Finally, mercifully, we’ve reached the end of Michigan Week—and, with it, the end of B1G 2022’s week-by-week, team-by-team previews!
Special thanks to Brian Gillis once again for a fantastic slate of Michigan Wolverines previews: be sure to check them out if you haven’t already!
So, to celebrate, what we could use is a nice little celebration featuring some chicken pretending to be exotic, right? After all, it is a nervous bird (anyone else starting to think Jim Harbaugh shouldn’t be allowed to talk about things related to science?).
If you’d like, head north out of Detroit on I-75, and let’s enjoy a little visit to Frankenmuth for some Bavarian cosplay and fried chicken:
In the old Fischer Hotel–now the Bavarian Inn Restaurant–and Zehnder’s, Frankenmuth restaurateurs began the food tradition that would be joined by Wally Bonner, owner of Christmas Wonderland, and turn Frankenmuth into Little Bavaria.
German comfort foods and Christkindmarkt, what more do you need than that?
1. Frankenmuth, writers. Have you? Would you recommend?
2. Does the Zehnder’s chicken recipe do anything for you?
3. Where do you go in YOUR state to cosplay Germanness–or, if you’d prefer, some other quaint cultural tradition?
misdreavus79: I’m going to do like Sarah Palin and not answer your questions. Instead, I’m going to talk about how yes, Jim Harbaugh should probably not speak about things other than football to a large audience. Or, like, maybe don’t talk about things that are out of your depth. Then again, when you get the point in life that Harbaugh finds himself in, the belief that “not much it out of my depth” comes by default, right? So, while I’d love to “shut up and dribble” Mr. Harbaugh on some of the topics he goes on about, I’ll just accept the reality that he’s going to give us nice little gems like the “nervous bird” bit, and the other less savory ones, and there’s nothing we can do about it except chuckle at the funny ones and shake our heads at the insidious ones.
Dominicans have “bistec,” which, if you pronounce it phonetically, is trying to say “beef steak.” It’s a chunk of cow cooked well, and much thinner than your average American steak. That’s a reverse-cosplay for you!
RU in VA: I have not been to Frankenmuth, but I’ve heard a lot about it. It’s tough - driving through Michigan on 94 or 69 (heh) really makes you think the state only does two things: Dispensaries and sex toy shops. I’ve seen enough Lion’s Den billboards that I GET THE POINT, GUYS. Then you figure out the state has beaches, wineries, German hamlets, a thriving neo-conservative militia scene, you know - the works.
I didn’t even read anything in that recipe past “wash the chicken”. Get a clue, recipe writer.
When I go to the Jersey Shore a few times a year I cosplay as someone who is too good for those dregs of society. Unfortunately, my first stop at a Wawa brings it back. I’m not better than anyone.
WSR: Have not, but would. Maybe I could hit it up this fall, since it’s only an hour from East Lansing.
My family made quite a bit of baked chicken growing up, and I would prefer to not revisit it again thankyouverymuch.
My Germanness credentials? Pitcher of beer in one hand, hammer in the other while sitting around a stump with a box of nails and some other people of questionable character I call family. Hopefully AFTER eating some dumplings and sauerkraut instead of before, because that can get messy.
BoilerUp89: Have not, but would. For celebrating my German heritage I don’t really have to leave the Cincinnati area. For starters, we have America’s largest Oktoberfest. Not to mention the other Oktoberfests put together by the two rival German societies (one group is for German Catholics and the other is for all Germans but either) or the other various German festivals put together by the above societies. I enjoy all.
MNW: I’m with WSR on the “Germanness” credentials, and in general I’m very skeptical of anywhere that makes such an ostentatious display of Germanness into a tourist attraction. It’s not the Midwestern small-town way.
The one exception I’ll make is for Schell’s Oktoberfest in New Ulm, Minnesota. Now, New Ulm does have Hermann the German, of course, but Schell’s is an authentic, family-owned German brewery that’s survived the Sioux Uprising of 1862, the Great Depression, and the bigness of corporate brewing. Good beer (pursuant to conversations elsewhere, they make a nice cream ale now but are at their best when it’s the Firebrick Red or Oktoberfest, though please bring back Chimney Sweep thanks), really fun atmosphere that is lower-key and still really authentic.
I don’t need to have more weirdly-prepared nervous bird dishes, thanks. I’m full–couldn’t eat another bite.
The Football: CFP or Bust?
