Change one 2013 outcome: FB vs OSU, or BB vs Louisville. Which do you choose?

Submitted by NoVaWolverine on December 4th, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Last Saturday's near-upset against OSU made me realize how much of a "We were THIS close..." year this has been for my sports fandom. Besides my Cardinals losing the World Series against the Red Sox (substitute Detroit in the ALCS if you're a Tigers fan), our hoops team fell to Louisville in the NCAA championship game after a brilliant season and run to the Final Four (and an 11-point first half lead -- argh), and then Team 134 came three yards shy of shocking OSU -- and all of us.

This got me to thinking...

Last night, you turn in after watching the hoops team endure the usual punishment of playing at Cameron Indoor, and after sleeping for a bit, you are awakened by the Magic Genie Spirit of Michigan Athletics.

"Humble Wolverine fan," he says in a booming voice, "You have endured much trial and suffering because of your love for the Maize and Blue. I have come from the Great Spirit Realm of Yost, Crisler, and Schembechler to grant you one great favor."

"Yeah?" you reply, half-awake.

"As this year of 2013 nears its end, I will allow you to go back in time and change the outcome of one -- and only one -- Michigan Wolverine sporting event from this past year. Your choices are:

Number 1: The football team succeeds in the two-point conversion at the end of The Game and beats the hated Buckeyes, 43-42. Seeing Drew Dileo covered, Devin Gardner pump fakes, then tucks the ball and burrows through a crease in the line, gimpy ankle and all, and just manages to thrust the ball over the goal-line plane before being walloped by a Buckeye defender. The road to Columbus is sown with the bitter tears of Bucknut fans returning home after seeing their undefeated season and BCS title hopes crushed in the Big House. The Aura of the Invincible OSU Version of Urban Meyer is deflated; Coach Hoke is 2-1 against our most bitter rival; Lewan and Gallon cap their Michigan careers with a glorious victory; and the painful mediocrity of 2013 Michigan football, which was basically all downhill after the Notre Dame game, is partially redeemed."

"Wow, that would be fantastic!" you say. "What's the other choice?"

"Number 2: The men's basketball team defeats Louisville in the NCAA championship game. Trey Burke's block (no longer a foul!) against Peyton Siva turns the momentum; our boys re-take the lead down the stretch and put away the game. Coach Beilein cuts down the nets while Pretty Boy Pitino sobs, Spike Albrecht makes out with Kate Upton in the Georgia Dome parking lot while 'One Shining Moment' plays in the distance, and the entire Ann Arbor campus eats at Subway and goes crazy."

"WOW! That would be awesome," you reply. "But ... if we win, do McGary and GRIII go pro?"

"Who cares, you greedy fool!" the Genie bellows. "You've just won the NCAA tourney!"

"OK, OK... so, those are the only choices?"

"What?!?" says the Genie, in shock. "Well, I suppose you could have Jordan Morgan's put-back against Indiana fall in, so the Wolverines win a share of another Big Ten title. Or the hockey team could beat ND in the CCHA championship game to keep the NCAA tourney streak alive. Or Al Borges could find the Magic Key to Unlock Narduzzi, and the football team finally beats MSU in East Lansing. Hey, I'm just as sick as you are of getting whipped by Sparty... But come on, man, be serious! OSU or Louisville. Choose one!"

So, which would you choose? Would love to hear everyone's choice, and their reasons.

Mine? This is tough, but as much as I hate losing to OSU and wanted to win that game, I'd take winning the tourney in March over Louisville. As we're seeing so far this basketball season, even for an elite program with a very talented team, it usually takes a rare combination of luck (e.g., the Kansas game) and a transcendent talent/leader (Trey Burke) to survive and win March Madness -- and titles are forever. It would have been a fitting end to a sublime season. But that's just me.





December 4th, 2013 at 3:16 PM ^


End their streak, take them down a notch, improves the recruiting picture...all around winner.  The hoops team has a bright future, I'm less worried about them.


December 4th, 2013 at 10:16 PM ^

Well...I don't think it is as easy as "turning down a national title for us just so another school can't win one in a different sport."  

It really depends on what sports you value.


Hypothetical: Would you rather have the Men's Cross Country team win the 2014 National Championship OR Michigan Football go into Columbus in 2014 and thump an undefeated Buckeye team?

No offense to cross country, but would this not be a no-brainer for 99% of our fanbase preferring a football win in Columbus next year?

If you truly value Michigan Football over Basketball by a wide enough margin, it makes perfect sense to want to beat your rival in a big game with national implications.


December 5th, 2013 at 6:07 AM ^

It also depends on circumstances. For example, is this hypothetical 2014 Michigan football team 11-0 going into Columbus, or are they 7-4 again? If the question posed was "do you take the 2013 national championship in basketball or a win over OSU in 2006," that becomes much harder, in my opinion, because then that 2006 team plays for a national championship. The fact that we were 7-4 heading into the OSU game this year means that, sure, we ruin their season, but it doesn't make ours appreciably better when you look at the big picture.


December 4th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

,,,if the 2013 hand check rule was in place, Rick Pitino's ever constant fouling guards (Siva and Smith) would have been expelled from that game in 15 minutes, not to mention the 2 bogus personal foul calls on POY Trey Burke.

