Attention UM fans…

OSU Football**UPDATED… see below.**

Michigan did not lose to OSU because of a shoddy field.

There. I just had to get that out there. Sheesh. There is waaay too much talk on UM blogs and message boards blaming the November 18th loss on mediocre grass. (No, I’m not giving you any links to such.) If Woody and Bo could hear the fans complaining, they’d be ashamed of how wuss-ified college football had become.

At any rate, am I the only one that notices the inherent contradicton in that argument? If you argue that UM is about as good as OSU, but you also argue that UM isn’t OSU’s equal on a slippery field, isn’t that the same as admitting that UM isn’t as good as OSU? Think about that for a moment. “They’re just as good. Oh, they can’t beat them on a non-perfect field, but they might be able to beat them on a perfect one. So, they’re just as good.” WTH kind of logic is that?

Let us slap some logic on ya:

(1) No, the field wasn’t as perfect as field turf. Yes, the occasional player slipped. But it wasn’t as bad as what a lot of UM fans make it out to be. And it wasn’t as bad as a rainy field, or a muddy field, or a snowy field, etc. If you want to see terrible field conditions, watch the OSU/Penn State game, played during a heavy downpour. Interesting how you didn’t hear Penn State players or fans blaming their loss on the field conditions. Maybe that’s because…

(2) Surprise! OSU played on the same field. Saying the field conditions only gave the advantage to OSU is pure cognitive dissonance. One Michigan blogger, who I really respect, actually said that a slippery field hurt Mike Hart more than it hurt Antonio Pittman, because Hart makes a “lot of cuts.” Foolish me, I never noticed that Pittman only runs in a straight line! Someone else wrote, “But the field caused Manningham to trip and not catch that bomb from Henne.” But the field kept Ginn from catching the first-quarter bomb from Smith. Advantage: nobody.

grass.jpg Troy Smith
One of these things is the REAL reason Michigan lost

Some have argued that the turf benefited the OSU offense more than the UM defense. But even if that was the case, remember that both teams had 12 offensive possessions. They both had equal chances to “benefit” from the field conditions. (Note: in actuality, UM had one more offensive possession than OSU, as OSU’s twelvth possession was a “run the clock out” possession at the end of the game.)

No matter what your loyalty, the field did not give one team the advantage over another. For a given play, it may cause a ball carrier to slip, for another, it may cause a defender to slip.

(3) This is the first time in history that a group of fans have complained that a slippery field actually raised the score in a game. Uhhh… whatever.

(4) The turf wasn’t the reason that, at any given time, two out of four or five OSU WRs were completely alone and not covered in the flat. It didn’t have anything to do with the UM secondary being out of position on Pittman’s and Wells’ 50+ yard runs, or the many missed tackles on OSU ball carriers. Ginn was covered as best he could be on the second quarter play action TD pass, and the turf didn’t help Smith put the ball in that 12″ wide window where only Ginn could catch it.

(5) Turf aside, the only reason Michigan even had a chance in that game were the three gift-wrapped turnovers from OSU, and a bogus pass-interference call that kept a UM touchdown drive alive. It was those four events that led to 17 UM points, and that kept OSU from scoring at least two touchdowns more than it did.

Know what? That’s such a good point, I think I’ll rephrase it in a more dramatic way:

The only things that kept the score from being closer to 56-22 (or worse) were three uncharacteristic OSU mistakes and a bad official’s call.

Turf had nothing to do with it. I really do understand the need to find something – anything – to mitigate a disappointing loss. Heaven knows what we OSU fans went through during the Cooper era. But understand, the turf had absolutely no effect on the outcome of the game.

UPDATE: Jeff at BBC is being mean again. (If you’ve read our other posts that link to Jeff’s work, you know that’s our way of complimenting him.) He’s put together a video that shows a couple of Buckeye ball carriers — the ones who don’t make cuts — juking UM defenders out of their shoes… without slipping.


