Okay, so obviously a lot of OSU fans are displaying a bit of shadenfreude over UM’s loss to App State. Even we at MotSaG couldn’t resist rubbing it in a little bit (see the earlier post from el Kaiser). There’s something satisfying about seeing a big, proud, overconfident bully that’s always teasing and taunting everyone get taken down by the littlest kid on the block.
But putting that aside for a moment, UM’s shameful loss is terrible for OSU, too – not to mention the rest of the Big Ten.
First, it will diminish the OSU/UM rivalry. That game is always best when one (or both) of the teams is playing for all the marbles. Make no mistake – UM will not be allowed into the BCS title game, even if it wins the next 11 games by 100 points. Any true OSU fan wants every season to be like last one – the two teams meeting, undefeated, to settle everything once and for all.
Also, the last thing anyone wants is for Carr to go. I’ll guarantee you that the phone was ringing off the hook in the UM athletic department today, with every rich & powerful alumnus demanding answers. His days may be numbered, which is not good for the continued one-sided dominance in the OSU/UM rivalry. However, in the mind of this writer, the blame for this loss should rest squarely on the shoulders of Ron English. Quite simply, his ineptitude has reached critical mass. Giving up 108 points in the last three games is unacceptable by any standard.
The loss is also terrible for the Big Ten. Holy cow, the last thing the Big-Ten haters of the nation need is proof that the conference is overrated.
The BCS will suffer. Some might argue that this isn’t a bad thing, but we’re stuck with it for the foreseeable future, so it’d be nice if it wasn’t undermined any further. UM is likely to put together a decent season, perhaps even win the Big Ten and go to the Rose. If that happens, there will always be the “yeah-but-App-State” argument.
Along the same lines, what will happen to UM in the polls? A loss like this exposes the major flaws in the poll system. There’s no question that UM does not deserve to be ranked. However, a little critical thinking reveals that this loss was most likely aberrant, and probably doesn’t give an accurate picture of how good UM actually is (nor enough credit to App State). The Wolverines will still likely beat a handful of good teams this year. So, should they be ranked according to their potential, or their results? Typically, the poll voters use the former for the bulk of the season, and the latter for the last month or so. Today’s loss will probably throw the polls out of whack as voters try to figure out – and argue about – what is fair.
I know that I personally feel bad for UM fans. I can empathize. In 1998, the championship-bound Bucks shockingly lost to the Spartans, which was like a blow to the stomach. Losing to a I-AA team in your home opener must be even worse. No undefeated season. No chance for a national title. You’re three hours into a three month season, and you find out that it’s already over & done with. That must stink.
What do you think?