When things aren’t going well, some people usually take to social media to make it seem like things are fine, even though, in fact, they aren’t. It’s just what happens in our society at times. The same can be said for college football programs, I guess, too, as the Michigan Wolverines continue to prove.
Michigan hasn’t beaten the Ohio State Buckeyes on the gridiron since 2011. November 26, 2011, to be exact, which means it’s been more than 3,000 days since the Wolverines have beaten the Buckeyes. The Wolverines have taken down Ohio State just twice since 2003. They haven’t won in Columbus since 2000. Ohio State – Michigan is considered the best rivalry in sports, yet, The Game has been as one-sided as it gets over the past two decades.
Not only have the Buckeyes dominated the archrival since the turn of the new century, but Michigan hasn’t won the Big Ten since 2004. They haven’t even made the Big Ten Championship Game, which debuted
The winningest team in college football history and one of the most dominant programs in the Big Ten prior to 2004 has lost that dominance.1 In fact, there might as well be “Missing: Michigan Wolverines’ Competent Football Team” signs hanging all across Ann Arbor these days. Yet, even though they can’t finish atop the Big Ten, let alone be amongst the greats in college football or even win The Game, the Wolverines’ coaches are still trying to talk the talk, even though they can’t walk the walk.
Back on March 16, Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis tweeted a video, saying that the Wolverines’ “won’t be so kind to beat ourselves” and that “The BluePrint is out [to (finally) beat Ohio State].” Keep in mind, even with a first-year head coach, Ryan Day and the Buckeyes dominated Michigan, 56-27, in Ann Arbor last season.
I don’t think that was due to the Wolverines beating themselves, sir.
In case you thought that was it, just over two months after that initial tweet, Gattis took to Twitter once again to tweet about The Game (and other things). This time around though, it was about the Wolverines’ daunting out-of-conference schedule over the years *and* The Game.2
We know what game matters…..
But you can’t say Michigan hides behind a easy schedule unlike others!
The truth is the truth!
— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) May 20, 2020
So, let’s dissect this a bit. First, the graphic says “three seasons” under Jim Harbaugh. The head coach just completed his fifth season in Michigan. So, Gattis used a graphic from two years ago to try and prove a point? Secondly, in terms of that graphic, those numbers aren’t even that great. It basically allows programs such as Ohio State, Clemson, and Alabama, among others, to “Well, Actually” the Wolverines very easily. In terms of the “great” non-conference schedule, five of the games he mentions were bowl games, which means Michigan didn’t even schedule them. Keep in mind, they lost four of those five bowl games as well. Oh, and mentioning that the Wolverines no longer schedule Division I-AA opponents, Gattis simply just made it easier to remember that Michigan lost to Appalachian State in 2007, who was a Division I-AA program back then. Let’s not forget that Michigans’ out-of-conference schedule has also included Ball State, Arkansas State, Colorado State, Hawai’i, UConn, and Army over the last five years. So a big ‘Congrat.’ to that. Last, and certainly not least, “We know what game matters…But”. Wait, what? Just print that on every Michigan fan’s tombstone, please.
To make things even better, Harbaugh may not have tweeted hysterically bad takes over the last few weeks, but he made his voice known instead of his tweets.
First, it was this, which was given to us from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Jim Harbaugh wants to overhaul the rules of college eligibility of when is the right time to turn pro and enter the draft, as this letter shows. Baseball and hockey already have changed, and basketball is about to change, and Harbaugh wants to empower the student-athlete. pic.twitter.com/lQLb10H8SR
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 7, 2020
For those curious, college football players must complete at least three years of college (either through junior year or redshirt sophomore year, athletically) to enter the NFL Draft. For college basketball, it’s just one year. So, this is clearly to level the playing field and given Harbaugh’s Wolverines — who seem to lack the talent compared to the top programs in college football over the years — a much better chance to compete on the national landscape. Just how underperforming (and overrated) has Harbaugh been in Ann Arbor? Rather than try and win games on the football field with his own talent, he’s trying to change the rules so that the big-time talent on teams such as Ohio State are no longer on those teams and instead in the NFL. Not so easy, Jimmy boy.
Then came a conversation with Mike Tirico on NBC Sports Network’s “Lunch Talk” podcast this week.
“We’ve got to beat Ohio State,” Harbaugh said. “Nothing makes us angrier than that, or me. That’s what we’re working toward every day. We’ve beaten everybody else but we haven’t beaten them.
“That’s what we have to do — beat them, win a championship, get ourselves into the playoff, win a national championship.”
For a team that Harbaugh believes is “on the cusp” of making the Playoff and winning a national title, Harbaugh sure makes it much sound much easier to be a legitimate, great college football program than it actually is. Keep in mind, he is 47-18 overall and 0-5 against Ohio State during his first five years leading the Wolverines. “Who has it better than us?” Well, a lot of college football programs do, Jim. I mean, Ohio State is one of the many who do.
It’s as if Gattis has taken after his head coach. If only Harbaugh’s Wolverines were as good on the gridiron as their head coach and offensive coordinator make it out to be. Harbaugh and Gattis can continue to discuss and tweet out hypotheticals, Ohio State’s coaches will continue to prove their dominance on the field, rather than with their mouths or behind their keyboards and phones. There’s a reason the Buckeyes have dominated Michigan over the last two decades, they don’t need to make stories or tweets about it to prove that. That’s all.