The Michigan Wolverines have their own issues to sort out at the moment as it pertains to the future of the program, but there is still time to stand up for the Ohio State Buckeyes in the College Football Playoff.
Michigan offensive coordinator Josh Gattis went to social media on Monday to make the case for why the Big Ten Champion — in this case, OSU — deserves a shot to play for a national title.
Regardless of polls, a 6-0 BIG team deserves in. No conference has had to endure more
1. The emotional roller coaster if a season would happen/ opt outs
2. No fans all year/Environment
3. 21 day protocol to miss games/ add in injuries/contact tracing
4. Inability to reschedule
— Josh Gattis (@Coach_Gattis) December 21, 2020
He would follow it up with:
“This isn’t an endorsement, this is an acknowledgement of what every kid/team has had to face in our conference. Comments show people put their own selfishness in front of so many kids sacrifice this season.
“Every Big10 player/coach sacrificed more than what anyone can imagine.”
These comments wound wind up being deleted before he set his account to private, so he was either not happy with the blowback or was told to take it down.
Nobody needs to make the case for why Ohio State is in the playoff after the fact. They were in because if they won all the games on their schedule, they were always going to be in. As Nicole Auerbach wrote in The Athletic, the CFP committee has made it clear with their actions that this is basically an invitational as opposed to a true playoff.
It’s admirable to stand up for the conference because, in the same situation, Michigan would want to be treated as such and have a shot to play for it all. But they are not in that situation and, to be frank, the future of Gattis and the rest of this coaching staff is unknown and this is probably not the message to be signal-boosting at the moment.
And this isn’t the SEC where everyone submits to the greater good of the conference because “it just means more.” But maybe it is now. I don’t know.
This comes on the heels of athletic director Warde Manuel going on the record a few weeks back to talk about how great of a program OSU is and why they deserve a shot to be in. In that same press conference, he downplayed the significance of negative recruiting as it applies to the uncertain future of the program.
“I just want to make it clear: I think Ohio State is one of the top four teams in this country, deserves the opportunity and the conversation about their success this season, and would be a great representative to the College Football Playoff, if they are chosen,” Manuel said a few weeks back. “So it is, for me, that’s where I stand, and I’m gonna work with my colleagues in the Big Ten and Commissioner Warren to help make the best decision for us moving forward.”
Ohio State was always going to be in the playoff and the Big Ten was always going to pave the way to make it so as they attempt to grab their piece of the pie this season. There’s no moral high ground in the comments that have come out of Michigan recently. You’re not better than them because you advocate for them when they would not do the same for you. You’re just rolling over and letting OSU pet your belly like a puppy.
We know this year was hard on everyone. But the bend-over-backward endorsement of Ohio State is a bummer and something that should not be poo-pooed or positively received by anyone in a position of power at the University of Michigan.
It ultimately doesn’t make too much of a difference either way. Michigan and Ohio State are where they are as programs right now and their recent resumes speak for themselves. But for a program looking to regain that fire and get back on the right track, these tiny papercuts are still painful.