Editorial note: due to some stuff that has come up, Dan is writing all of the Bad News stuff now. No more Bill. He's fine, he's just letting this be Dan's baby, mostly because Dan has nothing in his life. Bill did, however, demand that we include this...
HAIL! TO THE AUTO WORKERS!
HAIL! TO THE CIRCLE JERKERS!
HAIL! HAIL! TO MI! CHI! GAN!
THE CESS! POOL! OF! THE! WEST!
...ok, whatever, Bill, enjoy yourself. To the important stuff:
This year's matchup between Penn State and Michigan is kind of a big deal. This is the first Big Ten game under the lights in the history of Michigan Stadium. Here's what happened the last time Michigan played a big game under the lights: it beat Notre Dame, 41-30. That's not a big deal because the only team that hates showing up in big games more than Michigan is Notre Dame. No, it was a big deal because Michigan set the college football record for most fans at one game, with more than 115,000 people cramming into The Big House. That has to be some kind of fire hazard but lol wutev.
So yeah. This year's matchup is going to be a huge game. For that reason, among a few others...
YOU, MICHIGAN, WILL NOT BEAT PENN STATE IN 2014.
Now, here's the thing about Michigan: it isn't Michigan anymore. The Big House isn't The Big House anymore. It's not the powerhouse program in a hostile territory that we all expect out of Michigan. Also: I'm not saying this as an asshole fan of a rival program. These are all things that John Bacon, a Michigan alumnus and a former professor at UM, told a few BSDers at the UCF game.
Ever since Michigan lost to I-AA Appalachian State in a football on their home field (heh), the school's fans have just not had the same spunk that they did in years past. There's a sense of impending doom that hangs over the school that its football team is somehow going to screw up.
This is especially true against Penn State, as the Nittany Lions have won four in a row against Michigan. It's routinely the biggest win on the team's schedule, and Penn State has won the game a lot in recent memory. The reason: Penn State gets up for this game, knowing it's a huge game. Michigan doesn't. They have Ohio State, why worry about Penn State...other than the fact that Penn State has their number.
As for how Michigan will line up, it has a QB I'm a big fan of (Devin Gardner), nothing at running back, no wide receivers, two awesome tight ends, and an offensive line that needs to replace its best lineman (Taylor Lewan, who missed most of last year's game against PSU, which Michigan lost, in case you forgot). Its offense kinda sucks. I mean, it has talent in droves, because Michigan is really good at getting people to come play football, but so far its coaching staff hasn't been all that impressive, aside from its first year, when Brady Hoke and co. led the team to the Sugar Bowl.
Its defense brings back some serious talent, which is kinda scary, and it adds Jabrill Peppers, who almost came to Penn State (jumps into wood chipper) and could be the next Charles Woodson. Luckily, the group is coached by Greg Mattison -- who kinda sucks at his job -- and as we touched on earlier, it's Michigan, and it is comically bad in big games.
Here's the thing: this is the first game we've done so far where Penn State will be the underdog. There's a very good chance that both teams are undefeated when they play (especially if Michigan can navigate its season opener at home against Appalachian State, who beat them in 2007, in case you forgot). What it will come down to: in big games, Penn State steps up. Michigan doesn't.
Give us Penn State, 34-27.