  1. Your talking about a fan base that scores high act’s and prides itself on a false sense of elitism. These are people who grew up in sheltered homes who didn’t have to work for anything, they hid behind mommy and daddy’s wealth. When they face obstacles or tough challenges, when put in a position of having to be rewarded based on natural merits and results they usually fold or make poor excuses. A good example of this would be the big 3 automakers who recruit heavily UM graduates. Constantly begging our federal government for money to help save their fuckups and poor decisions. Never adapting or making serious changes to strategy.
    They just need to except reality”YOU GOT YOUR ASS KICKED”. Don’t get mad just get better. Could you imagine in 95,96, 98, 2003 OSU bitching and complaing and blaming poor field conditions for the losses when we had everything on the line??????

  2. Maize and Pink says

    I think baby jesus hit it on the head. You have a very elitist attitude that permeates Ann Arbor society, which is kind of shocking considering they’re a suburb of Detroit. Probably the worst big city in America. Could you imagine OSU or Nebraska or Texas fan base totally abandoning a game ranked as the number 2 team in the country like mich fans did this year. Its just a very feminine quality fan base. They get emotionally upset when someone yells:”Fuck You”…..

  3. You guys really need to stop with “the game was only close because of the turnovers” stuff. That’s a part of football. First, the interception was a (uncharacteristic) bad read by TS when he threw into double coverage. Credit UM for being in position to take advantage of it. The other 2 are part of the risk of running a shotgun offense. If you keep the QB away from defensive line pressure by using it, you also increase the risk of bad snaps.

    So you can’t remove the turnovers. If that’s the case, can we have ours from the 2001 game back? Then we win! See how silly that sounds?

    Anyway, you guys need to crush FL, and we need to thump SC to defintitively prove Harris poll idiots who the top 2 teams really are. I’ll be rooting for both.

  4. UM96 – First, the interception was not an “uncharicteristic bad read.” It was pass interference. Hard to make a catch when the defender is jumping on your back, holding your arms down. Not whining about it, just pointing out something you might not have noticed (but all other fans did). I have a HD freeze frame of it, I’ll try to post it here soon.

    >>So you can’t remove the turnovers.<< I agree that TOs are part of football... but I don't think I was saying we wanted them removed. My point in bringing that up wasn't to "ask for them back," but to show how "well" UM's offense was actually playing. If UM doesn't get those TOs and the PI call, OSU would have scored at least 14 more points, and UM would have scored 17 less. In short, because OSU turned the ball over and the officials screwed up, UM ended up looking better than it actually is. UM had three gift-wrapped TOs, and was still not able to win the game. Now, had UM done some fantastic defensive plays to cause them; stripping the ball, jumping 20 feet in the air for an INT, deflecting the ball at the line for an INT, etc., then UM comes out looking better. But they needed OSU to screw up and the officials to get involved to even pull within three points. I heard an ESPN analyst put it this way: match up ANY two teams in the top ten, give one of them three turnovers, and that team wins. Any day of the week. The fact that UM couldn't just shows how superior of a team OSU really is. UM got 17 points off of those turnovers, usually enough to win the game against any other team in the country, and was still not able to win the game; in fact, OSU wasn't even challenged. Don't forget that their last drive was a "run-the-clock-out" drive. Had the clock not run out, OSU would have scored on that possession, too; for a 10-point lead. UM may have pulled within three at any point, but OSU would have anywhere from a 3-10 point lead depending on which offense had the ball at any given time. All those turnovers, all the officals' breaks, and UM could only hope to play for a 3-10 point loss. Clearly, OSU is in a different league. >>If that’s the case, can we have ours from the 2001 game back? Then we win! See how silly that sounds?<< Well, going back to the "slippery field" argument: in 1998 Tai Streets scored a touchdown because Shawn Springs slipped (the most famous slip in Buckeye history). That slip caused OSU to miss the title game. So to us, it sounds silly that eight years later, UM fans are complaining about some of their players slipping. 😉

  5. Here’s something I don’t hear anyone talking about:

    OSU has beaten Michigan three years in a row on BOTH fields. How can anyone say the turf had anything to do with it? Whether the game is in Columbus or in Ann Arbor, the result is the same. The big stars on both teams–the people who decide the game, basically–have played in this game at least twice–once in Ann Arbor, and once in Columbus.

    How many times does Michigan need to be beaten by the Buckeyes to get a clue?



  1. […] No excuses this year, UM fans. November 14, 2007 | sportsMonkey | Filed Under College Football, Ohio State Football  […]

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