Know Your Opponent: Michigan Wolverines

Welcome back to Know Your Opponent, where WFNY hunts down the most vicious mountain monsters in the unexplored wilds of Buckeyes football opponent factual territory, locked and loaded with big-bore rifles, 12 gauge shotguns, and .45 caliber backup pieces. There’s nowhere else for the curious Buckeyes fan to finally lay eyes on legendary cryptids like the Michigan State Bigfoot, the Iowa Ness Monster, and the Rutgers Fairies. Not since The X-Files has a gang of plucky adventurers had the gumption to kill or capture a group of monsters and fiends as heinous as these. This week – The Wolverines of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Michigan!

Let’s kick off the best week in college sports with “Michigan Football 2017 Pump Up [A New Beginning]” by YouTube user bats2x Highlights. I like this one because it really lays the woe-is-me storyline on thick, digging into each of Michigan’s sad highlights from their hilarious losses last year. I especially love the spot-trutherism regarding JT Barrett’s carry on fourth down in double OT last GAME. I could watch that play on repeat for hours.

FBS Stats: Unranked, Stats per Sports Illustrated

Points per Game: 136th
Yards per Game: 168th
Points Allowed per Game: 23rd
Yards Allowed per Game: 7th
The Wolverines have been on a bit of an offensive roller coaster this season, going through a record-setting 11 quarterbacks due to injury, incompetence, and poor coaching decisions. They are still very good on defense. Anything goes in THE GAME, so throw out the stats and record books for this one.

Record: 8-3, 4th in B1G East

Florida W 33-17
Cincinnati W 36-14
Air Force W 29-13
Purdue W 28-10
Michigan State L 14-10
Indiana W 27-20 OT
Penn State L 42-13
Rutgers W 35-14
Minnesota W 33-10
Maryland W 35-10
Wisconsin L 24-10
The Wolverines started out ok with a win over then-ranked Florida, but lost their real first test of the season to Michigan State. They also have losses from Penn State and Wisconsin, essentially losing to every good B1G team they’ve played, beating only the scrubs. Here’s hoping they keep that streak alive Saturday.

Coach: Jim Harbaugh

If there’s one person on the planet I cannot say enough bad things about, it’s Jim Harbaugh. In years past I’ve dived into Harbaugh’s humorlessness, sideline meltdowns, effected glasses wearing, booger eating, serial killer-likeness having, obvious emotional disorders, and other glaring, destructive, baleful personality defects, but this year I am going to go a different route: is Jim Harbaugh ok?

Please stay with me here, Buckeyes fans. I’m not going to give him the begrudging respect of a Mark Dantonio or Kirk Ferentz, or the comical and lighthearted dismissal of a PJ Fleck or Lovie Smith. Harbaugh will get no love from me, in any manner. But as the Joker needs Batman to make his life have any meaning, I’ve come to rely on Jim Harbaugh’s zany antics and outrageous behavior to define how I approach hating Michigan. I was sad to see Brady Hoke leave, both because I knew Harbaugh was a much better coach and because the fat jokes basically wrote themselves, but Michigan adding a famous and accomplished alumnus as their head coach, especially a certified madman, was actually a boon to my anti-fandom. The new heights that we reached together, Jim Harbaugh and I, was greater than the sum of his pathologies and my deep loathing for all things Michigan. It was exponential. As much as I craved his failure, his psychosis was the key ingredient in how I viewed the rivalry. Without it, I have found myself adrift, with no anchor to bring me back to the perfect equilibrium of hatred I had the last two seasons.

What happened to Jim Harbaugh? Why is he a shell of himself; calm, measured and reasonable? Has the absurd weight of the expectations placed upon him by a fanbase of simpletons proven too heavy? Was it the abject failure last season to stop Ohio State on fourth and inches, which kept him from the B1G title game, and then getting eye-holed by Florida State in the Orange Bowl? Is it the obvious inferiority of his own recruits over Hoke’s, who he used to such success in his first two seasons in Michigan? Is it the inability to beat a single decent conference foe this season, with his only chance left a surging Buckeyes? I think it’s a combination of all of the above, plus the karmic debt he’s certainly carrying from a lifetime of leaving broken children and puppies in his drunk-driving* and rage-aholic wake.

