that is not the NFL, Ryan Mallett to the seventh circle of Hell (in Fayetteville, Arkansas, unsurprisingly), and Justin Boren to the maw of Satan himself — sorry, Judas, you're out — leave Michigan critically short on offense.
Steve Schilling will be the only offensive lineman. This may be problematic, as projected starting quarterback Steven Threet was recruited to be your standard gumpy white artillery-piece Michigan quarterback. He is rumored to have legs, but this is unconfirmed. Rich Rodriguez prefers his quarterbacks to be barely competent throwers who can teleport into the endzone. Threet... eh... not so much. There are also no wide receivers. Threet projects to be sacked 6,500 times next year, slightly less than Jimmy Clausen in 2007. But he'll be way less fey doing it, goddammit.
Really, I think we just want to make a bowl game here.
INSERT RIVAL HERE, YOU SUCK.
Michigan is unusual in that it has three major rivals — Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Michigan State, in that order — and three or four other teams who are under the misapprehension that Michigan fans give a flying crap about them, Illinois and Penn State most prominently. So there are choices aplenty here.
Ohio State's out, despite being the A1 rival, because what the hell am I supposed to say: remember 2003!!! Douchebags!!! BET YOU HATE YOUR LIFE RIGHT NOW DESPITE THAT BEING MICHIGAN'S ONLY VICTORY IN THE PAST SEVEN YEARS. Also, Jim Tressel is so incredibly boring there's nothing to taunt him about. Next.
Michigan State is unattractive, too. Does anyone care even in the slightest about the Big Ten's most perennially mediocre team? Since Southern teams stopped being all racist and stuff and started recruiting the big fast black guys in their midst, stripping Michigan State of the one strategy that ever made them more than dead weight, they've been One Year Away for 40 years. State has had a better record than Michigan once since Bo's arrival. Batshit crazy Mark Dantonio is the latest coach to throw his sanity away on the task of bringing State's resources (meh) in line with their fans' expectations (BEET MICHIGUN BRAH I AM SOOO DRUNK RIGHT NOW); expect him to be dragged away to Arkham Asylum in three years.
As for Notre Dame, there's nothing that can be said that Yakety Sax can't say.
(That second is courtesy the Hoover Street Rag.)
In conclusion, you will die unremembered and alone, fans of rivals. Little children will laugh at your gravestones because they will say you had the misfortune to be raised a trucker, retard, or communist. I hope you all endure the heartbreak of psoriasis.