I won't do a Star Wars schtick piece because I don't do schtick, but I do think some faith is in order. In the following week, I'm sure Magnus, Sharik, Brian, and others who kick royal ass on the x's and o's will break the game down much better than I can, so I would like to focus on those elusive intangibles and semi-tangibles that I think are pointing UM's way.
1. OSU has played two tough teams the last two weeks, and has expended a lot of energy. In rivalry games, teams are always looking for an edge; having more in the tank may be one equalizer.
2. OSU has already accomplished all they can on a National scope; they are in the Rose Bowl. Nothing they can do will get them into the title game, so they don't have as much external motivation as UM does.
3. The streak and arrogance: I can remember when UM regularly pounded OSU, and can remember Walter Smith's arrogant statement that he hoped they got Cooper fired. We all know how that went. OSU hates UM and it is their most important game of the year, but they haven't felt the sting of a loss to really give them that extra burst of energy when they need it.
4. It has happened before. 1993: unranked UM beats fifth-ranked OSU 28-0. 1996: UM 13, OSU 9, UM fifth place in the Big Ten and OSU tied for first. Of course, there's also 1969.
5. It is setting up perfectly. OSU will do the peacock strut into the Big House to face a UM team that is extremely disappointed and looks like it has no chance to win. This is a nightmare scenario for any coach in a rivalry game.
6. Shit happens. More specifically, upsets happen. I don't need to mention any the last two or three seasons: think of whatever ones you want. Football is one of those games where the improbable and inexplicable occur on a semi-regular basis.
I know that UM doesn't have much of a chance, and that this would be the biggest upset in the history of the rivalry, but it can happen. And I am not losing faith until the game is over on Saturday. By then, faith, either way, will be a moot point.