Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Ohio State!

As a lifelong Michigan fan, it's hard to say this, but-- I'm really glad Ohio State won the national championship in football yesterday, beating Oregon, 42-20.  Here are some of the reasons why:

1)  Ohio State was a good story of persevering in times of adversity.  They lost in the second week of the season to a pretty mediocre team (Virginia Tech), and their first-string and second-string quarterbacks were lost to injury for the season.  And yet, they beat the Wisconsin, Alabama, and Oregon with their 3rd-string quarterback.

2)  It was a great end of the season for the Big 10, which started slow.  With Ohio State beating Alabama and Oregon, Michigan State edging Baylor, and Wisconsin beating Auburn, the top tier of the Big 10 looks pretty strong.  Which brings me to...

3)  I'm pretty tired of hearing about SEC dominance, even though it is rooted in truth (SEC teams won the national championship every year from 2006-2012).  The underlying dynamic to that claim was about sectionalism-- that good football was now only played in the south.  That claim to a permanent shift in power has been challenged by the outcomes this year... but that's only one year.

As much as I have liked the SEC over the course of my football fan life, I had come to resent the idiotic pronouncements regarding perpetual SEC dominance. For people with a memory, it is clear that conferences ascend and descend as powers. Nobody with any sense of history could have believed that Michigan and Ohio State were done as great power programs. Nobody should think that UT and OU are done as great powers. No one should bet that USC will never win another national championship or Notre Dame or Penn State. By the same token, it seems foolish to think that LSU and Alabama are not headed for some mediocre seasons in the future. These are the cycles of life.

As for the Big 10, kudos to them. As you say, with MSU's remarkable comeback victory in the Cotton Bowl, Wisconsin over Auburn, and Ohio State winning its way to a national championship in the first ever college football tournament, these are high times. And with Jim Harbaugh on the way to Ann Arbor, Big 10 stock is definitely on the rise. This ought to be the beginning of a great run for a storied conference.
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