For my sake, and the sake of KYO readers across the country, I hope Harbaugh rediscovers his mojo sooner, rather than later. Not this week, obviously, but in the big-picture scheme of things. The Ohio State – Michigan rivalry is at its best when both teams are contending, and this season is a let-down in that regard. I want to have fun and be inspired by my hate for Harbaugh and Michigan, and this season it’s just your run-of-the-mill abhorrence. I can get that from following the President on Twitter. I NEED to get back to those salad days of 2015 and 2016 where just the appearance of the man on television sent me into a fury, instead of the mere base disgust it does now. Joker needs his Batman to be fully realized, and I need Jim Harbaugh back in fighting form. Yes, I realize I’m the Joker in this analogy, but when the shoe fits, put it the fuck on.

Cringeworthy Traditions:

Every year I write this Michigan KYO, and every year I’m newly amazed and disgusted by the sheer depth of the depravity of the University of Michigan and its degenerate fans. For the sake of everything we hold dear as Americans and of humanity in general, I wish these traditions were fiction, but they’re the godawful truth. It is my burden to report the facts here at KYO, god help me.

Every other Saturday in the fall, or after the birth of a seventh son of a seventh son, the clandestine Ordo Templi Orientis calls for conclave and its members descend upon Ann Arbor from all the corners of the Earth. Comprised solely of Michigan graduates, OTO members are known to law enforcement as some of the most fiendish killers, thieves, embezzlers, fraudsters, conmen, crooks, sycophants and psychopaths to ever walk the planet. Untouched by international law due to the influence of their ill-gotten gains, the OTO flies into Ann Arbor on private jets, on helicopters, and through the secret underground pneumatic tube system the state installed in lieu of public-school improvements upon the recommendation of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

They kick off their devilish festivities with animal sacrifice – first water fowl, then moving on to swine, cows, and pet horses, before ending with endangered big cats. After the animals, the group embraces its darkest activity – human sacrifice. During the John Cooper years, it was reported that the OTO sacrificed blue blood members of the local community, ensuring their supremacy on the gridiron over the sainted Buckeyes. However, in recent years the community ran out of suitable sacrifices, causing the Ordo to turn to homeless veterans from Detroit, which the FBI believes has led to their historic drought in football victory over rival Ohio State.

The details of their ceremonies are too graphic to get into on a family-friendly website like WFNY, but they are all in service to pleasing the otherworldly Nameless Ones, who were banished eons ago to a dead dimension filled with the burned corpses of murdered Elder Gods. Through their ceremonies, the OTO begs the great beasts to dream their nightmares into the waking world and shine their favor upon the Wolverines. Luckily for us Buckeyes fans, and for the entirety of humanity, their prayers have recently gone unanswered. God help us all if this vile sect of heathens can once again attain the power they enjoyed some 20 years ago.

Wolverines currently in the NFL: 30 Total

Tom Brady, QB, New England
Alan Branch, DE, New England
Taco Charlton, DE, Dallas
Jehu Chesson, WR, Kansas City
Frank Clark, DE, Seattle
Amara Darboh, WR, Seattle
Devin Funchess, WR, Carolina
Ben Gedeon, LB, Minnesota
Graham Glasgow, C, Detroit
Ryan Glasgow , DT, Cincinnati
Matthew Godin, DE, Houston
Brandon Graham, DE, Philadelphia
Leon Hall, CB, San Francisco
David Harris, LB, New England
Chad Henne, QB, Jacksonville
Willie Henry, DT, Baltimore
Delano Hill, S, Seattle
Kyle Kalis, G, Indianapolis
Joe Kerridge, FB, Green Bay
Taylor Lewan, OT, Tennessee
Jourdan Lewis, CB, Dallas
Erik Magnuson, OT, San Francisco
Patrick Omameh, G, Jacksonville
Jabrill Peppers , S, Cleveland
Jake Rudock, QB, Detroit
Jake Ryan, LB, Green Bay
Michael Schofield, OT, Los Angeles
De’Veon Smith, RB, Miami
Jarrod Wilson, S, Jacksonville
Chris Wormley, DE, Baltimore

It’s been a deep struggle for me to get behind Jabrill Peppers being a Cleveland Brown, and not because of his being a Michigan guy. Ok fine, not ONLY because of his being a Michigan guy. I projected Peppers going to the Browns in a joke mock-draft piece that was not picked up, and included him because I knew it was pure, unadulterated Browns to choose an obviously talented but unproven Michigan player over, say, Malik Hooker. What I did not expect was the Browns to play Peppers out of position, completely negating any potential natural playmaking ability in his normal role. Why I did not expect this clear mismanagement from the Browns is anyone’s guess, because the real money was on the team messing it up.

