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Friday, September 08, 2006

Let's Go Irish

That's right, you read the title of this post correctly. I'm cheering for Notre Dame this Saturday against Penn State. It's not that I have anything against the Nittany Lions. Though the reverse is not typically true, most Michigan fans don't have any contempt for JoePa's boys. And I was cheering for ND over Ga. Tech last week. Am I some closet Irish fan?


Usually I want them to go 0-12. But since Michigan is lower ranked than they are used to this year, the Wolverines need to beat a highly ranked Notre Dame squad. Sure, any win over the Irish is nice, but for Michigan to get rid of last year's horrible taste, a win over a top-three ranked team would be the best pallet cleanser.


WolverineinWA said...

Ain't that the truth.

Brad said...

It'd be nice, but I still fear we're going to outplay ND for a half, then do something stupid and blow the game like we always do in South Bend. We're due to win there, but I'll believe it when I see it.

Anonymous said...

If Michigan keeps winning, we'll end up top-ranked eventually. If we don't keep winning, it doesn't matter who we play.

Crabapple Buck said...

ND must be beaten multiple times for the polls to have meaning. ALWAYS pull for the Big 10/11 OOC. You play PSU, beat them and ND. Then you'll be ahead of both. ND needs multiple losses to drop enough to play TCU in the worst BCS bowl game.

Galen said...

Watching last week's Notre Dame-GT game, my fellow Penn State fans had the same thing to say about the Irish, we need to root for them to win. Sorry, I just couldn't do it, rooting for the most hyped team in the country outside of USC just goes against every fiber of my being.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather beat an undefeated PSU in Happy Valley.

jyblueman said...

I cannot actually bring myself to root for Notre Dame; like actually cheering for them at the tv, but I do realize the importance of them winning for Michigan's sake. So Go Irish!!! Yuk...I can't believe those words actually came out of my mouth. Soap please.

N said...

I'd like to agree with you, but I already used up my once per calender year allowance of cheering for the domers on January 2nd of this year.

BaggyPantsDevil said...

This game also presents a Michigan fan with a dilemma. On an emotional level, I'd much rather Penn State win. They're a fellow Big Ten team and I dig Joe Paterno for some bizarre reason. However, I'll go through this methodically and see what I come up with.

From a purely logical poll-based perspective.

Notre Dame ranked higher than Michigan: advantage Penn State

Notre Dame plays Michigan: advantage Notre Dame

Penn State plays Michigan: advantage Penn State

I think from a purely logical perspective Penn State should get the support from us. Notre Dame losing will probably give Michigan a bump up in the polls and Michigan will eventually face a higher ranked Penn State. Of course, a counterargument to this is that Michigan beating an undefeated—even if it is only 2-0—Notre Dame that's ranked in the top five will "make a statement" and give Michigan a big boost. I suppose the biggest difference is a Notre Dame victory provides an opportunity for a more meteoric rise in the polls while a Penn State victory would likely mean a more methodical one. I suppose it's reasonable to argue that the differences in this are negligible. However, as others have already mentioned, Notre Dame will need more loses than other teams to drop the same in the polls. A two-loss Notre Dame is the equivalent of a one-loss anyone else.

There's also the effect this game will have on the Michigan-Notre Dame game.

Notre Dame wins and goes into the Michigan game overconfident and believing the hype: advantage Notre Dame

Notre Dame loses and goes into the Michigan game correcting the weaknesses Penn State exposed and determined to redeem themselves: advantage Notre Dame

I don't think Notre Dame would do a Minnesota/Michigan State-like downward spiral into demoralized oblivion after a loss to Penn State. Michigan will face a more vulnerable opponent if Notre Dame wins unless Penn State exploits a weakness that just can't be addressed by the Michigan game.

Now, from an irrational, emotional perspective:

Notre Dame wins and the volume gets turned up on the "OMG retuning to glory!!!!!!!" talk: advantage Penn State

Penn State wins and the media tongue bathing of Charlie Weis's bathing suit area reduced to a more reasonable level: advantage Penn State

Trying to quiet the media hype may prove to be quixotic since they seem determined to whip up excitement about someone.

And lastly, the underdog factor. Penn State is not only ranked a lot lower than Notre Dame but there's the contrast of the coaches. Penn State has traditional old-schooler Joe Paterno who has coached since the Cretaceous Period, endured repeated snubs by pollsters, suffered a fall from grace only to rise from the ashes, and is simply a coaching legend even if he is slightly crazy these days. Charlie Weis is the shiny new thing in the college football world. Joe Paterno's Penn State coaching odyssey—the stuff of Greek mythology—is just too dramatic to ignore, advantage Penn State.

So, it seems to come down to what you hope to get from the game.

If you want Michigan to climb higher in the polls, I think there's an arguable advantage in Penn State winning.

If you want Michigan to have an advantage in the Notre Dame game, I think there's benefit to Notre Dame winning.

If you want to feel good and have the world be a better place, Penn State needs to win.

Theri Maa, Bhanchod! said...

someone once told me that the hardest decision you'll ever make is settling on a wife. Bullshit. The hardest decision was figuring out who to root for in last yr's Fiesta Bowl. I hate both teams w/ my being and soul. I always thought I hated OSU more than ND, but when the points started raining on ND I was more satisfied to see it continue. i also had to vomit, actually enjoying an OSU win. Why God didn't throw a thunderbolt at the field that day I'll never know, hence, i have lost my faith in the Lord.

so to put it short: I want to beat OSU more than anyone else, but I hate ND more. Does that make sense? Should I hit myself in the balls w/ a baseball bat? I'm really confused

Burleyp said...

I believe that's "palate"

Ungar Kelt said...

Usually, I always give lip-service to supporting the Big-10, but today is just too difficult. If Texas beats Tosu, hundreds of thousands of big-mouthed Tosu fans are silenced - living in Ohio, this is appealing. Also, if ND beats Penn St, Michigan gets a great opportunity to go into ND next week and beat the #2 or #3 team in the nation, propelling us up the polls substantially.

I am saying loudly "Go Buckeyes, Go Nittany Lions, Go Big-10" (but whispering "Hook'em Horns, Go Irish"). I know, it is hypocrisy at its worst, but at least I'm honest.