Saturday, August 18, 2012

I'm officially on the move Michigan-OSU bandwagon

It’s been a hot topic this offseason.
Should the Michigan-Ohio State game be moved back to earlier in the season and be replaced by Michigan-Michigan State?
Pat Caputo wrote about it a few weeks ago and it was the cause of a lot of debate on Friday on 97.1 The Ticket for host Mike Valenti.
At first, I didn’t see the need to change things. I was on the side of “tradition.”
However, the more I think of it, the more it really does make sense to move the game and replace it with Michigan State.
Now, settle down Wolverine fans. That doesn’t mean that MSU is a bigger rival. My opinion is about the logistics of the new Big Ten Conference setup.
First, the MSU game means more to Michigan in regards to winning the Big Ten. To win the conference title, you have to win your division. A win over Ohio State only has half of the impact as a win over MSU does. Beating MSU also puts a loss in the column of a tough divisional opponent and increases Michigan’s chances to win the Legends Division.
Second, what good would it do if Michigan and Ohio State played two weeks in a row? I know many Wolverines say beating the Buckeyes is the most important thing each year. That is fine. But, let’s say in a couple years you beat Ohio State. Then, the following week, the Buckeyes beat you in the championship game. Did that first win really mean anything?
Third, moving the game to earlier in the season wouldn’t be killing the rivalry. It may adjust tradition, but there are plenty of great rivalry games that take place mid-season. Florida-Georgia and Oklahoma-Texas are just a few that come to mind. Does it really seem that their rivalries are lessened by playing before the final week of the regular season?
Had the Big Ten not changed to a two-division format, or even if Ohio State was part of the Legends Division, I would say there is no issue with keeping Michigan-Ohio State at the end of the season. But, it just doesn’t make sense now.
If swapping Ohio State with MSU is the big issue, it doesn’t have to be Michigan-MSU to end the season either. Michigan vs. any division opponent works. But, for interest sake, Michigan State seems to be the best option. It could be Michigan-Nebraska if that makes you feel better.
The world won’t end, the rivalry won’t die. Everything would be okay if Michigan-Ohio State is not played at the end of the season.
So, just think about it Michigan fans. 

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