So now I’m stuck trying to root for a hated Michigan heel, one second on my shit-list only to Jim Harbaugh, the fecal godfather himself. I had to endure THREE YEARS of Peppers lining up in the offensive backfield during THE GAME while the announcers lost their minds, only to see him fail each and every time. THREE YEARS of him returning kickoffs for 17 yards against the Buckeyes, suffering through announcer-slobbering the likes of which we haven’t seen since Denard Robinson and his fucking untied shoes. THREE YEARS of having to hear how much Michigan coaches just love to get the ball into Peppers’ hands while he does absolutely fucking nothing, pulling my hair out in Columbus bars, alienating my friends and family while shouting, “OH SHIT THEY PUT IN PEPPERS, WE’RE DONE! OH LORDY, HOW CAN WE EVER WIN THIS GAME NOW?”

Do you know how many people think I’ve had an aneurism because they’ve been in my company when I had to watch Jabrill Peppers play “football” for Michigan, even only one day a year? Many. Of course the Browns would draft Peppers solely for his “playmaking” ability, an ability totally and completely unmet in college, and then fail to put him even close to the optimal situation for him to use that so-called ability. This is my life now.

Oh, and I’m legitimately surprised to see Jake Rudock on an NFL roster in any capacity whatsoever.

Noteworthy Players:

Juwann Bushell-Beatty, OL
Camaron Cheeseman, LS
Dane Drobocky, DL
Michael Dwumfour, DL
Noah Furbush, LB
Louis Grodman, DB
Ja’Raymond Hall, OL
Joel Honigford, OL
Deron Irving-Bey, DL
Jaylen Kelly-Powell, DB
Carlo Kemp, DL
Tyree Kinnel, DB
Elysee Mbem-Bosse, LB
Eddie McDoom, WR
Bryan Mone, DL
Kwity Paye, DL
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR
Henry Poggi, FB
O’Maury Samuels, RB
Nolan Ulizio, OL
Luiji Vilain, DL
Jack Wangler, WR
J’Marick Woods, DB

What a bunch of clown names this week, good lord. Monikers this ridiculous have not been seen since Star Wars: Episode I gave us “Jar Jar Binks” and “Princess Amidala.” Camaron Cheeseman, Eddie McDoom, Bryan Moan, Luigi Villain and Jack Wanker have their own Barbershop Quintet of Evil where on Friday nights they release mustard gas into retirement homes and animal shelters in a misguided effort for world supremacy. Eddie McDoom sounds like he should be ruling a county in Ireland with an iron fist, backed up by flying robot doppelgangers borrowed from his despot uncle in Eastern Europe. Luigi Villain is the alias Waluigi assumed when he fled from toadstool land and entered the real world through a sewer pipe, passing the name to his son as Italian-Americans are wont to do.


Here’s how I stand for the year:
Indiana: Predicted 42-24 Buckeyes, Actual 49-21
Oklahoma: Predicted 31-24 Buckeyes, Actual 31-16, Oklahoma
Army: Predicted 49-21 Buckeyes, Actual 38-7
UNLV: Predicted 54-14 Buckeyes, Actual 54-21
Rutgers: Predicted 58-14 Buckeyes, Actual 56-0
Maryland: Predicted 45-14 Buckeyes, Actual 62-14
Nebraska: Predicted 52-7 Buckeyes, Actual 56-14
Penn State: Predicted 24-21 Buckeyes, Actual 39-38
Iowa: Predicted 35-14 Buckeyes, Actual 54-21 Hawkeyes
Michigan State: Predicted 24-21 Buckeyes, Actual 48-3
Illinois: Predicted 54-10 Buckeyes, Actual, 52-14

Alright folks, let’s get on with the prediction. This is the season of the Buckeyes getting owned by Iowa but shutting out Michigan State, so it’s anyone’s game at this point, but I think our beloved Ohio State gets the win, 35-7. Michigan is always a threat to the Buckeyes, but I just don’t see it this year. Then again, Iowa, but I’m thinking that one was a once-off. I hope I’m right. That wraps us up for the regular season! I’ll see you back here when the Buckeyes take on the Badgers for the B1G title and a potential playoff berth. Keep your wits about you this Saturday; I definitely won’t be at a Columbus bar at 10 a.m. Beat Michigan!