Short. [Patrick Barron/MGoBlog]
I'm staring at my laptop and the sea of exultant Ohio State fans on the field below dancing to "Sweet Caroline" and I feel sick.
Sick that Michigan threw away multiple chances to win this game in regulation. Sick that a dozen little plays one way or the other change the outcome. Sick at that spot. That fucking spot.
Michigan should be playing for the Big Ten championship and a spot in the playoff next weekend. Instead, they will sit at home as either Ohio State or Penn State represents the East. That spot, that fucking spot, will stick in the collective Wolverine memory for much, much longer.
The Wolverines controlled most of this game. Wilton Speight battled back from his still-undisclosed injury to throw for 219 yards and two scores, an effort that would take its place in the pantheon of heroic rivalry performances had the outcome gone the other way. Speight's two interceptions, however, were turned into two Ohio State touchdowns, and that allowed the Buckeyes to keep it close enough to force overtime on a 23-yard Tyler Durbin field goal with one second left in regulation.
The defense, which had played a spectacular game, looked worn out in the first overtime period, ceding a JT Barrett touchdown run on the second play. Speight responded with a fourth-down touchdown to Amara Darboh. Michigan's ensuing possession ended with a field goal after a questionable non-call on a third-down pass to Perry, leaving the door open for Ohio State to win it.
Seemingly given new life, the defense forced an all-or-nothing fourth-and-one. Barrett kept it. The officials gave him a generous spot, and even though it appeared on replay that Barrett's right arm—the one holding the football—never reached the line to gain, that spot, that fucking spot, stood upon review.
In a not-so-alternate universe in which the men in charge of the game are competent, there are Muppets and joy and appreciation of one of the most dramatic football games in recent memory or perhaps ever and scrambling to finalize plans for next weekend. Alas, that fucking spot. Alas.