As of late November, 2013 has been a disappointing season for the Michigan Wolverine football team. In all likelihood this season will be one that is remembered by fans as a nightmare, one where everything that could go wrong did; a season of missed opportunities and poor performance. With one game remaining in the 2013 season, Michigan football is in shambles; the players are not united and the fans are upset. That could all change on Saturday November 30th when the Wolverines meet the third ranked Buckeyes in the Big House. If Michigan were to defeat the Buckeyes then every bad, disappointing or otherwise forgettable aspect of this season will go away. Should Michigan win this Saturday this season will end in spectacular fashion, 2013 will be a season which the fans remember as one that started off promising, turned into a disappointment but ended on the highest note possible.
Now, here’s where I make my outrageous claim, and an admittedly bias one. As a lifelong Michigan fan I do not like the Ohio State Buckeyes. I have many reasons for this, as do most Michigan fans but that is not the point of this story. I will now make an outrageous claim, one that will seem absurd to many and one which will certainly enrage Ohio State fans. Win or lose, Michigan’s season is a success. Let’s examine my claim; currently there are three top ranked undefeated teams in college football, Alabama and Florida State are ranked #1 and #2 in the country; Ohio State is #3. With one game to go in the regular season Alabama has 1544 voting points, Florida State 1488 and Ohio State 1428. Ohio State is trailing Florida State by a mere 60 points. Strength of schedule is a huge factor in the voting. If Ohio State finishes the season by defeating an un-ranked Wolverine team and a more than likely top-10 Michigan State Spartan team and Alabama and Florida State win out, Ohio State will be the odd man out…..missing the National Championship game.
If Michigan were a top rated team and Ohio State won out that could be the strength of schedule difference that would push Ohio State into the #2 spot and on to compete for the Title. Ohio State has a long way to go to finish this season undefeated but if they do then in a small way the Wolverines have succeeded in keeping the Buckeyes out of the BCS Title game. Good news for the Buckeyes will be that they will play in the Rose Bowl, only they will play on Jan 1st, not Jan 6th.
As a Michigan fan, am I disappointed in this season? Yes. Envious of the success that Ohio State has had? I guess. Could I be angry that the Wolverines have so much talent but haven’t produced on the field? Most likely. Is it possible that Brady Hoke dislikes “Ohio” so much that he would sabotage their national championship chances by purposely underperforming? Absolutely not but for purposes of my sanity I will hold on to that possibly being true. I said near the beginning of this article that I was biased. I would much rather have a good season then to be forced to look at it this way. This Saturdays huge matchup is make or break for the Wolverines. A victory washes away many of the failures this season has presented, a loss would be disappointing but as proven in this article even in defeat there would be a small victory.
Till next season, GO BLUE