As much as I want this to be 1995 or 1996 or 1997 - wow, that was a good run - John Cooper is not walking through that door. And maybe that's not fair, to focus on the ineptitude of the opposition, instead of Michigan's success but it's hard to focus on anything else when we entered "the game" with at least 3 losses and vastly underachieving:
1993 - 6-4 before beating a 9-0-1 Ohio State 28-0
1995 - 8-3 before beating a 11-0 Ohio State 31-23
1996 - 7-3 before beating a 10-0 Ohio state 13-9
These are the most recent upsets our fan base remembers and sadly, that's what we remember, the upsets, because rarely have we been favored in the last 20 years. In fact, we've finished with a better record than the Buckeyes SIX times in that stretch. SIX. And since 1998 we've won FOUR games against Ohio State. Let that sink in...
The "Michigan" people remember fondly is obsolete. Our history rests on the shoulders of a deceased, legendary coach and an aging, surefire NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback.
I am naive however when it comes to what it takes to be successful in college football. But I watched every snap of the Arizona v Oregon game this weekend to see what could have been and there's some genius still out there in college football, even from those we've already deemed inept. So could that genius show up in Ann Arbor Saturday?
Michigan 17 Ohio State 29
I'm tired. I'm like Doc Holliday at the end of Tombstone...that kind of tired. Choking on an unknown disease, reminiscing with Wyatt Earp, remembering better times. But I'm going to show up to the battlefield for my friend, and fight for him...even if I die in the end.
Please boys, not without a fight. Please.
Michigan 28 - Ohio State 38
Feels weird to be talking about the end before we've even begun.
The pundits are predicting that this year's Michigan - Ohio game is just a prelude to a repeat in Indianapolis. This is the last chance for a season rematch before the rich tradition of Legends and Leaders gives way to East and West, putting us in the same division as the Buckeyes. But hey, there's no way to guarantee it won't happen some day in the future...the Big Ten, which made about 2 changes to its makeup in its 100+ year history, is now making about 10 adjustments per season. Between adding teams, naming divisions, creating trophies, and removing Joe Paterno's name from those trophies, the only thing you can count on in the future is that there will be more changes.
Oh well, that doesn't make the last Saturday in November any less important. Our final theme of the season will be Beef, Blazers, and Lasers. Don your favorite unique and/or crested suit jacket. A shirt and tie are not required (though it's not discouraged). Feel free to go with the t-shirt under the blazer look a-la Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Not sure what to tell the ladies to do...lady-blazer? formal wear? You decide. It will be nice to be all dressed up for the 2013 Godfather Tailgating Awards.
There will also be beef. Brisket hash in the early morning and filet mignon in the late morning. Also, lasers. All day lasers. We will bask in the technology of focused light while we chew on cow in our sport coats. This is Michigan.