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Wisconsin football vs. Michigan: 12 degrees of separation

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We take a tour through the MAC, ACC, SEC and more to connect Wisconsin and Michigan

NCAA Football: Army at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s Michigan week, and I don’t know what to make of it. Wisconsin has looked great against bad teams, and Michigan has looked okay against slightly better competition.

The sample size is honestly way too small, and this probably is the earliest Wisconsin has played Michigan since the Big Ten added Penn State, if not ever.

It’s also hard since Wisconsin and Michigan haven’t played any common opponents. Their common opponents haven’t played common opponents.

Their common opponents’ common opponents haven’t played common opponents.

Their common... well, you get the idea.

If you go deep enough into the rabbit hole, you can get from Wisconsin to Michigan this season through daisy-chaining 12 games together.

It’s possible there is a shorter route connecting these teams, but I could not find it. Let me know if I missed a more efficient connection.

Without further ado, here are the 12 games that separate Wisconsin and Michigan in 2019.

Wisconsin beat CMU 61-0

A logical first step, and one you’re probably familiar with. Wisconsin dominated Central Michigan at home on September 17. Jack Coan threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns while Heisman hopeful Jonathan Taylor scored four more touchdowns.

CMU beat Akron 45-24

Central Michigan is 2-1 on the season after taking care of Akron (0-3)! Listen, CMU is bad, but not incompetent. Way to handle the Zips, Chips! What is it with MAC team nicknames?

Anyways, CMU racked up 533 yards on only 66 plays for a solid 8.07 yards per play.

Imagine if Wisconsin played Akron.

::shudders::

Akron lost to Illinois 42-3

So, Akron turns out to be pretty bad, and that’s an understatement. I think the B5Q staff could score more than 3 points on Lovie Smith’s defense. I seriously feel bad for Akron.

In my formative years as a Badger fan, I went to a Wisconsin football game against Akron. Seated behind me was a gentleman who was both drunk and sounded exactly like Dick Vitale. I can still hear him holler, “GIVE ME A HUG, ZIPPY!”

Pepperdine v Saint Mary’s Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Short story shorter, this game was awful, as is Akron, and the Zips make me think of Dick Vitale.

Illinois lost to Eastern Michigan 34-31

Drew Hamm’s The B1G Roast took care of Illinois, and I don’t want to kick a dog while it is down. I will say that it’s always a plus when I’m entertained by an Illinois football game, so props to Lovie Smith for coming through for me!

Eastern Michigan lost to Kentucky 38-17

In this game, Kentucky lost its starting QB Terry Wilson. Wilson is a dual-threat QB who had a solid 2018 campaign when he threw for over 1700 yards and ran for another 500+.

Kentucky lost to Florida 29-21

Sans Wilson, Kentucky couldn’t hang with the Florida Gators. However, Kentucky was in position to win this game with a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter and the Gators also lost their starting QB, Feleipe Franks, to injury during the game.

Just like 2017, the Gators roared back to beat Kentucky with a furious fourth-quarter comeback that erased a double-digit lead.

Florida beat Miami 24-20

This “Week Zero” opener was absolutely wild. There were turnovers, penalties, and all the twists and turns you’d expect from a game played well before the season should start.

Miami lost to North Carolina by 3

Ever wonder why you stopped seeing Mack Brown as an analyst on TV? Well that’s because he is coaching UNC!

Not only is he coaching UNC, but he also beat Miami to start the season 2-0.

North Carolina lost to Wake Forest 24-18

Well, Mack Brown is back on a losing streak after Wake Forest beat the Tarheels. I just realized that I don’t think I have ever watched Wake Forest play a football game. I’ve seen every other team in this post play a game except for the...

::looks up nickname for Wake Forest::

NCAA Football: Wake Forest at Florida State
I want UW to play Wake Forest so Ryan can do a “Your Mascot Sucks” for Demon Deacon
Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

... Deacons? Sorry, this one isn’t going on my bucket list.

Wake Forest beat Rice 41-21

It turns out Wake Forest (3-0) is having itself a nice little season! The Deacons are riding a five-game winning streak if you go back to the 2018 season.

Rice lost to Army 14-7

Alright folks, I don’t have anything to say about this game other than Army is not a world-beater.

Army lost to Michigan 24-21

AND HERE WE ARE! Thank goodness.

Without this game, your humble narrator would be “concerned” instead of “cautiously optimistic” about Saturday’s Wisconsin / Michigan rumble at Camp Randall. I think this game caused a lot of fear

Listen, Shea Patterson did not play well against Army and may or may not have been impacted by a lingering oblique injury. He put the ball on the turf a few too many times, and the Michigan offense as a whole has been mediocre for six of the eight quarters it played.

Michigan’s defense, however, is for real. It’s probably a top-10 squad. Overall, the Wolverines are very talented and are yet to click. Its weaknesses have been exposed a little bit, but it is unclear if those weaknesses will be addressed over the bye week.

What does this mean?

Well, not a whole heck of a lot, but that’s going to be true when one team has under-performed and the other is under-tested.

But if we add everything up and divide it by 12, we get + 1.3 in favor of UW which is amazingly close to the 3.5 points Wisconsin is favored by.