The University of Michigan should be celebrating right now. When the news broke a few hours ago about the cancellation of their game against Ohio State, the sighs of relief should have echoed throughout Ann Arbor.
Mainly because the team and their fans will now save themselves the misery. The misery of getting 50 points dropped on their head for a third consecutive season, the misery of the coaching staff’s fate swirling in the rumor mill, and the misery of seeing Jim Harbaugh’s Walmart khakis, wrinkled, and possibly soiled, as he realizes he wasn’t cut out for this rivalry in the first place.
Steve's khakis > Jake from State Farm's khakis > the khaki-colored scum of the earth > Jim Harbaugh's khakis— sarah hee❌stra (@sarahheems13) December 7, 2020
The Wolverines won’t have to drive on the Ohio State campus and see bed sheets hanging from fraternity house windows. Sheets that bad mouth Harbaugh, his players and their university as a whole. Sheets that comment on the coach shopping for his gameday attire at the same store where broke college students by their mac n’ cheese.
For now, Michigan has truly dodged a bullet. Supporters of the team should actually realize that this cancellation is a victory. They’ve quite possibly ruined the hopes of their most hated rival landing a spot in the Big Ten Championship game. The college football world would likely agree that staying put at the Big House was Michigan’s only real chance at an upset.
So, they did just that.
Now, I realize the severity of COVID-19 affecting a college locker room. How it can spread like wildfire and derail a team’s season like we’ve already seen in a few cases. But, at least now the Michigan football team can use this as an excuse. An excuse they’ve so desperately needed in their recent history against Ohio State.
An excuse just as believable as a high school kid telling his parents he really was at the school fundraiser, and not in the woods drinking Bud Lights with his friends.
Victory After All?
Again, I know that COVID-19 is a silent spreader and it’s entirely possible that the team was unaware of it being in the locker room. But, I like to think that this was part of Harbaugh’s plan all along. Maybe he told the team to be irresponsible. Perhaps he told them to enjoy the on campus bars with no masks. Maybe he told them to lick every door knob of their academic buildings before walking into class.
To be honest, I really wouldn’t put it past him. It would be his most successful coaching decision since taking the head coaching job at Michigan. More importantly, it would buy him just a little more time before his tenure in Ann Arbor comes to its inevitable end.
At least you would think.
#Michigan AD Warde Manuel and Jim Harbaugh insist that they'll work on contract extension matters at the culmination of the 2020 season. And why Manuel isn't too concerned about negative recruiting. https://t.co/e2JEQ1Wc48— Isaiah Hole (@isaiahhole) December 8, 2020
So, as Michigan fans exhale their sighs of relief, and Ohio State fans push for a date with Texas A&M this weekend to keep their Championship dreams alive, I ask that you keep this in mind.
Maybe this wasn’t an accident at all. Personally, I wouldn’t blame the Wolverines. After all, this is college football’s most famous rivalry.
And sometimes a Michigan coach has to do whatever it takes to save the embarrassment of getting slaughtered in the Horseshoe.