First of all, hats off to There Is No Name On My Jersey for hosting last week and putting together the post roundtable roundup. Great work. The roundtable this week comes compliments of Michigan Sports Center because when we put together the schedule at the beginning of the year we figured Michigan's game against Notre Dame this weekend was going to be the marquee game of the week. Go figure.
1. Now that two weeks of play are behind us, what is one encouraging surprise and one downing disappointment from your team? (Easy answer to the latter part of the question for Michigan bloggers)
I could not be more pleased by the play of the defensive line. They were somewhat of a question mark in the preseason. We are breaking in four new starters from a year ago and we had a few injuries right before the season, but so far these guys have completely dominated not allowing their first two opponents to gain positive rushing yards. They have also terrorized the opposing quarterbacks. The best part is it's not like there are one or two guys dominating and the other guys just filling space. They are all making big plays. The opposing offensive lines can't just double team one guy and keep the rest in check and that is causing problems for them.
Really there isn't one thing I can point at as being terribly disappointed about. I'm a little disappointed in Morelli's decision making at times, but he's doing ok. I'm also a little disappointed the offensive line seems to take a quarter or two to get going. But again, these are small things that so far I can live with as long as the defense keeps playing at the level they are.
2. A look at the current Big Ten standings shows things dead-locked record-wise for the most part. Once conference play actually begins, which two or three teams pull away from the rest of the pack?
Well, at the beginning of the year it was billed as a three-way race between Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. Obviously Michigan has dropped off the radar and without Henne I can't see them competing. That leaves Ohio State and Wisconsin who both struggled against inferior competition this weekend. Some people lumped the Nittany Lions in the top three at the beginning of the year and I have to believe that right now they would have to be the new favorite. Their defense is awesome and they get Ohio State and Wisconsin at home. If they get past Michigan in week four look out.
3. Has your team ever played in a game that was just downright boring and impossible to watch? I ask this because going into the Michigan-Notre Dame game, looking at it on paper, it is shaping up to be one of the ugliest we may see all year.
I've never been disgusted watching a Penn State football game as I was in 2004 watching them lose to Iowa by a score of 6-4. The ultimate insult was when Ferentz intentionally took the safety instead of punting late in the fourth quarter. He was giving us the ball only needing a field goal to win, and we were so pathetic we couldn't move the ball. It gave credit to Ferentz's genius status and made Paterno and Penn State look like a bunch of bumbling fools. That was the absolute low water mark of Penn State football.