As was the case last season, various blogs are "hosting" roundtables in which a multitude of us answer the same set of questions. This week's host is Iowa blog Black Heart Gold Pants, which is a worthwhile read anyway, but be sure to check there for a recap.
1. Week 1's in the books. What surprised you about your team? Are you optimistic? Disappointed? (NOTE: Purdue does not apply here, so these fans must talk about Wake Forest instead)
I’m ever so slightly on the pessimistic side because I saw some problems that plagued last year’s team: failure to finish off an inferior opponent, Marcus Thigpen’s ineffectiveness running between the tackles, big passing yardage allowed to a less talented team, and so on. Still, it was an opener and IU was never seriously threatened after taking a 17-0 lead. I’m not terribly pessimistic, but I don’t know anything about IU other than what I knew last week. A 50-0 win would have been nice. A loss or close game would have been a disaster. 31-13? Eh.
2. Beanie Wells' foot is definitely the top story in the conference. What's #2?
I think that Michigan’s loss to Utah probably ranks as story #2, given how rare it is for Michigan to lose a home game to an opponent of that stature, or at least how rare it used to be. Also, Juice Williams passed for 450 yards. I didn’t think he could do that even in practice.
3. Admit it: you loathe DickFraudROFL (né Rich Rodriguez), but when Michigan scored that last touchdown, you were rooting for them to make the 2-pt. conversion.
I will admit neither. I have no problem with Rodriguez, a successful and innovative coach who seems like a decent guy. I was never a big fan of the Cult of Schembechler, so the clean break from that coaching legacy actually makes Michigan less annoying.
I wasn’t watching the game Saturday, but if I had been, I would have been rooting for Utah. In the abstract, I want the Big Ten to do well in non-conference games and bowl games, but I don’t take that to the extreme of actively rooting for teams that I don’t like or rooting against interesting upsets. Life is too short to root for Michigan over Utah.
4. Is this weekend's slate of games actually less interesting than last week's?
I’m not sure if you mean the national slate or the Big Ten slate, but the answer to both is "yes." The first Saturday of the season is always fun, even if there aren’t loads of competitive games, but last week’s slate included some quality matchups. This week, no ranked team plays another ranked team. As for the Big Ten, the only two matchups between BCS conference opponents are Penn State-Oregon State and Duke-Northwestern, neither of which will be confused with USC-Ohio State. Minnesota-Bowling Green probably is the most interesting matchup, and that’s pretty damning.
5. Don't you hate pants?