Let me just start off by saying I am a die hard University of Michigan football fan. I fully understand that Michigan and Ohio State is the biggest rivalry in ALL of sports, not just college football. I’ve been a Michigan fan living in the state of Ohio my entire life. So trust me, I get this rivalry.
We are now two days removed from an instant classic Michigan – Ohio State game that took place in Columbus. Two days removed and yet I still see Michigan fans complaining on social media about a controversial 4th down call that granted J.T. Barrett and Ohio State a first down. I still do not believe that this was a first down. However, this one play was not the sole reason Michigan lost this game. The referees did not determine the outcome. Michigan had outplayed Ohio State for three quarters, until it came time to close it out. That’s when Michigan completely came unglued.
In the 4th quarter, Michigan rushed four times for 11 yards. Wilton Speight went 0-4 and was sacked for a 6-yard loss. Five total yards of offense in the 4th quarter. FIVE! I hate saying this, but at this point it’s hard to not believe that Michigan has a “between the ears” problem when it comes to beating Ohio State. They have completely forgotten how to do it! They outplayed and out coached Ohio State the entire game, and wet their pants in crunch time.
With that being said, this is not all on the players. I have defended Jim Harbaugh and his crazy sideline antics since he became the head coach of Michigan. I still believe that he is the right guy for the job. I still believe he will get this program over the hump and back on top of the college football world. But, he completely lost his composure Saturday. Whether it was throwing his clipboard, breaking his headset, or simply yelling at a referee until his face was red. He lost complete control of himself, his team, and ultimately, the game. When a team sees their coach, their leader, on the sideline acting like that, they automatically assume that they can too. I can’t put all of the blame on the players for that. The coach is supposed to set the example of how his team should act, and they simply fed off their coach. Do I still believe in Harbaugh? Yes. Is he still a great coach? Yes. But, I do believe his actions on the sideline were a BIG player in the “Michigan Meltdown” that happened at the end of that game.
To say Ohio State only won because of one blown call is delusional. Michigan had several chances to win this game before it even went to overtime. So, if you are a Michigan fan and you are still complaining two days later about this one blown call, STOP. We have no one to blame but ourselves. Michigan outplayed and out coached Ohio State for three quarters, and completely collapsed when it was time to put the Buckeyes away.