THE RANT WOULD like to offer a grudging yet sincere congratulations to the Ohio State University Buckeyes, who eked out a 42-39 win over the Michigan Wolverines this evening in Columbus, Ohio.
The No. 1 Buckeyes and the No. 2 Wolverines fought it out in an epic battle spanning all four quarters, and although Michigan was beaten, its partisans can hold their heads unbowed. In the years to come, there will be other games and other coaches, and the Buckeyes will have to venture to Ann Arbor.
Michigan can stand proud of its performance. With no turnovers, well-coordinated offensive plays and sharp defensive maneuvers, it was able to stay in the game even when things looked grim. Special mention should go to DT Alan Branch, who made a crucial interception AND a fumble recovery, both of which were deep in Ohio State territory. The usual crew -- Hart, Henne, Manningham, et al. -- also deserve praise for their work. Ohio State must also be commended for its performance, as the team DID beat us with that damned offense.
Of course, the game was so strong and so heart-wrenching on both sides that I suppose it might fuel talk about a rematch in Arizona for the national championship. I don't think that will happen for several reasons, not the least of which is that we already had our shot at Ohio State, and missed. But that also tells me something else: that the partisans of teams in the SEC or the Pac-10 or the Big East ought prepare themselves. For on Jan. 8, the night will almost certainly prove very long, and very cold.Posted by Benjamin Kepple at November 18, 2006 07:20 PM | TrackBack