During the Big Ten schedule, there was always a nagging thought in the back of my mind saying:
It doesn't matter if Michigan wins or loses this game, you watched this team and you know they're no good, they're not back yet, this year doesn't mean a whole lot, just wait until next year, or the year after that
What a terrible thought process, one that demeans the passionate rooting I'm doing during the game. But after realizing this Michigan team was at least one year away from better times, it's been hard to quiet that voice.
So - I've realized that detaching yourself from success or failure is about the worst thing you can do during college football season. Let yourself get lost in the highs and lows. Convince yourself that beating winless-in-conference Northwestern is a monster game and root accordingly. Who cares if it's a blip in a mediocre season in a mediocre conference. You only get 10 or so weekends per year to get really, truly worked up over this.
Let's talk about the game. The Dileo slide will not be forgotten easily. I've seen Hail Mary's. I've seen field goals. Have I seen a wide receiver run across the field to slide into perfect holder position to call HIKE and complete the perfect hold? Not too many times.
The reason Michigan was desperately pushing was the product of some stupendously bad play calling. Let's not forget that (what's the opposite of magical?) 4th down call with 5+ minutes left. Let me set the stage:
4th and 2 at the 5 yard line
Michigan is down 9-6
The Northwestern offense is sputtering.
The Michigan offense is sort of coming to life.
In my mind, all logic dictates KICK THE FIELD GOAL for obvious reasons. You tie the game, completing a nice comeback. Michigan's got the momentum to stop Northwestern and give the offense a shot to move the ball down the field for a win. At the least you can make your way to OT. If you don't get the touchdown, NW could presumably run the clock out with a few first downs.
Naturally, UM ran an awkward QB scramble right, which did not work. Maybe y'all disagree, but that didn't look like a smart call in the context of this game. And I DO understand the "go for the win on the road" thing. But man, NW wasn't looking that great. Your thoughts?