Blech. What an unmitigated disaster that game was. Turns out, if you can't run or pass the ball to generate positive yardage - I think we went backwards four series in a row in the second half - and your run D is as solid as a big, white, puffy cloud of meth smoke, you're gonna have a bad time. And oh, did we ever have a bad time.
I figured we'd lose - we don't have a QB or any wide receivers and our defensive backfield was more or less pulled out of an Ebola ward to suit up and play - but to look as inept as we did in every facet of the game was depressing as hell. The season was lost after Maryland beat us, so any hope of true glory died a month ago. So I reset expectations and was just looking forward to watching the team get better, get a look at some of the younger players and hope we could catch a superior team with their pants down.
That mostly worked, though losing to Purdue sucked, as we lost with honor to Sparty, beat Illinois and played the Hawkeyes tough in a Kinnick night game. Plus, watching them dismantle Ohio State on Saturday afternoon made me think we were a bit better than I was giving us credit for. I still expected to lose, but reckoned we could make a game out of it, since the Wolverines hadn't exactly looked like world beaters against Purdue, Indiana and Buttgers.
Yeah, not so much. There's not a lot to say other than this was a wet fart of a performance. The definition of that is open to interpretation, but since I run this shit, we're going with mine: an inexplicable performance where the team gets thoroughly roasted by a superior team or beaten by a far inferior team and there are no positives to be taken away. We got roasted by a superior team and, try as I might yesterday, I was unable to come up with a positive. Wet. Fart.
This was the first wet fart of Fleck's tenure here, in my opinion. Losing to Maryland wasn't great, and neither was Purdue, but both games were close and it's arguable whether we even have more talent than them. The Wet Fart transcends disappointing losses, though, as the outcome must be truly inexplicable. In the Michigan game, it was the insistence on running the same ineffective plays over and over again coupled with one of the worst defensive performances of my lifetime. Didn't see that coming at all.
So, it took Fleck until his ninth game to Wet Fart for the first time. That got me wondering how long it took our past esteemed coaches to produce a Wet Fart. Is nine games good and maybe a source of a sliver of hope? Or do most coaches generally avoid it and we should set up a coaching hot board? We're only going to go back to Mason, because I'm lazy, so let's see what Grandma History tells us.
Games coached before Wet Fart: 0
This was a bit of a surprise to me, since I suspect the booze had purged the neurons responsible for Wet Fart recollection. Mason lost 17-3 to HAWAII in his first game back in 1997. A Hawaii team that was 2 - 10 the year before and went on to finish the year 3 - 9 (including a 63-0 loss to CSU). Very wet. Very farty.
Games coached before Wet Fart: 7
This was a bit tougher, as there were a lot of bad losses in Brew's first season (Jesus, his whole tenure should have a museum of remembrance erected for it). He lost his first game in OT to Bowling Green and got his second loss to FAU in game three, also in OT. Those might have been considered Wet Farts at the time, but both of those teams went on to have relatively successful seasons. Brew's first Wet Fart was against NDSU. Yes, they were very good that season, but they're FCS. Any P5 loss to an FCS team is a Wet Fart by definition.
Games coached before Wet Fart: 1
Remember how close we played USC on the road in Jer's first season? Man, I was hyped. Thought we found our coach and were on for great things that season. Then we lost to New Mexico State at home the following week and those dreams were dug out of my brain with an ice pick. That NMSU team finished 2-10 the year before Wet and went on to finish 4-9 in 2011 Fart.
Games coached before Wet Fart: Infinity
Claeys never really coached a Wet Fart, so we probably should have kept him as I'm sure the predictive value of wet fartiness to program dominance is strong. I am, however, awarding him an honorary fraction of a Wet Fart statistic for the second half of last year's Wisconsin game, since that was incandescently farty.
So, with the exception of Claeys, who never farted, it seems like the Wet Fart game is standard fare for coach's first season. It doesn't really do much to make me feel better about Saturday: historical perspective doesn't really help when you're dealing with a Wet Fart today.