With Michigan?s showdown with Wisconsin looming on Saturday night, The Wolverine Lounge got the opportunity to speak with ESPN analysts Rece Davis and Desmond Howard. These are their biggest takeaways:
Rece Davis on the game?s importance for Michigan:?
?I think it?s gargantuan. I think their entire season hinges on this game. They haven?t won these types of games with Harbaugh being here. And I know they?ve beaten Wisconsin at home, they?ve won a couple of home games. And I know it?s not the rivalry thing. But you lose this game and you may not be mathematically done but you?re done. They have to win this game if they want to take the next step. Now look, they?re not going to shut down the program, they?re not gonna change the coach, I?m not saying any of that. They have to win this game if they?re gonna take the next step. If they are legit and if they are aspiring to be at Ohio State?s level then they win this game. And you can dance around it?I almost said something else?you can dance around it all you want to but if they?re gonna be legit and a contender, then they win this game. If they don?t, then they?re still building.?
Rece Davis on College Gameday picking Michigan-Wisconsin over LSU-Georgia:
“A number of factors I think. I?d be disingenuous if I said if LSU had won, it doesn?t always depend on that. But if you have number 2 vs. number 5 then certainly we would have been in Baton Rouge. But I think that what we try to do on this show is cast a pretty wide net and this game is a bit of playoff eliminator for both even though certainly it?s not a Big Ten eliminator for either since both have losses in the non-conference. But I think there was a feel that you have this game and you might have other opportunities with LSU and Georgia as it we go forward. And we might have other opportunities with Wisconsin and Michigan too. But we sort of looked at it and felt like maybe it was the right place to be this week.”
Desmond Howard and Rece Davis on Michigan?s bad luck in big games:
Davis: “Some of it?s been bad luck. The Michigan State game on the punt play?which I?m sorry I brought up here for you guys?that?s bad luck. The tough call at Ohio State. You win a couple more of those then you feel differently about what the record is and well ok, maybe they haven?t gotten to the playoff and haven?t done this?and maybe if they won the Ohio State game, they would have?but I think it?s been a multitude of factors. Most of it seems to have centered around maybe the offense hasn?t been as explosive as they would have liked. And you?re starting to see some improvement in that area.”
Howard: “It just depends. Some things were flukes. They played, I guess, with Michigan State a couple of years ago with the punt what would be considered one of these types of games. Like you outplayed a team the whole game except the last, I don?t know, what was it, the last 9 or 10 seconds, whatever the case may be. So it?s just different situations, you can?t just say ?this is why they struggled,? put them all in one basket.”