Know Your Opponent: Michigan Wolverines

Jim Harbaugh Michigan Face

Welcome back to Know Your Opponent! Each week during the season we shed some light on the Buckeyes’ opponent, examining their record, traditions, mascot, famous alumni and anything else we think is worth making fun of. This week: The Wolverines of the University of Michigan!

This is it folks, THE GAME is finally here! The greatest rivalry in college football is happening this weekend, and as Ohio State fans we get to experience the craziness first hand. Even without the playoff implications this year, this is the best college football weekend of the season, one Buckeyes fans look forward to all year. To get a taste of our hated opponent, let’s watch THE RISE:

FBS Stats: #3 in CFP (stats from Sports Illustrated)

  • Points per Game: 15th
  • Yards per Game: 53rd
  • Points Allowed per Game: 1st
  • Yards Allowed per Game: 1st

Yeah folks, this is going to be a tough one. Some have questioned Michigan’s strength of schedule, but with wins over Wisconsin, Penn State and Colorado, that’s not the complete explanation for stats like these (though I will continue to disparage their SOS, because why not).

The team has 40 seniors on their roster which contributed to their success this season. One caveat there: Jim Harbaugh is still using Brady Hoke’s players, so if they fail to perform next season we can all claim he’s another Chip Kelly who cannot recruit, even though he’s already had success at USC (again, why not?). When it comes to Michigan, cherry-picking stats and facts to justify a negative narrative is not only not discouraged, it is official WFNY editorial policy.

Mascot: NONE

These assholes do not have a mascot, as they feel it would “detract from the goals and mission of the school, both scholastically and on the field.” This has got to be the most pretentious thing I have ever heard. Too good for a mascot? Fellow “Public Ivy” institution Wisconsin has Bucky Badger to entertain their fans and harass opposing fan bases, so why not Michigan? This is just another reason to hate these shitheads – the unearned sense of superiority.

In the 1920s they did use a live wolverine mascot, but it proved too dangerous to everyone, so they retired him to the zoo…but these are the people too good for a mascot in foam rubber. In addition, when you have to lean on overall program record to justify your supposed greatness (see Paterno, Joe, for another example) in spite of recent failures, you do not hold the moral high ground.

2016 Record: 10-1, First in B1G East

The Wolverines have dominated their opponents for most of the season, winning with crazy scores like 63-3 over Hawaii, 51-14 over UCF, 49-10 over PSU, 78-0 over Rutgers, 41-8 over Illinois, and 59-3 over Maryland. Their lone loss comes from Iowa two weeks back, where the Hawkeyes pulled off a last-minute field goal to clinch the victory.

It is worth noting that this was the Wolverines’ first true road test of the year, and they have still not beaten an opponent with more than one league win on the road. Here’s hoping this streak stays alive this weekend!

Coach: Jim Harbaugh

What can be said about Jim Harbaugh that can’t be said about the BTK Killer? Both are miserable pedants who derive pleasure from the pain and misery of strangers. At least Harbaugh hasn’t directly contributed to the demise of innocent people, but when you’re the spiritual leader of a nihilistic death cult like Michigan Football fandom, you’ve got enough blood on your hands. He’s a low-rent Jim Jones with a dash of football Rainman thrown in for good measure. And of course, this cretin is a Cubs fan. He even brought his glove to Game 5, something I haven’t done since I was 10, and I stopped then because I was too self-aware.

Jim is an all-in football-man in the mold of Nick Saban and Mark Dantonio. He’s only happy when he’s on the field coaching football and eating boogers. Winning doesn’t even make this man happy because it just adds to the insurmountable pressure he’s already under.

He’s showing obvious signs of cracking under that pressure this season, only his second at the helm in Ann Arbor. For example, he has started wearing eyeglasses for no discernible reason, the only possibility being that it’s some hair-brained attempt to fool the country into thinking he’s an intellectual and not a deranged loose cannon. He was also spotted frolicking shirtless with high school prospects during a summer training camp, still wearing his trademark UM baseball cap and pleated Dockers khakis. Before it was covered up by the UM campus police and public relations staff, he was mentioned as a person of interest in the Ann Arbor police’s investigation into a spree of used-baby-diaper heists from daycare dumpsters across the area.

Never the most lucid or reliable member of society, Harbaugh is obviously a menace to the tenuous well-being of our fragile civilization and needs to be banished ASAP to his own wing in the basement of the Michigan School for the Feeble Minded, like a football Hannibal Lecter.

Silly Traditions:

When Michigan-man Jim Harbaugh triumphantly returned to the school from his ignominious firing in San Francisco, he brought with him a veritable renaissance of University of Michigan traditions, many dormant for years between his stints as a student and head coach. Though the delicacy is usually associated with backcountry Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan has long had a tradition of making scrapple at tailgates before home games.

While traditional scrapple is made from the leftover organs and skin of a butchered hog mixed with grain, UM scrapple is made from the discarded cadavers of euthanized cats and dogs from area shelters. The school had ceased this practice for a time due to outcry from the animal rights community; which was a rarity for the school, adhering to community standards of good behavior.

