As most of you know, Ohio State struggled to beat Maryland. Michigan also struggled to beat Indiana. Partly because Maryland and Indiana are actually good football teams and partly because the Wolverines and the Buckeyes face each other next week. 20 year old college kids struggle to to focus the week before a rivalry game. The bigger “The Game” the harder the focus.
The SEC found a work around. Alabama played THE Citadel, and was tied 10-10 at the half. Georgia smoked UMass. That’s smart football scheduling. Even though their kids aren’t focused, there is a 99.99% chance they will win those games.
The Big Ten doesn’t do that. Quite the opposite sometimes. Ohio State has faced season killer Illinois and Wisconsin many times the week before Michigan. The same holds true for the Wolverines. Upsets can happen at anytime. They are much more likely the week before a rivalry game.
So just talking about the Ohio State vs. Maryland game tonight, there were a lot of story lines going into the game. Once kickoff happened, none of that mattered. There were two teams that battled, and battled to a finish. This particular war ended with an OSU victory and an outside chance at the college football playoffs. Maryland just missed getting bowl eligible in a game that they could have certainly won. In the future, Maryland will win such a game, especially if they retain Matt Canada, who I respect a lot for going for 2 in OT.
It was great football.
Those SEC hacks weasel the schedule to get the best possible opportunity for a national championship, and I get that. The Big Ten schedules conference games when they schedule them, and let the chips fall where they may. I prefer this, because at the end of the day, that’s much more exciting football.