"What is this? It is a prolate spheroid, an elongated sphere-in which the outer leather casing is drawn tightly over a somewhat smaller rubber tubing. Better to have died as a small boy than to fumble this football."
That's (supposedly) a quote from the venerable John Heisman, and it's probably important to note that when he (again, maybe allegedly possibly) said it kids were still dying in infancy from pretty horrible things like rabid weasel attacks and spotted grapefruit flu.
And yet, despite this dire warning from the man who we literally name the most important individual award in college football after, the 2019 Michigan Wolverines continue to spit in the face of a legend by fumbling with gleeful impunity. You'd think that a football program that still gets misty-eyed over wins from before the invention of powered flight would be more respectful of college football history and dogma, but no!
Instead they've fumbled 17 times in six games. By some miracle they've only lost nine of those, which ranks them tied for 126th in the country. Only one team, Colorado State, has lost more fumbles than the Wolverines. They've also played seven games to Michigan's six.
After the first half of their schedule, Michigan is 5-1 and ranked 16th in the country. They allowed a not-as-terrible-as-you-might-think-but-still-pretty-bad Illinois team to hang around and almost pull an upset before pulling away with a couple of late touchdowns and winning 42-25. None of this is really bad on the face of it; just out of line with the kind of expectations that Wolverine fans had for this team coming into the 2019 football season.
But you can instantly tell the difference between the astute, well-groomed individual who has watched Michigan football and acknowledges it for the funeral dirge that it is versus the slack-jawed yokel carrying a bindle who hasn't and thinks "oh, maybe I'll check out their Penn State game next week, I bet that'll be good!"
It won't! On the season, Shea Patterson is completing just a hair over 57% of his passes (and only completed 50% of them against the vaunted Illinois secondary, ranked 76th in the country). Michigan has had an intermittently decent rushing attack (and did well against the vaunted Illinois rushing defense, ranked 107th in the country) but even if Charbonnet is fully healthy and new hotness Hassan Haskins is truly a second option at running back, it still won't matter if a competent offense can make their defense look as silly as Wisconsin did.
If I were a betting man, I'd set the over/under on Michigan turnovers next week in their night game at Happy Valley at "a lot/a lot minus .5." The circumference of a regulation size football is 21 inches, with a length of 11 inches. Just some helpful information.
The Threat Level remains LOW.