However, with the hiring of Harbaugh, the university has returned to its longstanding flouting of norms with its support for the wholesale consumption of dead pet flesh by students and fans. Bones and hair from the sad, forgotten animals litter the sidewalks and grass surrounding the UM stadium while the tailgaters mingle and celebrate their dark desires. During the game, after the debauched revelry is complete, the administration trots out students on financial aid to clean up the grim reminders of America’s forgotten best friends. There as a stipulation of their loan acceptance (the school does not offer grants or scholarships for non-athletes), the students are tasked to ensure the safety of those attending the game, as in eras past the combination of sharp bones and drunken football fans led to a weekly outbreak of tetanus and Hepatitis C.

Famous Alumni:

Former dictator of Haiti, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, is a Michigan alum. He’s best known for liquidating as many as 30,000 of his own people in a multi-decade reign of terror. “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, having earned his Ph.D. there in less than a year by solving a previously unsolvable math problem, left his promising career as a preeminent mathematician so he could murder strangers with mail bombs. “Doctor Death” Jack Kevorkian attended the school, graduating in 1952. He’s infamous for carrying out assisted suicides in his lifted, A Team-style death-van, which he bought from the school during an auction when they replaced their fleet of lifted, A Team-style death-vans.

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, the infamous child-killing duo “Leopold and Loeb,” played football at Michigan in the 1920s under Jim Harbaugh’s great grandfather, Cornelius Harbaugh. They murdered a 14-year-old boy for the sheer thrill of it, inspiring the school’s iconic “Slash those boys!” chant heard when the team is in the red zone during home games. Finally, America’s first serial killer, the master of the “Chicago Murder Castle” during the 1893 World’s Fair, H.H. Holmes, is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Some historians consider him a potential suspect for Jack the Ripper, as Holmes was traveling in England at the time of the Whitechapel murders.

Man, those alumni get-togethers sure have to be something.

Wolverines currently in the NFL (19 total):

Tom Brady, QB, New England

Alan Branch, DL, New England

Frank Clark, DE, Seattle

Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina

Graham Glasgow, C, Detroit

Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia

Leon Hall, CB, New York Giants

David Harris, LB, New York Jets

Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville

Willie Henry, DT, Baltimore

Joe Kerridge, FB, Green Bay

Taylor Lewan, OT, Tennessee

Jake Long, OT, Minnesota

Patrick Omameh, G, Jacksonville

Denard Robinson, RB, Jacksonville

Jake Ryan, LB, Green Bay

Michael Schofield, OT, Denver

Fitzgerald Toussaint, RB, Pittsburgh

Jarrod Wilson, S, Jacksonville

Noteworthy Players:

There’s truly only one player worth mentioning on the Wolverines, who is solely responsible for their success on both sides of the ball — of course I’m talking about Jabrill Peppers. Nominally a linebacker, Peppers runs the ball, returns kickoffs, plays quarterback, kicks extra points, is long snapper on odd-numbered punts, tapes his own injuries, and calls plays as co-offensive coordinator. He can do it all, folks. He’s definitely not a gimmick who’s used to distract an opponent to little effect, unless they’re stupid enough to not realize he’s getting the ball when he takes to the offensive backfield. No sir, he’s the key to everything the Wolverines do on the gridiron. Peppers makes watching Michigan games a total and complete joy, as the announcers don’t constantly fluff him on air because why bother when it’s so obvious what he brings to the game?

Most people don’t know this, but until our own Noah Brown, Peppers was the first recruit from New Jersey to ever attend a B1G school outside of Rutgers. Check out his highlights so you can see for yourselves what a game changer he is:


Here’s how I stand for the year:

BGSU: Predicted 43-7, Actual 77-10

TULSA: Predicted 45-21, Actual 48-3

OKLAHOMA: Predicted 33-28, Actual 45-24

RUTGERS: Predicted 50-14, Actual 58-0

INDIANA: Predicted 48-14, Actual 38-17

WISCONSIN: Predicted 35-28, Actual 30-23

PENN STATE: Predicted 45-14, Actual 21-24

NORTHWESTERN: Predicted 34-10, Actual 24-20

WISCONSIN: Predicted 24-21, Actual: Actual 62-3

NEBRASKA: Predicted 24-21, Actual 62-3

MARYLAND: Predicted 55-7, Actual 62-3

MICHIGAN STATE: Predicted 42-14, Actual 17-16

So, the MSU game was stressful. They always play the Buckeyes hard, and the combined point totals for the team’s contests during the Urban Meyer era is 121-120 (Buckeyes). That’s nuts. Is it a mental block Meyer has about facing Dantonio? Is it the oft-maligned tendency of our coaches to play conservative when faced with a challenge? I’ll leave it to someone else to answer that one, I’m just glad we got by them.

This week, I predict the Buckeyes notch the W column, 21-14, in a hard fought battle of the top two defenses in the B1G. Given the Wolverines struggles on offense I think we have the advantage, but with THE GAME, anything goes.

That’s it for this week, Buckeyes fans! Stay safe, have a good time, and go Buckeyes!