Before I begin, I ‘d just like to give a shout out to fellow Pro Sports blogger James Centifonti (http://prosportsblogging.com/author/jamescentifonti/) for giving me the idea to this week’s blog. After my previous article, he commented on it, and writing that “I hope for the sake of college football that this program gets back to that elite status. It’s just good for the game.” I found this to be an intriguing point made, and one that really got me thinking: is it truly better for college football when Michigan is an elite team? In my opinion, its a resounding yes. (And not just because I’m a fan!)
The past three years, Michigan has fallen off the top of college football. It really begun September 1st, 2007, as we all remember when Appalachian State knocked off the mighty Wolverines the first week of the season. I still to this day remember receiving that fatal text message on the bus ride home from a collegiate cross-country meet, and can still recall that sickening feeling in my stomach. The next couple years, Michigan got feasted upon. Teams they had clobbered for years began returning the favor. Illinois beat Michigan in their stadium for the first time since 1999. Purdue defeated the Wolverines for the first time since 2000, and also scored the most points they ever had against Michigan. While these teams certainly reveled in these long awaited victories, the glamor was decreased somewhat because of the fact that Michigan was no longer a good football team.
When Michigan was an elite team and would lose a game, it was cause for a field-storming celebration. However, after the victories over the hapless Michigan teams of the past couple years, teams began realizing that they were SUPPOSED to beat Michigan. There is something about beating a team when it’s a national championship contender that just doesn’t feel the same when that team is going 3-9. Additionally, the rivalry with Ohio State, arguably the greatest rivalry in all of college football, all but disappeared, with Michigan having lost six in a row to date, and most of them by a large margin.
When Michigan is a dominant team, and playing like the squad who is the all-time college football leader in wins and winning percentage, the games become much more thrilling. Every small school gears up for the Wolverines in hopes of knocking off an elite school. The Michigan-Ohio State is routinely one of the most hyped and most anticipated college football games of the season. A school steeped with as much tradition and history as Michigan only helps add to the lore, excitement, and appeal of college football when they continue to play at a level predicated by over 100 years of winning.
About the Author
Written by Curt Bell