Yinka Double Dare

December 4th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

Much as it would have been funny to ruin OSU's national title hopes, I'm a Michigan fan who roots for Michigan.  National championship all the way and it isn't even a contest.  A football win makes a difference in which third tier bowl the team goes to, yippee.


December 4th, 2013 at 3:19 PM ^

So the question is would I rather win the National Championship in basketball or go 8-4 in football.


Thinking, thinking.......

You know - this one was kinda hard but I think I'm going with the National Championship here.  As zesty as 8-4 sounds, my heart says go with the National Championship.

But 8-4 is tough to turn down I agree.  It's WAY better than our crummy 7-5 record that's for sure.


December 4th, 2013 at 5:21 PM ^

There's a unique kind of joy to ending your rivals undefeated season - and it's not becasuse of any inferiority complex, it's like the sweetest victory and rivals schadenfreude all rolled into one great game. I'd still pick the national title but I had to think about it for a minute


December 4th, 2013 at 10:58 PM ^

What if a Kansas fan is granted the same super power and decides to use it on the UM/KU tournament game.  Then UM never makes the final and you will have wasted your change of one outcome.

Of course if an OSU fan is granted this super power and then uses it to triple stamp your double stamp of the football game, your choice is also wasted. 

Man, the world is complicated with super powers . . .

Wee-Bey Brice

December 4th, 2013 at 3:21 PM ^

I'm taking the National Championship anyday. Changing the outcome of this year's OSU FB game just moves us up to 8-4 (2-8 in last 10 years vs Ohio) and doesn't drastically change the bowl game outlook by Michigan standards.


December 4th, 2013 at 3:39 PM ^

just moves us up to 8-4? What about ruining our arch rival's chance at a FB national championship? What about ending our arch rival's insanely long win streak? What about demonstrating to prospective FB recruits that we can actually beat OSU? What about winning the most important game of the season, bowl game included? 


December 4th, 2013 at 5:00 PM ^

To be honest, I'm not necessarily saying I wouldn't choose basketball. I was just saying it was silly to say that winning The Game would have accomplished nothing other than making us 8-4. 

As much as my brain knows it's unhealthy to think this way, I can't help but hate Ohio State football as much as I love Michigan football. Those two feelings go hand in hand. 

The basketball team's run was magical as it was. Trey Burke hitting that 3 against Kansas was legendary. As far as I'm concerned, losing to Louisville doesn't change all of that that much. 


December 4th, 2013 at 3:25 PM ^

Only one thing changing would have made that basketball game any better last April, an obvious Michigan win.  Such a great game to watch and is one of the better played basketball games played in a long time.  Michigan winning would have been a-maz-ing.  Like said above, 8-4 isn't much even with one of those against an undefeated Ohio State.


December 4th, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

This is an insanely hard question for me. Maybe it shouldn't be because you should always take a championship in football or basketball. But football...especially against that team...I'm not so sure. Not clear cut to me.


December 4th, 2013 at 3:29 PM ^

Not close for me either.  I will always remember where I was, what I was doing, when Michigan won in '89.  Beating Ohio, even when they are favored, is not such an event. 


December 4th, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

The OSU game was disappointing, but even the loss had many positive effects for Michigan in the recruiting and momentum categories. The National Championship banner would be hung forever. Go Blue!


December 4th, 2013 at 3:31 PM ^

Listen, the post was awesome and all, but is this really a choice? You only get some many shots to win a national championship in any sport (minus Alabama in football), but especially in the clusterf*** that is the NCAA Tournament. In the past ten years, only Connecticut, Kansas, UNC, Florida, and Butler have gotten two shots at a title. Calipari's Kentucky teams have made it once. Pitino's Louisville teams have made it once. Izzo has been coaching at State for almost 20 years. His teams have played in the National Championship game twice (yes, they've made six Final Fours).

Since Michael Jordan retired (15 years ago), my teams have played in the following Finals...

Bears in 2006 Super Bowl

Blackhawks in 2010, 2013 Stanley Cup Finals

Michigan BB last year.

That's 4 times in 15 years! Always, always take the championship.


December 4th, 2013 at 3:33 PM ^

I am never big on such exercises because it is a whimsical thought experiment that makes me revisit a disappointing outcome, but I suppose that if I were to choose, I think that you would have to go with the outcome that would probably be less likely in a given year (not that either of them are terribly likey) and choose the basketball game. The reason would be that it is a performance that seems harder to repeat overall. 

Drew Sharp

December 4th, 2013 at 3:37 PM ^

Bb response. For me it's OSU. The basketball team over achieved as it was and already won two epic games. This football team had a chance to cement this as one of, if not the single, greatest games in this rivalry.


December 4th, 2013 at 3:44 PM ^

Basketball championship for me. I remember the dark years of basketball. They were many, and I don't want them to come back, ever. The team earned the right to be there, and it is close to impossible to get to, let alone win, a National Championship. I hate OSU, and want the win, but I am willing to wait another year, and see Michigan football begin to compete regularly and win half the time (against OSU.)