10. Symbiosis. Has there ever been a more perfect relationship between coach and college than that which exists in Ann Arbor. Rich Rodriguez was born to coach Michigan football and has become for the Wolverine faithful their Mr. Right. Of course, until Rodriguez arrived Michigan football coaching relationships looked a lot like those of a single white female on Match.com, one bad hook-up after the other.
9. Tate Forcier. Once Rich Rodriguez accepted the Michigan job he prayed to the good Lord Jesus to send him a savior. His prayers were answered in the form of Tate Forcier, who rode into Ann Arbor on a white horse just in time to save Michigan football from an inevitable death by delivering unto them superb quarterbacking, and eternal life. Hawkeye fans should not be surprised when Forcier enters stadium levitating six inches above ground.
8. More Cowbell. There are not many cheers that a cheerleading squad can lead that seriously changes the momentum of a game, but Michigan has found one that just might. No, it's not the classic "We've got spirit how ‘bout you?" cheer either. Of course that tired cheer hasn't worked in years. This one though, is a keeper. Let's just hope they don't abuse it, or we're in trouble (kind of).
7. I'll Kick Your Anus. Contrary to popular belief Zoltan is not a moon near a planet whose name is too filthy to print here and Mesko is not that stuff in tequila. Zoltan Mesko, however, is the punter for the Wolverines--and he can kick the rear end of a football. As the most dominant Big Ten punter since Reggie Roby, Mesko has controlled all but five of Michigan's games thus far with just his foot. Rich Rodriguez calls Mesko the Wolverines "secret weapon"...oh, and their "dumb fucking Mexican" (which was odd given that Mesko is Romanian). The Mexican perplexity occurred after Mesko shanked an eight-yarder deep in Michigan territory earlier this year. Expect El Mesko to punt early and often in an effort to control the Hawkeyes.
6. The Schembechler Curse. Most everyone thinks it was Michigan coach Bo Schembechler who perfected the three yards in a cloud of dust offense (it wasn't, it was Woody Hayes). He's also known for bumping Chalmers Elliot out of the Michigan head coaching job after the 1968 season, and then starting his legendary tenure at Michigan by winning the Big Ten championship the following year with Elliot's players. Bump (as he is more commonly known) Elliot would go on to become Iowa's athletic director and hire, among others, Hayden Fry, Dan Gable and Lute Olsen. So how does this all this qualify as a curse to Iowa? You'll see on Saturday Mister Toomanyquestions, and not like it.
5. Apocalypse Now. I think by now even the most ardent Iowa fan would concede that the Hawkeyes just cannot defend the spread offense. And now after suffering the indignity of the Arkansas State "woodshed" game they are faced with the spread offense to end all spread offenses. Whereas Arkansas State bored Iowa to a slow death with their predictable, Pop Warner version of the spread, we now get Michigan's spread which Rich Rodriguez dreamed up instead of finishing his dissertation on mathematical physics. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and NASA using the newest supercomputer programmed a simulation of the Iowa defense against the Michigan spread offense and after 72 hours of computations the massive supercomputer spit out Norm Parker shivering, naked and mumbling "never get out of the boat. Never get out of the boat!"
Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right.
4. Just Win Baby. Michigan's football program is the most successful program in college football history, in both wins and winning percentage. Michigan has 11 national titles under its belt, and even won the very first Rose Bowl. But the most impressive thing about Michigan is that despite all that success they never rest on their laurels, they just cannot win enough. Why just last week...nevermind.
3. Dress Whites. The rumor going around is that Michigan will wear their rearely seen all-white uniforms on Saturday. Well, say no more. Michigan only pulls those babies out for special occasions...like, for example, a night game on pah-rhyme-time when the team needs a little pick-me-up. In fact, the Michigan white unis haven't seen a football field since the Orange Bowl of 1976. In that game Michigan took on Oklahoma who was a clear favorite in what was a de facto National Championship game, played at night on pah-rhyme-time. In order to get an edge, Schembechler pulled out the all-white unis and the rest is history.
2. Offensive Funk. Iowa is ranked 10th in the Big Ten in scoring while Michigan is ranked 2nd. The brilliance of Michigan is their utter, exclusive, and complete focus on the offense. They direct all their attention and energy on outscoring their opponents. If only Iowa would adopt that mindset.
1. KOK. Need I say more?
* On the road, in a hurry, it'll be better next time.