Perfect timing! It's Halloween and time to preview the infamous Snake Oil Bowl. Many of you will remember that on signing day this spring, Joe Tiller cracked on Rich Rodriguez for taking one of his verbal commits, Roy Roundtree, by calling Rodriguez a "snake oil salesman."
Fast forward to Halloween 2008, and both coaches would sell a little snake oil for a few more wins. Rodriguez is in his first year at Michigan and his offense is ranked 110th in the nation, averaging fewer than 300 yards a game. Tiller is in his final year at Purdue and his offense is ranked 69th, with fewer than 370 yards a game. Both teams are 2-6 and heading to the weight room this holiday season. I guess the Snake Oil Bowl will have to do.
This game is hard to predict because both teams (for lack of a better term) "stink." Purdue most likely will be playing without its former Heisman-candidate quarterback, Curtis Painter, due to a shoulder separation injury. The closest thing Michigan has to a Heisman candidate is it's punter, Zoltan the Great. (He gets to punt a lot!)
"Rich Rod" has yet to win a road game as Michigan head coach, and this may be the best opportunity with road games at ranked Minnesota and Ohio State still on the schedule.
Tiller wants to beat the "hated" Wolverines in his final year. He never would go public with his true feelings about Michigan, but many believe Joe "wouldn't urinate on a Wolverine if it was on fire." Nobody really knows where his hostile feelings come from, but maybe being born in Toledo, Ohio, so close to Ann Arbor but yet so far, has something to do with it. Or maybe it's Michigan record of 40-12 all-time against Purdue. (It's a tossup, really! Hey, Joe—Go MudHens!)
Either way, this will be a game you most likely will want to miss. Unless you include myself, of course, who bought four tickets a year ago and thought it would be a fun trip. So if you're still up for some football punishment, tune in to the Big Ten Network at noon Eastern and watch these 2-6 teams battle for pride and a third win. One guy will either leave the field with his first road win or his last win against a rival. Times they are a-changin'...
Now, on to the particulars:
- Purdue will be playing its third-string quarterback; Michigan's starting quarterback plays like he is third-string. (Michigan's backup passer plays like he should be a safety on punt coverage).
- Michigan has a good pass rush and defensive line, but terrible safeties, which equals quick "hot routes" that go for touchdowns.
- Sam McGuffie is out for Michigan due to a concussion; Curtis Painter is (most likely) out for Purdue due to a shoulder separation.
- The two offenses are ranked 10th and 11th in the Big Ten.
- Look for a lot of turnovers that don't result in points.
- A field goal will decide this one.
- Both teams are 2-6. Enough said.
- Michigan should win this game, but probably won't.
Thought for the day: Can we "Daylight Savings Time" to next season yet?