clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Michigan beating Ohio State would be a turning point for program

A season defining game could have an everlasting impact

Christopher Hall- Maize n Brew

The No. 4 Michigan Wolverines are favored to beat the No. 10 Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday.

While this rivalry has been a dark century for Michigan, the end of the tunnel may be nearing, and there’s plenty of light that can be attained.

Looking at this matchup objectively, Michigan getting the job done looks real possible.

And if they do indeed win at The Horseshoe, it would be a turning point for the program.

This is Jim Harbaugh’s fourth season as Michigan’s head coach, but this is the first season nearly every player on the roster is one of his recruits.

That means something. These are the players Harbaugh and his staff hand-picked, the ones they forged relationships with, the recruits they felt would mesh well with their football philosophy.

Not surprisingly, a roster with over 90% Harbaugh recruits has given Michigan their best regular season in quite some time to this point.

But there’s a daunting task on Saturday that will define the season.

A win and Michigan beats their biggest rival and all of their rivals in 2018, while also securing a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game.

A loss and they’ll be playing in the Rose Bowl. As beautiful as Pasadena is and the pageantry of the Rose Bowl Parade, the thought of being in the Rose Bowl instead of the College Football Playoff is just short of vomit inducing for Michigan players.

They set their goals high, the path is there to seize them, and here are the Buckeyes, standing right in their way.

But a win, oh what a win would do:

  • The “Harbaugh can’t beat his rivals” narrative would die its necessary death. It’s old.
  • Recruiting is trending up, but if they can beat OSU, expect a couple more five stars to join the 2019 class and future classes
  • Beating the Buckeyes would create a new mentality for the Michigan locker room. It’s one thing to believe you can beat the other team, to think you have a good shot at victory. But beating them would change it to knowing they can beat them, it would be a major confidence booster for years to come.
  • This one is for the fans and pundit: Winning would flip the script for 2019, and potentially beyond. As much as everyone has given Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes credit for beating Michigan yearly, as much as they pick them year after year to beat Michigan, the Wolverines and Jim Harbaugh would get the same type of love. If you’re a believer that perception is reality, this point applies. If Ohio State finishes the regular season 10-2 with a loss to Michigan, get ready for “What’s wrong with the Buckeyes and Urban Meyer? Is it over?” takes, whether they’re justified or not.
  • Beating Ohio State would validate why Jim Harbaugh brought Shea Patterson into the fold. Patterson came here to play for a National Championship, to beat Michigan’s biggest rivals.
  • If the victory over OSU leads to a Big Ten Championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff, that would be a remarkable season for Michigan. Many counted them out after the loss to Notre Dame, and even before the season began, but now they’ve won ten games in a row and have a good amount of momentum heading into The Horseshoe.
  • The past could be thrown away in the matchup, Michigan would have a chance at a winning streak against OSU in 2019, and that’s all that matters to them.
  • The victory would likely lead to Jim Harbaugh being named the Head Coach of the Year, and Don Brown receiving the Broyles Award, given to the top college football assistant.

Even if Michigan beats Ohio State, they’d have to beat a Northwestern team in the Big Ten Championship that cannot be taken lightly and deserve respect. However, with all the momentum that beating the Buckeyes would bring, you gotta love their chances against the Wildcats, and just about anyone else.

This article will be meaningless if they don’t beat Ohio State.

Michigan beating Ohio State would mean a lot, it’d be a turning point for the program.