Michigan and Cincinnati, So Close But Yet So Far; That Gap is Still Miles Wide

Lou Gamelin

What team was going to show up last night?  The Georgia team that got trucked by Alabama?  That’s what I was hoping for as a Michigan fan.  The team that left with its tails between its Bulldog legs.  Or would it be the team that was ranked number one for most of the 2021 college football season.  Well, I think midway through the first quarter we got our answer.

That game last night brought back memories of watching the Detroit Pistons back in the mid 1980s.  They were taking baby steps to becoming an NBA power by getting into the playoffs but were so far behind the big boys in Boston and LA.  They would get to the conference finals, but you could tell they were battle tested.  They weren’t ready mentally, physically and talent wise.  This is what I saw last night.

Michigan had a great season.  Take nothing away from that.  They were 12-1.  Unranked at the beginning of the season. They got over the hurdle of beating Ohio State.   Yes they stubbed their toes against Michigan State, but regrouped and steamrolled through the rest of the B1G Ten season and captured the conference championship and garnered that playoff berth.  But they are still miles away from one of the top teams in the country.  There are only two top teams right now….Georgia and Alabama.

We talked on my weekly radio show how it was going to come down to line play.  Michigan didn’t know what hit them.  What  impressed me and stood out to me was the team speed on Georgia.  I thought Michigan was quick, and they are.  But it was another level and dimension with Georgia.  They left the whole team with that deer in the headlights look from the word go.   The Wolverine offensive line has not seen that type of domination, and it showed.  It was the perfect storm for Kirby Smart.   they executed the perfect game plan.  Start out quick and force Michigan out of their strength, their running game.  Though I don’t think it would have mattered.  The holes weren’t there for Corum and Haskins to run.

Georgia came out pissed off.  they came out like scalded Bulldogs.  The were on a mission.  They wanted to make a statement quick.  Message received from us Michigan fans up north and throughout the world.  They are out for revenge.  They want Alabama, and they want them bad.  And nothing, even the so called vaunted Michigan defense was going to stand in their way.  Stetson Bennett IV looked like Joe Montana last night.  That  Bulldog defense looked like the Steel Curtain.

In the opening game, Alabama took control from the get go and didn’t look back as well.  IT cracks me up how everyone is saying Alabama isn’t that great, “only winning 27-6”.

Cincinnati came in with a full head of steam.  More than the little engine that could head of steam.  They deserved to be there.  13-0 Conferenced champs.  the pummeling of supposed power Notre Dame.    They had something to prove.  They carried the banner of the Group of 5.  They had a potent offense that could score in bunches.  But someone forgot to tell the Crimson Tide defense.  They didn’t get the message.  They had all the answers.

I loved the game plan of Nick Saban.  That running attack was so damn impressive.  Brian Robinson, if he wasn’t a household name, became one last night.  204 yards on the ground.  Wow.  Bryce Young, 3 touchdowns.  They were so methodical.  It was so impressive.  They are so far superior in talent at the line of scrimmage.   It showed again last night.   They had that laser focus that so many Saban led teams have had, it’s hard to bet against them.

I hear from so many so called experts, including some of our personalities here at our network that the CFB season is weak.  No one is dominant.  What games are you watching?    Cincinnati and Michigan have NFL caliber players that played in those games last night.  Alabama and Georgia just have more.

Jim Harbaugh and Michigan remind me again, of Chuck Daly and the 1985 Detroit Pistons.  They were good, but up against two franchises that were in a class by themselves.  Michigan took the first step.  They got a taste of what it’s like to play with the big boys in the national spotlight.  As did Luke Fickel and Cincinnati.  Now the big question, is do they have what it takes to stay there.  Can they parlay the momentum.  Michigan will have a much tougher road for sure.   Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin are legit road blocks.  Cincinnati will have a much easier road, but now they step up to the Power 5 with a move to the Big 12.

The SEC, though with Alabama and Georgia, still may not be the best conference from top to bottom.  Their bowl game record this year is abysmal.  But that gets overshadowed by the big boys.   That conference is so incredibly top heavy.   But riding the coattails of the big boys will overshadow that.

I look forward to watching the National Championship game!  I love watching great football.  This is two heavyweights.  Alabama and Georgia.  So many great storylines.   They are head and shoulders above everyone else.   We didn’t need an expanded playoff to show us this.  Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State,  Ohio State, Michigan State.   None of those teams are even close as well.

Thanks for Playing, Michigan and Cincinnati.    Your parting gifts await you as you leave the studio.

Lou Gamelin

The Captain Lou Extravaganza

Tuesday nights 8-10pm ET

[email protected]

photo credit:  alex-mertz-YUCnpQ9WoKw-unsplash.jpg

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