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Wisconsin, Toledo, and the Fresno State Bulldogs

After Saturday night's offense-only thriller between Fresno State and Toledo, Michigan fans were understandably worried about facing the Rockets in a few weeks in the Big House. In The Glass Bowl, Toledo took a BCS Buster to the wire, before finally falling in two overtimes. This means that the Rockets are legit, right?

Let's take a look at the logic.
Wisconsin is a good team
Fresno State played a good game against Wisconsin (in Fresno)
Toledo played a good game against Fresno State (in Toledo)
Toledo is a good team.

Of course, early in the season, we don't know a whole lot about many teams, and the Badgers, Bulldogs, and Rockets are not exceptions. Is there a chance that out assumptions may be just a little bit off?

Maybe the Badgers really aren't very good. Sure, it's not the most likely case, but there's a possibility. Maybe the Bulldogs aren't very good, either. And for that matter, the Rockets would be at the end of that food chain.

Resumes? Resumes.
Toledo is 1-2, having been blown out by Arizona (a team in the middle of a BCS conference, not unlike what Michigan expects to be this year), paid it forward to Eastern Michigan (you might not recognize that name without its standard prefix: perennially awful), and had the close loss to Fresno State.

Fresno is 2-1, with a 17-point win over Rutgers, which looks less like the Rutgers of the last 3 years than that of the previous 136. Their other win is over Toledo, in a close (to the tune of a missed-2-pointer-in-overtime) road game. The loss comes at home to Wisconsin, in a game that should probably have been less close than the 3-point margin would indicate, given a ridiculously horrid call that went against Wisconsin.

Wisconsin is 3-0, with wins over Akron, Marshall, and Fresno State. Assuming Fresno State is worthy of its ESPN-anointed BCS Buster status, the other two games should be of slightly more relevance. The Badgers let Akron get within 17-10 before saying "o ya were da badgers" and blowing out the Zips. They also let Marshall build up a 14-0 lead before saying "o ya were da badgers" and blowing out the Herd. The slow start didn't happen in Wisconsin's only road game thus far, as they took a 10-0 lead into halftime and Fresno made it a game in the third quarter.

Yahoo's Dr. Saturday nee Matt Hinton of SMQ, even said that Fresno's defense is pretty bad. Wisconsin put up 13 points on said defense. So, unless Arizona is way, way better than expected, maybe none of these teams are that impressive at all. Of course coming off the bye week, the Badgers should be focused and prepared to take on Michigan, but hey, why not try to be a bit of an optimist going into a game that it appears Michigan really doesn't expect to win?

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“Wisconsin, Toledo, and the Fresno State Bulldogs”

  1. Anonymous Santoro Says:

    I wouldnt read too much into the final scores of these games. Fact of the matter is, the better team came out with the win in each, against a very tough road opponent. As a University of Toledo grad I have witnessed the Rockets take many superior teams to task in recent years in the Glass Bowl. Pitt (when they were good), Kansas (a year before they were a BCS team), as well as Marshall a few times (when they were tops in the MAC and a top 25 team), among several others. I am not as familiar with Fresno, but I suspect they are about the same at home hosting a superior team. Wisconsin played a tough (ok, maybe fiesty is a better word) team at home and won, which in my book is a big win.

    I expect Wisc to be a very, very solid team as always, but at the same time IF Michigan's offense can hang on to the ball, and IF the D can play like I have been waiting for them to all season, then I still expect M to come out with a hard-fought win.