Have you finished exhaling yet? We just witnessed a win for the ages for Michigan State over Michigan in the Big House, and for all the talk, and hand-wringing, and talk, the result is the same.
Yeah, Michigan played well. Yeah, Michigan State failed in special teams and put itself in the most likely of scenarios to let the Maize and Blue take the torch from it. A win would have started the avalanche of babies being born by the name of “Jim,” “Harbaugh,” and even “khakis” in Michigan, and flipped the script of which team was the best in the state of Michigan.
It was a done deal, but then fate and the college football gods intervened.
— Phil Harrison (@PhilHarrisonCFB) October 17, 2015
No Harbaugh, you don’t get to swashbuckle in with your pen clipped to your whistle, khakis, ball cap, and cleats, and turn a Michigan program that has been in disarray for almost a decade. It just isn’t fair for all the coaches that grind and struggle just to get wins.
In the end, Mark Dantonio still owns rental space in Ann Arbor. He’s now 7-2 against a proud Wolverine program and still has the upper hand on Harbaugh and all of his gimmicky and quirky ways. His team still sits as one of the few undefeateds and they live to fight another day in one of the most unbelievable ways you can imagine.
Survive and advance.
And yeah, celebratory high-fives aren’t taking place in East Lansing without the wacky finish, but the Spartans out-gained the Wolverines by 150 yards, they out-possessed the Wolverines, and scored 21 offensive points against a team nobody thought they could move the ball on.
It was a flukey play, but not a flukey result.
Harbaugh will get this thing turned around completely, just not this year. At least not to the elite level everyone would like to see in the win column. What was such elation just ten second remaining in the game, is now like a punch in the gut to everyone with Hail to the Victors cell-phone ringtones.
There’s still plenty of season to go, and a Big Ten Championship is still possible, but say goodbye to any hope of a national title.
No matter how you slice it though, this isn’t your Brady Hoke or Rich Rodriguez Michigan Wolverines anymore. The good news for Michigan fans is that it’s not your Jim Harbaugh Wolverines just yet either.
That’s coming, and it should be fun.
Phil Harrison is a frequent contributor to talking10.com. He is also a the founder of Big10news.com and featured contributor to collegefootballews.com and occasionally campusinsiders.com. You can follow him on twitter @PhilHarrisonCFB or email him at email@example.com If that doesn’t work, you can find him in the doghouse at home.