BY SCOTT BELL AND JACK HERMAN
This edition of The Game wasn't supposed to have the hype.
But even with lackluster performances from both Michigan and Ohio State last weekend, there's still quite a buzz around Saturday.
Well, actually, it's more about Michigan coach Lloyd Carr than either of the two teams. Will he retire after the game, let it drag out a few weeks or not retire at all?
There's still a game, though, and here is how the two teams pan out on paper.
BY DANIEL BROMWICH
The Michigan-Ohio State game tomorrow will decide the Big Ten Champion for the 42nd time in the series' history.
Something that has happened 42 times in 104 years shouldn't surprise anyone.
But the way the teams got here has been all but predictable.
Appalachian St. (Sept. 1), L 32-34: Imagine opening the door to your dorm room and someone punching you in the face. That's what happened at the Big House. So much for a National Championship.
Oregon (Sept. 8), L 7-39: Then the person that punched you in the face added insult to injury by stepping on your crotch and spitting in your ear. Then he walks out your front door with your girlfriend and steals your laptop. And your pillow.
Ohio State 37, Michigan 21
"We had not played like we'd hoped to. I think that's obvious," Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said.
Records before game: Michigan (7-0 Big Ten, 9-1 Overall); Ohio State (3-4, 6-4)
BY DANIEL BROMWICH
All right, Wolverine Nation. It's time for me to hit you with some truthbombs.
You've sucked as fans this year.
From chanting "We Want Mallett!" during the first half of the Oregon game to leaving before the end of the same contest to booing Michigan coach Lloyd Carr during the pre-game introductions of the Notre Dame game - it's been flat-out embarrassing.
Your performance against Oregon even led to the following statement:
"I don't really care what fans think," captain Mike Hart said.
BY SCOTT BELL
When the Michigan football team takes the field Saturday afternoon to play its biggest game of the season, it will come exactly one year after the passing of legendary coach Bo Schembechler.
Schembechler, probably the Michigan football team's most recognizable figure, died just a day before Michigan's 42-39 loss to No. 1 Ohio State last season.
That week, Schembechler met with reporters at a press conference previewing The Game. Schembechler talked for nearly a half hour, refusing to sit on a stool a media relations official offered to him.
BY KEVIN WRIGHT
Brandent Englemon is sick of it.
The fifth-year senior has been questioned again and again about Michigan's three-game losing streak to rival Ohio State, and he's had about enough of the talk.
"Any time you have a rivalry and you haven't won in a couple of years, you get tired of hearing, 'Oh, they can't beat O State' or 'They can't win this game,' " Englemon said. "It's getting old."
BY JACK HERMAN
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr never likes to reveal too much about injuries at his Monday press conference. And with the Big Ten Championship on the line against Ohio State this Saturday, he was more tight-lipped than usual yesterday.
Never mind Chad Henne and Mike Hart. Even the status of special teams player Anton Campbell was off limits.
"Saturday," Carr said when asked about Campbell's injury.The same went for Henne and Hart: "We'll have to see on Saturday."
The Michigan Daily football writers break down the weekend's stats that don't show up in the boxscore. The defense-o-meter measures the intensity of the defense, the Carr-o-meter judges Lloyd Carr's demeanor following the game and the hypemeter measures the fans' game performance.
1 out of 4 Crables