By: Eric Thomas
I’m not a Michigan fan, but if I were I would want Brady Hoke to answer some questions. The Michigan / OSU game had larger implications this year and poor decision making cost the team. The play calling in the second half was inexcusable and the personnel decisions were atrocious.
Michigan fans, whom I’ve talked to, shrug their shoulders. Ohio State is good, they say, and we played them close for most of the afternoon. If Michigan fans still want to talk like you have any relevance as a football program, you actually have to beat someone. You spent all year saying that the MSU win “doesn’t matter,” but when the year is over you point at it as your most significant win.
You aren’t in the same division as Ohio State, thank God, so you might make it to the B1G Championship game. But good luck getting beyond that. You can chirp about tradition and recruiting all you want, but Urban Meyer is 1-0 on you. All those Michigan fans that called me last year, telling me that Urban was nobody seem strangely silent now. Urban just went undefeated in his first year with a team on probation. Do you really think he’s going to get worse?
If Michigan fans want to talk like they are fans of an elite program, you need to have a big win. In the words of noted sports luminary Rick Flair, “If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.” and sorry Michigan fans, you haven’t beaten anybody. Your accomplishments are all far in the rear view. When was your last B1G title? The last people to even sniff national respectability were run out of town long ago.
Michigan took heart that the Ohio State fans charged the field when the Bucks won. There were fans that actually said out loud that the act is proof that “it still means something to beat us.” Pathetic. If you are going to talk like that, you need to stop chirping like you matter. Stop saying that you’re back because you’re not. You haven’t done anything to earn respect so don’t act like you deserve respect.
UM could have beat OSU, were it not for terrible decisions. UM had a lead going into halftime, because the combination of Devin Gardner and Denard Robinson, both on the field, was working. Denard found his natural position of running back. It worked. In the second half, they went away from it. Why? On 4th down Denard ran the ball up the gut, directly into the arms OSU linebackers. Did Al Borges and Brady Hoke suddenly believe that Denard was the 2012 version of Tshimanga Biakabutuka?
It made no sense, and Hoke’s decision making should be loudly questioned. There didn’t seem to be a sense of urgency from the Wolverines. They didn’t play with all hands on deck. The only time Denard Robinson was in the game, it was a telegraphed direct snap and run up the gut. That was a winnable game, and they let it slip away. If Urban Meyer’s Bucks keep getting better, that might have been the only chance you had to win against them. If you think the Jim Tressel years were awful, buckle up. I have absolutely no confidence that Hoke and his staff can win the big games, because they haven’t.
Sorry, but I don’t think the Wolverines are automatically better next year. Devin Gardener was a bright spot late in the year, but they don’t have a rushing attack. The receiver cupboard is bare. Don’t bother telling me how great their recruits are, because I don’t believe it until they’re on the field.
Until you are in Ohio State’s class, I don’t want to hear about it. Michigan and Michigan State both are in the same barrel now, on the outside looking in. College football in this state is an embarrassment. You talk like you’re an elite program but you are just among the other teams that didn’t make it to the B1G title game.
If Michigan fans want to claim elite, they must beat elite teams. Ohio State just went undefeated in Urban Meyer’s first year. Ohio State has beaten you 9 out of the last 10 games. Mike Hart had a way of describing that didn’t he? How did that go again?