Sunday, November 13, 2005
It's finally here.
Michigan vs. Ohio State. The Wolverines vs. The Buckeyes. Good vs. Evil.
"The Game" Michigan fans wait for all season is upon us (sorry, Sparty). And try as Fate might to make the 2005 edition not mean much (sorry, Motor City Bowl) or hope as others do for the Wolverines' demise (sorry, Drew Sharpe), "The Game" still has Big 10 title implications. Just like it seems it always does. Just like we expected, if not quite how we expected.
Sure, people doubted. Hell, at 3-3 when Michael Robinson scored for Pennsylvania State University with :41 seconds left, we all doubted. But not Lloyd. And not this team. They have fought back from about as far down as any Michigan team in recent history to reach the brink of something bordering on magical. And because of that, they have kept "The Game" special.
Just as it should be.
That's why Michigan had to claw its way back from the depths. That's why this team couldn't roll over. They had to do it not only for themselves, but because they owed it to "The Game." They owed it to every Michigan player through the years that has played his heart out all season long to make and kept this rivalry consistently ranked the greatest in all the land. They owed it to Bo who made it that way again. And believe it or not, they owed it to Ohio State.
Because a great rivalry demands a worthy opponent. That's why, as dirty as it made me feel, I found myself rooting for OSU yesterday against Northwestern. As much as I despise Ohio State, I don't want to beat some team coming off a loss. I don't want to cost the Buckeyes a shot at the Outback Bowl. I want to beat a team ranked in the top 10. I want to keep the Buckeyes from winning the Big 10 title. I want the eyes of the college football world to be on Ann Arbor next week. I want "The Game" to continue to mean something. Everything.
So yes, Michigan owed it to the hated Bucks to fight back and get to this point. Just as Ohio State owed it to Michigan not to quit after they had their hearts broken after their second loss in Happy Valley.
That's why this rivalry is so special. That's why we care so much. That's why they simply call it "The Game."
Posted by Yost at 4:39 AM