We (correctly) identified Iowa as the most consistently chickenshit Big Ten football program last week, but…I mean, enter Michigan:
That’s about as pathetic as it gets.
- Not leaving the state until October is an insta-red flag
- All three of the Wolverines’ non-conference opponents…
1. Are G5 teams that had a losing record in 2021
2. Have new head coaches
Add to this that MIchigan gets to be the team with this year’s honor of unmasking 3-0 Maryland as a fraud (shame it’s not Penn State again), and…well, 4-0 rolling into the Big Ten Championship Rematch with the Chicken Hawks would be a shock on par with a certain 15-year anniversary we’ll be celebrating on September 1.
From there, things certainly do break the Wolverines’ way: getting their two non-OSU rivals at home, crossovers in November with the non-Northwestern dregs of the Big Ten West, all setting up for a B1G and N00D Game with the ol’ Buckeyes on November. So, writers:
1. Should this schedule mean that national pundits are talking about 2022 Michigan like they talked about 2015 Iowa?
2. How DO the Wolverines finish in 2022? Is it College Football Playoff or bust?
RU in VA: Circles November 5th.
misdreavus79: We’ll get to the records in a bit. But before, let me present a scenario for you:
- 2013: Michigan State wins the conference, goes on to win the Rose Bowl against Stanford. They follow it up by going 11-2 the next season, winning another NY6 game in that epic Cotton Bowl game.
- 2014: Ohio State wins the conference, makes it to the playoff, and wins the national championship. They follow up by going 12-1 and beating the snot out of Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Most people thought that was a disappointing year in Columbus.
- 2016: Penn State wins the conference, narrowly loses to USC in the Rose Bowl. They follow it up by going 11-2 the next season, also winning the Fiesta Bowl, this time Washington is the Big Ten’s opponent.
- 2021: Michigan wins the conference, beats Ohio State for the first time since 2011, and makes the playoff. Like the other three in the Big Four™, they’re about to win no fewer than 11 games in 2022, right? Right?!
The other three “proved” that their title seasons weren’t an anomaly by following it up with consistent performance immediately after. How will Michigan follow it up this season?
- Will Win: UConn, Hawaii, Colorado State, Illinois, Indiana
- Might Win: Rutgers, Nebraska, Maryland
- Might Lose: Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa
- Will Lose: Ohio State
On the surface, it looks like Michigan is set up for success this season, joining Michigan State, Penn State, and Ohio State in the “our conference title(s) is not the exception” group. They get Penn State and Michigan State at home, play absolutely no one out of conference, and get Wisconsin off the schedule for Nebraska.
Problem is, of course, Nebraska might actually be good this year, they still have to go to Iowa, they seem to have traded the “blow the opponent out at home” trend with Penn State for “lose at home” instead, and Ohio State is probably coming out for blood.
And, of course, that’s before you considered they lost plenty of talent on defense and both their coordinators. As nicely as the schedule sets up, I just don’t see an 11-win season for Michigan. 8-4
WSR: The schedule screams “CLOWNFRAUD TRASCH” but Michigan actually has some talent. It’s actually kinda tough to figure out how much respect we should give this team that’s going to go 10-2 or 9-3 with losses to tOSU, a barely bowl eligible MSU, and maybe PSU.
They’re really good, and there’s no reason to be ashamed of that. The most interesting part of their November is guessing who’s going to be Nebraska’s interim coach and if they cause any problems for the Wolverines.
BoilerUp89: 11-1 with a blowout loss to OSU and very narrow home wins against MSU & PSU putting them 2nd in the division. I don’t think they are as good as most 11-1 teams but the schedule sets us really nice for the Wolverines.
MNW: Tough to get to the 8-4 that misdreavus has gone with, but I respect the hell outta the effort.
To me, though, he’s got the four games correct – the Wolverines could lose any of those four, but I’ll split the difference and say it’s 10-2 (7-2): Ohio State and…uh…
In the Big Ten in 2022, Michigan goes...
This poll is closed
4-5 or worse
That’s it for the weeklong previews of B1G 2022! Thanks to all of you for tuning in. We start a few of our other regular-season previews next week! Stay tuned for...
- Beyond the Empire: Our conference-by-conference look at the Big Ten’s non-conference schedule, realignment, and more! (First up: UConn Blog!)
- Closing Arguments: FINAL, OFFICIAL, LEGALLY-BINDING team-by-team record predictions for every Big Ten squad! (First up: Illinois on Monday!)
Thanks as always for reading OTE.