This may be the first Michigan-Ohio State rivalry week in memory in which there is absolutely zero suspense.
Did I mention that I miss the 90s?
Like a good little drone I will nevertheless make the effort to point my remote control at my TV on Saturday and press the numbers that will land me on ABC. I will watch the game, much like I've watched nearly every Lions game for like a decade now, expecting nothing, but clinging to every defensive stop or offensive play that goes for positive yardage as a sign of hope that we can do something remotely positive; maybe even stay in the game till halftime.
I haven't commented on Michigan football the past few weeks, even after they somehow managed to look like a competent football team in a sadly surprising win against Minnesota. This should not be interpreted as my having given up on the whole new direction thing. It's a much rougher transition than I would ever have feared possible, but hardly the first time I've voluntarily downed a gallon of Kool-Aid in the same amount of time it takes an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch to mistake inane stupidity for humor. I really thought that after Wisconsin we were seeing the signs of turning a corner. Not so much for me with the whole analysis thing, I guess.
Anyway, the Kool-Aid ran out somewhere between the time Illinois's Juice Williams racked up over 400 yards and... well, Toledo. I'm not sure I'll ever be completely over Macho Grand; er, Toledo. I'll think that I am. I'll go weeks at a time without giving it a passing thought and then will come the waking in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat and the crying; oh god, the crying.
So yeah, I'm looking forward to putting Saturday behind me, closing the book on 2008 and looking forward to a fresh batch of Kool-Aid to kick off 2009. Maybe, just maybe, we can look to a .500 season. I don't expect we'll see a return to real respectability until 2010 and probably year after that for hope of any kind of real national prominence. I do think this coaching staff will build anew, however and I look forward to it.
In the meantime, there's this:
Michigan hoops beating #4 UCLA? That kind of win may not happen a lot this year, but it's been a long, long time since it's happened at all. If the hoops team keeps this up, it just might keep me warm through the winter.