Over 24 hours later, and I'm still riding a magic carpet. I may never come down. Not even going 22-2 over two years and not winning a Big Ten title can ruin this.
Look at that header picture. What I love most about it is you can't tell if it's Jim Harbaugh awkwardly catching a ball or him taking his ball and going home after a controversial first-down call.
Michigan fans can't say anything until at least Nov. 25th, 2017. Their 9-0 dream season turned to ash in their mouth, and they're looking toward the NFL Draft for a morale boost like they're Cleveland Browns fans.
Regardless, a December trip to majestic Orlando to watch their team in the Citrus Bowl should be just what the doctor ordered for Michigan fans, coaches, and bloggers still whining about the refs.
PASSING OUT THE GRADES. The local team could've easily ended on the wrong side of history. Curtis Samuel and the offense sealed the win, but it wouldn't have reached overtime without the defense laying down its best performance of the year.
Let's go to the grade sheet.
|LT JAMARCO JONES||78.3||LB JEROME BAKER||91.0|
|WR NOAH BROWN||73.0||DE SAM HUBBARD||85.6|
|TE MARCUS BAUGH||73.0||DE NICK BOSA||84.4|
|QB J.T. BARRETT||73.0||LB RAEKWON McMILLAN||83.7|
|HB MIKE WEBER||61.0||S MALIK HOOKER||80.5|
Jerome Baker, take a bow. That performance would've earned you a few million dollars in the 2017 NFL Draft if the league didn't stack the labor rules against you to keep college football as a free minor league.
Raekwon McMillan also played the best game of his career. Don't play pro-style offense against him, because he will mangle it and leave it smoking in a ditch.
Curtis Samuel also should've been rated a 99. Just my take, though.
|C MASON COLE||82.4||DE TACO CHARLTON||84.0|
|WR AMARA DARBOH||69.3||LB MIKE McCRAY||82.4|
|HB DE'VEON SMITH||64.8||DT RYAN GLASGOW||82.2|
|TE TYRONE WHEATLEY||54.2||DT BRYAN MONE||81.1|
|RG KYLE KALIS||54.0||LB BEN GEDEON||78.9|
Taco Charlton and Mike McCray threw my sorry ass back to the 90s with Ohio players dominating Ohio State in the game.
De'Veon Smith, another Ohioan, had his moments too, though that Michigan run game felt more effective than it was because every surrendered yard feels like a knife to the throat.
HORSESHOE SCENES. No better scene in sports than when the local team wins big and the locals rush the field to grope the superstars that delivered the big win.
Pete Thamel #banger alert from si.com:
“I have never been a part of that before,” Barrett told Sports Illustrated. “I always watched it in college basketball. I’m happy for our fans, man. I was trying to find my way through. There was a lot of touching. I like people, I really do. I like Buckeye nation, I really do. But I was touched more than I wanted to in some places I didn’t like.” Barrett said that with a hearty laugh, as everyone joined in the fun.
Senior lineman Pat Elflien darted to the family section and lifted his mother Lisa, brother Matt and sister Heather onto the field from the stands. He spoke to his grandfather, who hadn’t made a lot of games this season but couldn’t miss this one. Meyer collapsed to the turf after the score and faceplanted with overwhelming relief. “I remember that Neil Diamond song,” he said with a delirious smile. “That was great. Weird life, man."
I love how Meyer said, "Weird life, man" like a drunk guy who ended up at Denny's at 2:45 a.m. on a whim and not a guy who spent his adult life training for dumping Michigan in the first overtime game of the rivalry.
Luke Fickell had some fun with former Florida commit Jerome Baker, too:
Baker only got to the 13-yard line, which led to some good-natured sideline needling. Ohio State has returned a school-record seven touchdowns this season, which leads the nation. “We thought you were the All-State Mr. Ohio tailback,” co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell teased Baker, “and you couldn’t quite find the end zone.”
Despite Baker not making it to the end zone, that run left no doubt in my mind Baker could be a dominant running back.
And that speaks to what a dominant linebacker he became this year.
OSU TO CFP. Some people think if Penn State (vs. Wisconsin), Clemson (vs. Virginia Tech), and Washington (vs. Colorado) all win on championship weekend, Ohio State could be left out of the playoffs.
Those people should take a deep breath and look at the facts.
Even though Ohio State will not win the Big Ten, it is still a very likely College Football Playoff participant. The committee is not charged with putting the four best conference champions in the playoff. It is charged with putting the four best teams in the playoff. It has to judge teams based on their entire seasons, not just the conference portion of it. It has to consider that it is possible that more than one of the top four teams in the country could be in one conference -- or even one division. It also must consider the possibility that the best team in a conference might not be the league's champion.
It is that latter category that applies to Ohio State. The Buckeyes will have played the strongest schedule by far of any one-loss team and there are only a few of those. When the CFP Rankings come out on Tuesday night, Ohio State will have a 3-1 record against teams in the top nine on that list. Think about that. The Buckeyes will have played four of the other eight teams in the top nine with three wins, including two on the road, and a three-point loss on the road. Nobody else can touch that.
So let's say all three of the above-mentioned teams win out. What would the playoffs look like at that point?
|PEACH||DEC. 31||ATLANTA, GA||No. 1 ALABAMA vs. No. 4 WASHINGTON|
|FIESTA||DEC. 31||GLENDALE, AZ||No. 2 CLEMSON vs. No. 3 OHIO STATE|
The "funny thing" is I know somebody getting married on the 31st. It was a bold play even before the local team probably made the playoffs.
WHY MICHIGAN LOST. Michigan fans and their coaches are welcome to take the loser's route and whine about a ref conspiracy involving Ohio High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame members.
But that obfuscates the real reasons Michigan choked the game away.
No one can say what level of influence Wilton Speight's shoulder injury had on his game Saturday. And while he had his moments of glory, the redshirt sophomore threw two critical interceptions — one a pick-6 — in Saturday's game.
Backup quarterback John O'Korn did not have an impressive game against Indiana last week — it's clear why Harbaugh would want to go back to Speight, who was medically cleared to play, but it was also clear that Speight was going to be up-and-down early in the game.
But instead of running down the clock, the Wolverines threw the ball 36 times. Speight threw a pick-6 and then an interception that set up the turning point of the game.
Other than Ohio State being good, the other reason Michigan lost was because Jim Harbaugh didn't have enough coconut juice to go for two and the win on the road against the No. 2 team in the country.
HAPPY JAMARCO BACK. Add a new Jamarco face to the wall:
Perhaps the Happiest Jamarco of all.
THOSE WMDs. OSU legend Pandel Savic has lived an incomparable life... Death row: The lawyer who keeps losing... The notorious flight of Mathias Rust... Former Mizzou tutor tells how, why she allegedly helped student-athletes cheat... The American Thanksgiving.