Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Michigan gameday #13: vs. Florida State

After a few weeks off it's finally bowl time!  Tonight #6 Michigan faces off against a Florida State squad that finished the regular season at #11 thanks to a 9-3 record.  The Wolverines will be making just their third Orange Bowl appearance, having lost to Oklahoma in 1976 and then defeating Alabama in a 35-34 OT thriller in 2000 (thanks to big games by David Terrell and some guy named Brady).

Coming off a rough final three games--a one-point loss at Iowa, ugly win vs. Indiana, and then the OSU loss--Michigan still has plenty to play for, including a second consecutive 11-2 season under Jim Harbaugh, who brought the team back to its first bowl game since 2013 and first postseason win since 2012.  This will also be the final game for a number of seniors and likely a few underclassmen as well; Jabrill, it's been an honor!  Look for these kids to play for pride and maybe a bit of draft positioning as well.

With a few weeks to get everyone healthy and allow the coaches to gameplan for one team with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, I expect to see the Wolverines at their best against another top-15 opponent, and my prediction is a close win for the Maize and Blue, though I'm certainly not discounting the talent on the other sideline, especially beat of a RB Dalvin Cook.  I just happen to think that Harbaugh, his coordinators, and their players will be fired up as they look to build off of last year's bowl win, a major beatdown of Florida.

It may not be a playoff game, and it may not be on January 1 (because reasons), but it's Michigan Football and I'm excited to watch these guys play one more game this season, win or lose.

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