Eric Thomas: Wolverines Made A Rival By Running Their Mouth

Wolverine fans need to start preparing themselves for NCAA tournament disaster. The selection committee, in an effort to remain hilarious, has placed UM with against a team caught in the collateral damage of the Michigan / OSU rivalry. In the first round of the tourney, Michigan will be facing Ohio.

The fact that I have to clarify who ‘Ohio’ is explains the depth of the dilemma that the Wolverines find them in. The Bobcats are not exactly a proud athletic tradition but they have busted into the tourney a couple of times. They boast a less than stellar 5-13 historical record within the brackets and a majority of visits are of the “One and done” variety.

The trouble with this game? Now pride is on the line. Selection Sunday gave the Bobcats their chance to slap back after being slapped around for over a year. Brady Hoke started referring to the Buckeyes as “Ohio” dropping the “State” from their name. No one was entirely sure why he was doing this but questions of his sanity where erased when his team beat the actual Buckeyes. Reporters asked the coach if he knew about an actual school whose name was Ohio and he brushed it off.

John Beilein grabbed that torch and ran with it, referring to OSU as “Ohio” all season. This is of course an insult. Basically demeaning a school by calling them the name of another school. So it’s doubly insulting to the Bobcats. They are certainly no fans of the Buckeyes, their instate rival.

Here is what Beilein should be worried about: They can smack back. Taking a look at the Bobcats 5 tournament wins is revealing. Sure there are plenty of “one and done” situations, but they have also managed a couple of first round upsets. In 1960 they sent Notre Dame packing in the first round. In 1983 they were seeded at #11 and sent Illinois State back home. The recent game was of course the most famous. The Greg Monroe led Hoyas looked like they had the juice to go the distance. But the #3 Hoyas fell to the Bobcats in the very first round of the tourney.

Could OU beat Michigan? In the course of researching this blog, I say yes. The Bobcats boast an aggressive defense that shuts down the 3 point game and they force turnovers on 26% of their opponents’ possessions. They are led by a tandem of veteran guards, one of them a transfer from the Buckeyes. One of the knocks against them is their lack of height (not a problem against UM) but they led the MAC in offensive rebounds.

A lot of the metrics spell disaster for Trey Burke and the gang but chief among them is this: You are facing an opponent that you slandered for a year. They may spend the week trying to calm this down but you have made a rivalry game where there needed to be none. This is my problem with the Wolverine fans these days. They lead the nation in chirping. For some reason UM is not settling into the underdog role very well.

I did not go to either school so I seriously don’t care, but it has become exceedingly easy to hate the talkative part of the Michigan fan base. I root for the underdog in most situations but not in this. Underdogs are not supposed to be chesty. Underdogs say nothing and settle it in the heat of battle. They don’t run their mouths endlessly then get chain sawed in the game. The Wolverine fan base reminds me of Leon Lett, performing the Russian kick dance at the 20 yard line before securing the ball in the end zone. Now you have to face somebody you have been running your mouth about. You have been standing next to your mother behind a screen door hollering away and now it’s time to settle this at the bus stop.

Maybe, just maybe, the first round game against the Bobcats is where the Wolverines will finally learn the consequences of constant mouth running. Ah, hope.

  • Todd Shreve

    You obviously have a beef with the greatest university in the nation. Just tune in and enjoy MICHIGAN delivering a beatdown on OHIO. The reason Hoke refers to them as OHIO is because that is what their marching band spells on the field at half time, OHIO, not ohio state.

    • Matt

      bahahahahahahahahahahahahaha Wrong. Ivy Rejects and Walmart Wolverines wait until next year!

    • Bob Briske

      Michigan will beat down Ohio…..not sure what the idiot that wrote that article was saying U of M is the underdog….please….Ohio State does not refer to U of M…it!s that school up north…so is that better?

  • _

    The 1st person to leave a comment proves the point of this article. The self-absorbance of the “Walmart Wolverine Nation” is unbelievable. This is exactly why the vast majority of people outside the Michigan fan base is turned off with the Michigan arrogance at best, and most just flat out despise Michigan fans. As much as you want to believe it has something to do with on the field play, it is not because of anything other than the fact that most people do not like arrogant people; especially those that pass out rude comments to others in order to compensate for their shortcomings in life. If you need more proof, please link below. It’s too bad, because the majority of U of M Alum are very nice people, and they are the ones that get a bad rap. I feel bad for you.

  • Rogerthat

    This is what they get. They looked absolutely horrible at the B10 Tourney like a JV high school team.A few UoM people are good folks most their fans are morons. Its great that they get to play their rival “Ohio” in their favorite color “Green” ! LOL! You have to love karma and that law of attraction.

  • NehemiYah Yisrael

    You are OBVIOUSLY a Michigan hater, and how self-absorbed and arrogant are you to try and speak for the world outside of Michigan fans. I’ve never seen an article by a “professional” journalist the rooted so hard against a particular team. Bottom line to it all…Michigan will still be Michigan and you will still be a no name “journalist’

  • NehemiYah Yisrael

    Further more, how cowardly to hide your shortcomings and insecurities inside of a “hate” article. “I hope Michigan looses.” Really? Nothing rude about a Michigan “journalist” ROOTING for a team to loose (not even rooting FOR Ohio). SARCASM. You got problems bro.

  • BeatbyOhio

    Nice call…..

    • _

      Boy, spot on. Michigan runs their mouths by disrespecting Ohio University, then gets punched in the same mouth. Oh the irony.

  • mike

    lol i love how you guys think this matters at all to anyone but the players…. the players DIDNT say a damn t hing and you all act like they got what they desrerved….. grow up..

    • _

      The vast majority of the time it comes from fans…..please see video above. Repeat as necessary. His point is that is why people do not like Michigan. Shocking that the concept is so difficult to understand.

    • bill

      The players may not have said much, but the coaches absolutely did.

  • Rogerthat

    These people are in denial. These Mich fans are talking about what they “used to be “. they have a ways to go. No real talent outside Burke and Hardaway.They better keep that trap closed about “Ohio “and worry about themselves now.

  • Sean Bore Lesion

    Eric Thomas, Sara, Bill and Scott have no business being on a supposed all sports radio station. All they know how to do is giggle, do poor impersonations and bore the hell out of the listening audience.

  • JB

    Eric Thomas pegged it brilliantly, and the karma finally caught up to the trash talking yokel that is John Beilein. Michigan fans/coaches should just keep their mouths closed until their team wins something besides women’s volleyball.

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