Here we are at the Big House

Ann Arbor, Mich. -- Here we are in the Big House and it is that big. I'm sitting in a pressbox where many great writers described the action of plenty of memorable games. For Michigan this is not a contest that has been circled on the calender. Michigan is the old money of college football and today the new money from the West Coast is here to add a new chapter to Oregon football.

All week long I've seen little from the Michigan media that would indicate the Wolverines take the Ducks all that seriously. Anyone around the Detroit-Ann Arbor area is still reeling at the loss to Appalachian State last week. The Ducks' 21-point win over Houston hasn't even caused a ripple -- save a story today in the Detroit Free Press about Dennis Dixon, another fast quarterback that is coming to town today.

That's about it though. When I drove around Ann Arbor last night I saw banners talking about the upcoming Michigan-Notre Dame game. The national media has talked about Michigan needing to dispose the Ducks as the first step back to redeeming some lost pride after the loss to a 1AA program.

No one seems to think that the Ducks have much of a chance. Maybe it was the loss to BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. I doubt it though, after all how many folks in the Eastern Time Zone tuned in for the Las Vegas Bowl? I'm not knocking the Las Vegas Bowl, in fact I think Las Vegas is a great place to have a football game. Plenty of rooms, plenty of restaurants, an airport that can handle a large crowd -- everything that's needed for a big time bowl game, except a big time stadium. And they definitely have that here in Ann Arbor.

Maybe this would have been a big deal to the locals if the Ducks hadn't tanked the last four games of the 2006 season. I doubt that too because no matter how good Joey Harrington was or how close Brady Leaf was to completing a pass in the Holiday Bowl, in order to show up on the radar screen of anybody east of the Rocky Mountains something more needs to happen.

A big win today could be that something.

So, in some ways the Ducks have a free pass. If they win today, it is another nail in the coffin of Michigan's Lloyd Carr (there seems to be a lot of hammering going on right now anyway). If the Ducks lose, nobody notices, except Duck fans.

So regardless of the outcome, I think I'll just sit back and enjoy the experience. Who knows when I'll ever get a chance to come back here again.

Offensive lineman Josh Tschirgi will not start today. He will be suited up and it is a game time decision on the amount of time he sees on the field.
Cole Linehan will start alongside of David Faaeteete today at defensive tackle.

Ducks will be in the all white uniform, with white socks, shoes and a green helmet.

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