|And now, a symbolic moment from the evening's proceedings. (Credit: AP / Charlie Neibergall)|
As I watched last night, I hoped this would fall into the category of the "near death experience" game, where everything goes wrong and Michigan somehow manages to hold on (think Iowa 1997, as one example.) Especially when it looked like the fickle finger of fate that is the John O'Neill officiating crew gives you the gift of "roughing the center" (which, same crew, did NOT call at the end of Michigan State last year when it was far more obvious.) You hope for the best, but the fear never really leaves you. When a field goal can win it, it's almost all too easy to see it coming. The facemask, that may or may not have happened, essentially sealed Michigan's fate.
My hope is that this is not a harbinger of how things can fall apart, but rather the "OK, we're not as good as we thought we were" reminder. We won't really know anything this week (unless we lose, which, ugh) but we're back to where we were, needing to win at Columbus to move forward. We shall see.
One serious note: Dear Michigan players. I know you are happy when you score, I am happy as well. Please, however, stop headbutting each other. With an actual focus on concussions and head trauma, even these small impacts, which are wholly unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, are just not a good look. Celebrate, but do so responsibly.