“What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” –Napoleon Hill
The above quote was one of Bo’s favorites. When one believes, everything’s possible.
In the 16 seasons between 1985 and 2000, Michigan won 12, Ohio State won 3 and they tied in 1992. Michigan’s football team believed it could—and would—beat Ohio State.
Then, Jim Tressel happened.
In 2000, at the OSU basketball game where Tressel was introduced as the new football coach at Ohio State, he famously asserted that “I’m proud of our young people (at OSU) in the classroom, in the community, and most especially, in 310 days, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the football field.” The Buckeye crowd of course, went NUTS! While he didn’t guarantee a Buckeye victory over Michigan in 2001, he strongly implied it.
Then, in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 24, 2001, Ohio State beat Michigan 26 - 20.
Whatever issues we Michigan fans may have with Jim Tressel, he single-handedly brought back belief to OSU nation that Ohio State football not only could—but would—beat Michigan again. And so they have.
In the 17 seasons, 2001 through 2017, OSU has won 14 (OSU vacated the 2010 win due to self-imposed sanctions over NCAA violations). Michigan has won 2.
In those 17 seasons, Ohio State didn’t just thinkthey could win, they believedthey would win.
Michigan on the other hand seemed to approach most of those games hopingthey could win, thinkingthey could win, but not necessarily believingthey would win.
Nothing lasts forever.
Michigan’s run of dominance over Ohio State ended. The Detroit Lions eventually beat the Packers in Green Bay. The City of Detroit is making an impressive comeback I personally doubted would ever happen. The great depression eventually came to an end.
Now that Coach Harbaugh is here and has had the time to fully implement his vision and version of Michigan football, it appears Michigan believes again.
The emerging truth seems to be that Coach Harbaugh has put finally put together the kind of team—but more importantly—the kind of program, that can end the Buckeye’s dominance.
Do we believe in a Michigan win on November 24, in Columbus, Ohio?