For Mgobloggers who played football at Michigan, how was Ohio State week different from others? Did you feel extra pressure to perform? Did you sense coaches feeling under the gun to win The Game? Were you honestly glad the season was almost done and you could soon return to a more normal student life? Did your team's practice intensity rise higher than other weeks? Was The Game buildup more of a media phenomenon and less so for players? Please share what you can with those of us who will never experience preparing as a player for college football's greatest rivalry game.
Following last second loss to MSU on Saturday, the mass media sure is playing up the future Buckeye departures to the NFL, questions about Meyer's leadership, loose lips sinking ships, and questions about team cohesion after the loss:
I did not expect this for an 10-1 team heading into big rivalry game, but there you have it.
I'm sure Ohio State will bring their best and try to end their season on a spectacular note in Ann Arbor.
I'm just surprised that Urban Meyer wouldn't re-assert control and put the kabosh on all the prima donnas players and their divisive comments.
As for future NFL depatures, I don't know that these talented players would have stayed anyway had they beaten MSU on Saturday. I think most were preparing to go anyway, because they can.
Should be a great game on Saturday for the seniors on both teams regardless.
Living in Ohio as I do (thank you for your sympathy) and working frequently at Ohio State University Hospitals (thank you for your sympathy), I perhaps have a glimpse into the psychology of OSU fans that some of you do not (which is good for your intestinal health). I can tell you from the 183 texts I received cussing me out for costing OSU a victory (this was the first time I openly rooted for OSU in my life), that these troglodytes are trying to rally. Having purged themselves with calls for OSU staff to be fired (not excluding Urban Meyer, seriously), they believe there is one silver lining in this cloud: the team will be motivated more than ever to beat TTUN.
There is a thread in 11 Warriors entitled:
WITHOUT THIS LOSS, TOSU WOULD OF HAVE A HARDER TIME BEATING TTUN
I call hogwash. I admit to having this thought flash through my head, but I think this is a prevalent myth in the minds of nervous fans, and rarely true.
Yeah i'm beyond disappointed about this loss like all of you guys are but, I think this loss should really light a fire under everyone's asses. We've been talking about how this team has lacked motivation and hasn't had a chip on their shoulder for the entire season. Now we got adversity and doubters who last year was the main fuel for our run. Yesterday our guys seemingly had nothing to play for and played not to lose. Against TTUN, are guys will be angry and very much doubted going into AA.
Occassionally, teams will rise up for a fired Earle Bruce or tragic Jerry Kill, but I think that people conflate such "motivating" events with the reality that those teams were good enough to play the game they did without the motivation. It didn't help us with Bo in 2006 (I was at that game), it didn't help VT yesterday win one for Beamer.
Ultimately, it comes down to match-ups, X and Os, talent and execution. This isn't some brilliant observation, I admit; I only make it because OSU, unlike what is said in the fool's post above, WAS motivated to win yesterday and had EVERYTHING to play for, but they had structural problems that prevented them from winning: average receivers, a QB that needs them to be open, a defense with SOME vulnerabilities, and a team that played absolutely no one during the season, which created a false paradigm that they were above having to give all the effort. This was confirmed in the post-game immature Elliott and Jones meltdowns. Michigan has as good a D line and a better secondary that MSU. The same structural challenges will confront OSU no matter how much more they want to win (which, is that even possible?). Our inferior LB may present an opporunity for them, yes. But will OSU motivate their way to inflicting the bad defeats seen in the RR era? No.
And jinxes aren't real, either.
November 22, 1986 - Senior QB Jim Harbaugh makes good on his guarantee as UM beats OSU 26-24 in Columbus to win the Big Ten and advance to the Rose Bowl. Hopefully we get a similar result next Saturday. Go Blue.