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This is why you don’t root for Ohio State

November 22, 2015

Heading into this past Saturday of college football, most Michigan fans were aware that the possibility of something very exciting was on the horizon.  By 3:30, it looked even better as Michigan had accomplished what it set out to do by beating Penn State.  All that was required was for Ohio State to dispatch of a good, but not great, Michigan State team at home and The Game was going to have some real juice for the first time since 2007.  When it was announced that All-American Connor Cook would not be able to play for Michigan State, most fans from all three schools (Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State) thought the game was in the bag for the Buckeyes.  But somebody forgot to tell the Michigan State football team, and nobody remembered to tell Urban Meyer and Ohio State they still had to actually play the game.  Because Ohio State inexplicably lost to Michigan State, robbing both Michigan and Ohio State fans of a weeks worth of hype and excitement that frankly I think both schools have been yearning for.

Thanks to Ohio State’s ineptitude, I won’t get to spend the week reading articles about the parallels between this year and 1969, when a certain first year Michigan coach headed into the Ohio State game with a 9-2 record including a loss to MSU, to face off against the defending National Champion and unbeaten Ohio State Buckeyes.  I won’t get to spend the week hearing pundits discuss how great it is that The Game finally meant something again as this year the winner would head to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Title game and a possible shot at the College Football Playoffs.   While I’ll still get to read about the first meeting between Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh, the stakes won’t be as high, and most of the articles will now center on why Urban’s players are publicly throwing him and his staff under the bus.  And I won’t get to spend the week looking forward to knowing that come 3:30 on Saturday there is a possibility that Michigan would be headed to Indianapolis for a de facto playoff game, with a victory there giving Michigan a very good shot at making the College Football Playoff in Coach Harbaugh’s first year.   In short, thanks to Ohio State’s epic choke job, The Game became about 1/10th as exciting as it could’ve been.  And worse, they may have paved the way for MSU to not only play for the Big Ten Title, but make the playoffs too.

This is what you get for rooting for your arch-nemesis.

As for Michigan, though I didn’t post it on this blog, I privately thought we’d find a way to win 9 games this year.  So I’m going to take some credit for that.  However, I never thought we’d do it in the midst of competing for a Big Ten Title.  If Michigan wins on Saturday and MSU beats Penn State, Michigan is still looking at a 10-2 record with a win over Ohio State and a dropped punt from being in the Big Ten Title game. We’d be at worst playing in a New Year’s Bowl, and if a few things fall our way, possibly the Rose Bowl or another of the Big Six bowls.   Coming off of 5-7, that’s a heck of a turnaround.

That being said, let’s beat the Bucks and hope MSU can choke just the way Ohio State did.  While I expect future seasons to be filled with high stakes late November games, nothing is for certain.  So if we can get a little help from PSU and sneak our way to Indianapolis, I won’t feel bad for one second.

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