I’ll admit it. I am a big Michigan fan. Never would I ever try to hide it. But even true blue fans like myself know that they didn’t deserve to be in that football games. Self respecting Virginia Tech fans likely feel the same. It’s the first time EVER in which two teams ranked outside of the top ten made it into a BCS bowl and the play on the field looked the part.
Michigan won 23-20 on a field goal in overtime, but the result really didn’t matter to anyone other than the players on the field and diehard fans. Those who watched the game suffered.
The game was just sloppy. A touchdown wasn’t scored until very late in the second quarter and both teams looked as if they didn’t deserve to be there. No one could blame Boise State, who is ranked four spots ahead of Tech and six ahead of Michigan, if they were a little angry at being left out of this party.
The Hokies’ offense actually didn’t play all that bad, despite only scoring one touchdown and 20 points total. Their offense resembled a college version of any offense Kyle Orton is a part of; great between the twenties, but simply anemic where it matter the most. Credit to their third-string kicker, Justin Myer, who rose to the occasion and kept Tech in the game with four field goals in regulation. Though he did miss one in overtime, the blame should lay on the offense for not punching the ball in.
Now for Michigan’s offense.
Have you ever played the game five hundred? If not, it’s a classic childhood game in which the thrower calls out a number (usually 100, 200, 300, 400, and 500) and heaves the ball into the air to the other players whose main objective is to catch the ball and gain 500 points. If the ball is to be caught in the air, the thrower will yell alive. If to be caught after a bounce, dead would be called.
That was pretty much the Michigan offense operated. They were consistently stuffed on the run, so Denard Robinson just ran around until he decided to let the ball fly into a crowd. Junior Hemingway came down with both of the touchdowns receptions and was named the Sugar Bowl MVP. I’m sure that if you had your television volume turned loud enough, you would have heard a faint call of “alive” by Robinson amongst all the crowd noise. Despite his best efforts to give the ball to the other team, Denard only threw one interception on 117 yards of passing.
But once again, I must stress it, this game didn’t really matter. The only thing that really matters coming out of this game is that both teams showed that they didn’t belong here and that the current system is a complete sham in regards to competition. It’s just a money grab.
BCS officials supposedly chose these two squads because of their marketability and ability to fill up a stadium. Those 12,000 empty seats in the stadium would argue otherwise.
In reality, the Sugar Bowl chose two teams from two of the least successful BCS conferences who had inflated records because of their cream puff schedules.
Even in the money driven criteria that the BCS used, these teams failed to meet expectations. In Michigan’s defense, they sold all of their tickets. Much of the so-called blame for would fall on Virginia Tech.
But who could really blame those fans for not making the trip down to New Orleans to see the ACC runner-up. That’s like telling someone from the Midwest to fly out to Hollywood to see the premier of “Furry Vengeance.” It’s not that attractive of a proposition.
Many Michigan fans will ride the high of this victory, think of it as a spring board back into national relevance. An opening weekend match up against Alabama in Dallas, along with road dates in Columbus, South Bend (even though the Irish are frauds), and Lincoln will likely bring those expectations back down to earth. Maybe 8-4 if they’re lucky.
Virginia Tech fans will just wait until next year, when their team will beat up on their embarrassing excuse for a football conference and lose by 30 to Clemson.
So as we begin to say goodbye to this glorious college football season, let us remember that you can play as well in the regular season as you want. However, if you’re not a big name, better luck next year.