Michigan Football: Bowl trip still possible for leery Wolverine fans


Discussing a possible bowl trip has been a sore subject this season among Michigan football fans.

In years past, the Wolverines were beginning to plan trips to California, Florida, Texas or even New Orleans.

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Spending a week with Mickey Mouse and or participating in beachfront pep rallies sure beats the wintry midwest. And that’s even when Michigan loses.

After their 34-10 win over lackluster Indiana, the Wolverines, (4-5, 2-3) head into its final three games needing a pair of wins to become bowl eligible.

Tough going in Columbus

Since Michigan has had difficulties winning in Columbus recently—the Wolverines last won there in 2ooo, it appears that Michigan must win at Northwestern (3-5, 2-3) Saturday (Nov. 8) and at home Nov. 22  vs. Maryland (6-3. 3-2).

As poorly and inconsistently as this Michigan team has played this season, winning the first test at Northwestern is entirely possible.

For one thing, playing in Evanston is like a home game since Michigan fans buy up nearly 50 percent of the tickets.

More importantly, Venric Mark, Northwestern’s best running back, transferred to Div. II West Texas A&M prior to the season and senior quarterback Trevor Siemian has regressed from a fine 2013 season, to numbers  which resemble the ones Devin Gardner is posting this season. Both have thrown for more interceptions than touchdown passes and neither has thrown for an average of 200 yards per game.

Wildcats losers of three straight

Northwestern has now lost three straight and that’s been reflected in this week’s ratings and odds.

Michigan has been installed as an early one-point road favorite by vegasinsider.com.  The Wolverines are ranked No. 69 by cbssports.com and Northwestern is No. 74.

Should Northwestern’s three-game losing streak (Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa)  enter into the picture,  it could swing the game Michigan’s way.

Michigan defeating Maryland might be tougher. The Terps are rated No. 39, boast a 6-3 record (3-2 Big Ten) and have marquee wins over Iowa and Penn State. But the Terrapins gave up 52 points each in losses to Ohio State and Wisconsin. Those two defensive disasters help explain why Maryland is 12th in the Big Ten (431.8) in total defense while Michigan is fifth at (304.9).

Quick Lane, anyone?

The Wolverines will probably be favored over Maryland by the customary three points for home field advantage.

Wins over Northwestern and Maryland would give Michigan a three-game winning streak and plenty of momentum going into Columbus.

Realistically, there will be no upset over the Buckeyes this season, so Michigan should be happy with it’s 6-6 record and an invitation to either the Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dec.26) or the Quick Lane Bowl Dec. 27 in Detroit.

Playing a bowl game in Detroit would be the first time Michigan plays so close to home and the first time “up north.”

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