I don't think I've been as nervous for a Michigan game since the '97 Michigan-Ohio State when the Rose Bowl and National Championship were on the line. Crazy as this may sound, Saturday's game almost felt like it was more important for Michigan's psyche. Personally, I don't think I've ever wanted one more -- nay, needed one more -- than the 2011 edition of The Game.
Had Michigan lost it would have been devastating. Yes, there would have been no denying the strides made this year, but a loss would have gnawed at the soul for a long time. Instead, Michigan's hard fought victory has turned the 2011 campaign into one that none of us could have realistically hoped for or imagined. And back on the personal level -- it made blogging and Twitter a hell of a lot of fun over the weekend!
Now let's take one more look back at The Game that ended The Streak in...
MZone Autopsy: That School in Ohio
* Don't let the close score in any way shape or form detract from the sweet taste of victory. Some Buckeye fans are trying to taint the victory by saying this was the worst OSU team in forever. And yes, many Michigan fans didn't just want a "W," they wanted retribution. But this Ohio State squad was a team playing with nothing to lose, finally fielding a team with all its weapons, the most potent of all being desperation.
So this was exactly the kind of titanic struggle that the great mythology of this series demanded and deserved. To understand why it absolutely had to play out the way it did, check out our post from yesterday, The Hero's Journey.
* The overturn of Fitz Toussaint's touchdown was one of the most egregiously bad replay calls I can remember. What part of "can only result from indisputable video evidence" did those clowns not understand?! It would have been criminal had Michigan lost after that. When that TD was taken off the board, I started to think that Benny Oosterbaan must've been busted having an affair with the wife of somebody pretty high up in the afterlife because it looked like the fickle finger of football fate was about to f*ck us. Hard. I hope somebody questions the B1G about it (the replay call, not Benny Oosterbaan's sexually active ghost). Seriously. I really want to know what was indisputable. There were two angles, one in which the ball was over, one in which it might -- might -- have been, what?, an inch shy? Maybe. But indisputable? Hell no!
But don't just take it from some biased blogger. Watch this video of Fox Sports refereeing guru Mike Pereira as he goes over the play and discusses why it was wrong.
* Let the most recent chapter of The Game serve as reminder number 6,482 that Michigan-Ohio State must always be played on the last Saturday of the regular season. Saturday's showdown left no doubt that the B1G's marquee match up must never be moved. And if Dave
Ed. Note: I still believe it was a colossal mistake to put U-M and OSU in separate divisions, but that's a debate for another time if the B1G ever expands again.
* By beating that school in Ohio, Brady Hoke just became the first Michigan coach to claim at least 10 wins in his debut season since -- wait for it -- some guy named Fielding H. Yost in 1901 (who won 11).
* Brady's six B1G wins in his first season equaled the total conference games won during the three years of The Dark Period.
* Team 132 became the first Michigan team to ever go 8-0 at home in a single season. And anybody who said they predicted that (beating ND, Nebraska and Ohio along the way) or that Michigan would win 10 regular season games this year, is a liar or a meth head. Or a lying meth head.
* The 40 points Michigan hung on OSU is tied for the 4th most points Michigan ever scored against the Buckeyes and the most since putting up 58 in '46 (thought still a ways off from the record of 86 in 1902). And that wasn't some hack-ass defense since, even after the U-M game, OSU is tied with Oklahoma for the 27th best scoring D in the land and is #23 in total defense.
* Couldn't believe all the bitter tweets by Buckeye players immediately after the game. From one guy saying he's "never going to lose to those scrubs again" to Boren (not Justin but Zach) claiming Michigan showed a lack of "respect" for The Game, to several other disparaging comments by others, it actually made them look bad. I pictured them all sitting there on the team bus on their long ride home, heads buried in their smartphones, typing their tacky tweets while poor Luke Fickell sat up in the front, watching the rest of the CARS 2 DVD playing over bus' entertainment system.
* In looking up some of the stats for this post, I noticed Michigan's captain in 1908 was Adolf "Germany" Shultz. I guess in 1908 you could get away with that. Nowadays he'd claim his first name was Eddie and go by "Shultzy."
* Luke Fickell did a great job in a virtually impossible situation. And I'm not just talking about the Michigan game. All season. But I was particularly impressed with how he handled himself in the post-game presser, when he was getting hammered with questions about his future. He made it all about The Game. Best of luck to him in the future.
* As you know, Buckeye fans are waiting on pins and needles for Santa to deliver an early present for their team in the form of new head coach Urban
First of all, those name hires rarely work out as well as hoped for. For every Saban at 'Bama, there's a Dennis Erickson at ASU. And I even seem to recall a "can't miss coach" being hired in A2 a couple years ago, a guy who'd won "everywhere he's been." But that didn't turn out so well if you recall.
More importantly, let them have their Urban Myth. It's great for the rivalry and we have Brady, for God's sake. If this season has proven anything, that ain't too damn shabby!
* Remember when Urban's daughter tweeted “HE IS NOT repeat NOT, GOING TO OHIO STATE" a couple months ago? Bad news: Daddy lied.