To give a brief personal backstory here - I am 34 years old and thus witnessed the mid to late 90s contests during the Cooper years. I watched several elite, undefeated Buckeye teams have their seasons ruined by Michigan. I hated how they ruined our shot at National Championships, I hated how they'd become so dominant they'd talk as though we weren't even that big of a rival anymore. I hated how afraid I was of them. I hated Michigan.
Fast forward to the 2006 season. The tide in the rivalry had begun to turn in our favor, and we beat them in a Game of the Century matchup. There was talk about a possibly NC rematch.
So far we're on the same page. But then, for me... everything changed rapidly. It began with Ohio State and Michigan losing their following bowl games, Ohio State in particularly embarrassing fashion. The "SEC speed" narrative began with our loss to Florida, and became even stronger the following year with our loss to LSU. In the span of a year, perception of the Big 10 went from possibly deserving two teams in the BCS NCG to being far below the elite SEC, the conference all media unanimously praised.
It was with this in mind that I watched the 2008 Capital One Bowl between unranked Michigan and #9 Florida. It was Lloyd Carr's last game, a man I "hated" during the mid to late 90s, but who'd slowly transformed into an old timey, old fashioned, kinda classy guy. Wisconsin had lost to Tennessee earlier in the day and the importance of a win for the Big 10 in light of the year of nonstop national disrespect felt urgent. What followed was an absolute classic game, with Michigan dominating the contest much more so than the score indicated. Manningham and Arington were lights out, and the game ended with Carr going out as a winner, his players hoisting him up on their shoulders. When asked after the game what Carr said to him during their handshake, Meyer replied (something like), "One day you'll be coaching your last game and your players will try as hard to win as mine did for me today." Still remember that, eleven years later, and have been thinking about it in terms of the upcoming Rose Bowl.
Anyway, in the time since that game, Michigan has gone 1-10 against Ohio State. Most of their seasons since that game have been characterized by national irrelevance for the program. Meanwhile, the SEC has largely continued its *perceived* (to reiterate: key word is perceived) dominance, with many national championships and two seasons of SEC vs SEC national title games. This success has bolstered the league's overall recruiting, and granted both circular logic and benefit of the doubt when coming up with weekly rankings and playoff spots.
Despite all of this, when I come on here I see the vast majority of people say they'd never root for Michigan in a bowl, no matter the opponent, no matter how it affects perception of the conference (which, particularly in recent years, seems to be an issue we could use some help with, even if ultimately just looking out solely for Ohio State). I see people refusing to type the word Michigan, omitting the letter M from words, etc. And I just don't get it. I know this puts me at odds with just about everyone here, but it just seems obvious to me that over the past decade, we have bigger fish to fry. I hate the SEC the way most of you hate Michigan. But I have concrete, tangible, and recently relevant reasons to do so.
I don't want to be a "bad " Ohio State fan, so tell me: why am I wrong? Why do you hate Michigan?