10. Passive - Aggressive. A year ago Michigan was ranked 110th in total defense, they allowed almost 3 ½ miles of yardage on the season and played a defensive alignment that if employed flawlessly is successful only in eight man football. Enter Greg Mattison, the recent Rex Ryan of the Baltimore Ravens, who has given the Wolverines an attitude adjustment. Whereas last year the Wolverines used the football equivalent of the rope-a-dope to defend opponents, this year they are attacking the ball with Ray Lewis-like ferocity and are ranked 28th nationally in total defense and 6th in scoring defense. On Saturday expect the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to label the Hawkeyes...losers.
9. Midnight Hour. Iowa averages almost 100 fewer rushing yards per game than does Michigan and any layperson can see why. Iowa models its approach on a sort of reverse Cinderella fable, when the clock strikes "fourth quarter" they abandon the run offensively and simultaneously avoid tackling the opposition. After watching Iowa's defense wilt in the final quarter at Penn State and last week to a one-dimensional Minnesota run game, you can only imagine the fate that lies ahead with the vaunted Wolverine rushing attack coming to town. Expect the slipper to be too big to fill for the bumbling Hawkeyes as the Wolverines race off into the night with a prince of a win.
8. Irresistible Force Paradox. What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Michigan is #11 nationally in rushing offense while Iowa is #69 in rushing defense. So, from the standpoint of physics logic dictates that it's inappropriate to have these two entities -- a force that cannot be resisted and an object that cannot stop shit -- in the same universe much less on the same football field. In fact, present this match-up as an example to any first-year physics student and he or she is likely to think you've either made an egregious typo or you are fucking with them.
7. Great Scott! Apparently there are great second acts in American lives, as proven by Michigan sophomore running back Fitzgerald Toussaint, who carried the ball twice for 7 yards in a loss against Michigan State only to back that up with a masterpiece the following game. Against Purdue Toussaint ran like a free jazz solo, with spontaneity, vitality and improvisation on his way to a 170-yard performance on only 20 carries. On Saturday expect the Hawkeyes defense to remind you of an Earl Scruggs banjo solo while Toussaint runs around them with the same elegance and sophistication of John Coltrane playing Bye Bye Blackbird.
6. Dog Day Afternoon. Iowa is a 4-point underdog at home this Saturday. This year Iowa is 3-5 against the spread and in the Big Ten only Penn State is worse against the spread than the Hawkeyes --- and one of the two games they did cover? Yep, against the Hawkeyes. A perusal of numerous gambling websites shows that not a single one has listed this game as a possible upset. Moral of this story? Trust the sharks.
5. Beef O'Brady. What chances does an tenured, over-organized, emotionally repressed, gum chewing health nut, with and addition to clichés, have going up against a guy who's in his first-year, is spontaneous, unedited, doesn't wear a head set or tuck in his shirt, and looks like the stunt double for the fat guy from HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. Answer? None. Zero. Zippo.
4. Royalty. Most wins in all of college football, all-time? Michigan. Best winning percentage in all of college football, all-time? Michigan. Most wins in the Big Ten, all-time? Michigan. Most national championships by a Big Ten team, all-time? Michigan. Team in which Iowa has it's worst winning percentage, Big Ten? Michigan. You see where this is going, right? Michigan. Most winning seasons, all-time? Michigan. Most undefeated seasons, all-time? Michigan. Shall I keep going? Michigan. Most televised football team, all-time? Michigan. The longest streak of home...
3. Two Faced. Kirk Ferentz is famous for always electing to receive whenever they win the opening coin toss. The rare exception is when weather conditions demand they do otherwise---which is very rare indeed. Despite being a defensive minded coach, Kirk Ferentz has said he elects to receive to maximize the number of possible offensive possessions. However, in all but one game this year when Iowa had the ball with less than two minutes to go in the first half they've chosen to play very conservatively and essentially run out the clock. What this reveals is a coach who really is neither here nor there. On Saturday expect Michigan to definitely kick the crap out of the indecisive Hawkeyes.
2. Shoe Shines. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is a faster, more agile, more elusive runner than Marqueis Gray, with better vision and a better offensive line. Given Iowa's success against the practice squad version of a running quarterback, expect the Hawkeyes to get waxed, pasted or creamed on Saturday.
1. Cover 2. Need I say more?