October 13, 2007

We Have Ohio State Right Where We Want Them

AS A BIG TEN PARTISAN, I know I've been accused of overhyping the performance of its teams. Still, even I am shocked at the idea of Ohio State University's football team being ranked No. 1 in the nation, as they almost certainly will be when the BCS standings are soon released. It was amazing enough when the (now former) No. 1 LSU Tigers went down to defeat today, but to have No. 2 California collapse just a few hours later was unbelievable -- especially because Cal lost the game due to an unthinking mental error on the part of its backup quarterback.

So what does Ohio State's almost-certain ascendancy to the top of the BCS standings mean? Well, for this Michigan Wolverines fan, it means one thing and one thing only: we've got the bastards right where we want them. As Michigan plays its best football when it can ruin the hopes and dreams of other squads, it accordingly increases the chances Michigan will defeat Ohio State and its Evil Genius Sweater Vest-Clad Coach on Nov. 17.

Speaking of Michigan, now that we've won five games in a row, it would be nice if we received a ranking in the Top 25 polls this coming week. Since No. 18 Illinois lost to pathetic Iowa (that's gotta hurt), No. 19 Wisconsin lost to Penn State (I did not see that coming), and No. 21 Florida State lost to Wake Forest (go Wake!) one would think there would be room for the Wolverines somewhere down near the bottom of the list. Besides, since we utterly destroyed Purdue today in a 48-21 rout, we are clearly accelerating our comeback and hopes of winning the Big Ten championship. Of course, I ought not get ahead of myself here -- we must play the Fighting Zooks of Illinois next week and that will undoubtedly be a tough game. Still, I do think we're deserving of a ranking.

This whole week in college football has been outstanding, if you ask me. The games during the week, which are often blowouts and thus not all that interesting, proved to be fantastic. Navy beat Pitt in two overtimes, Wake beat Florida State in a close game and the Hawaii-San Jose State matchup also went to overtime. Today's matchups were also hard-fought, close games. I didn't get to see Louisville beat No. 15 Cincinnati, but that sounded like a good game, and No. 10 USC almost lost again in their game against Arizona. That would have really been nice, but one can't have everything for which one wishes.

For that matter, this whole season has been outstanding, despite certain circumstances I really wish would not have happened. Generally speaking, I am a fan of parity in football and it has been great to see teams that would get crushed out of hand in a typical year fight their way to victory. The upheaval has also put unexpected names at the top of the rankings. I mean, who would've thought at the start of the year that Boston College would be a likely No. 2, or South Florida a likely No. 3? My guess is no one.

I know lots of people would like to see a Division I-A playoff system put in place, but I have to admit I like all the fuss over the rankings -- even though, as a Michigan fan, I've been burned by this in the past (see our "shared" 1997 national championship). There's nothing like having lots of stuff to argue about to make things interesting -- and things are definitely far more interesting now than they've been in years.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at October 13, 2007 11:36 PM | TrackBack

You are so right ... the 2007 college football season has been fantastic. Perhaps we should have anticipated the magnitude of this year's upheavals after the Wolverines lost their opener to Appalachian State. Now the resurgent Wolverines seem well positioned to pull together a very successful year. The next five weeks are likely to provide still more interesting twists and turns in what has become one of the most suprising seasons in the history of college ball. We shall see.

Posted by: Swammi in Solon at October 14, 2007 11:58 AM
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