Sunday, November 18, 2012


Captains courageous (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Don't say it.  Don't even say it.  You don't know, you will never know, and you will never have any way of knowing.  It was against Iowa, on Senior Day, designed in part to ruin Urban Meyer's Thanksgiving.  Stop telling yourself if only.  Stop it.  Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy.  Unless Denard had agreed to it, it wasn't going to happen.  So stop it.

That said, be happy with what you saw, even if it was against 2012 Iowa.  Be happy that the future looks like a rising and not a setting sun.  Be happy that Denard got to ride out of Michigan Stadium, not necessarily on the horse he was expecting to ride out on, but still got to ride out on his own terms.  Be happy that Al Borges not only has plays drawn up for every situation, but he isn't afraid to put things on film and let Ohio stew over them for a week, even without tipping everything in his hand.  Be happy that even though Fitz went down in one of the most gruesome injuries I have seen in Michigan Stadium history, Michigan has capable backups in both Thomas Rawls and...oh yeah, Denard Robinson.  In a week prior to Thanksgiving, we much much to be thankful for again once more as Michigan fans.

There are many notions that Senior Day gives you, and I spent a lot of time speaking toward the ephemeral nature of college football players just two weeks ago, so I won't recap that.  But I also was struck today by the idea that college football is so much about "What if?"  What if this, what if that?  We can talk ourselves into almost any scenario, almost any reality, ignoring the pieces of the puzzle that don't fit our hypothetical narrative, and convincing ourselves that it was just one or two moments away from being perfect.  What didn't Devin get the QB snaps in Lincoln?  What if Devin had been playing QB that night in South Bend?  What if David Brandon were not so committed to "wow" experiences and selling our souls to Saban?  (Also note, you have many fewer of these than our friends in East Lansing this year.)  But while "what if" is comfort, what is is that which must be dealt with.  Truth be told, the reality of today, outside of Fitz's injury and Jack Kennedy not getting to throw a pass, today's reality was a good one.  Not a great one all time, but a pretty darn good one.

There are no guarantees heading in to the Shoe, save one.  Team 133 will give battle to an Ohio team that is perfect in record only.  Michigan is the last chance to ruin that perfect season (well, outside of Gene Smith not accepting the bowl ban last season ruining that perfect season in a larger sense.)  Michigan will likely be the underdog, but only in a numeric sense.  This is a Game with stakes again, and the start of a new Ten Year War.  For that, we are thankful.  Game on.

Beat Ohio.
Going out with a bang. (Getty Images/Gregory Shamus)

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