Foster: We treated both Michigan and MSU differently after their abysmal showings against the SEC
A big blue wall surrounds Michigan football. And it is a powerful wall.
That became clear again after the Wolverines were thrashed 34-11 by Georgia in the College Football Playoffs. It was a game that was so lopsided that Georgia head coach Kirby Smart called off the Dawgs in the third quarter. He did not want a Gatorade shower. He did not want to rub more dirt on Michigan’s face. His thoughts were on Georgia’s rematch with Alabama in the national championship game.
Michigan was outmatched. Outclassed and outmanned.
Before the game ended the Big Blue Wall began its defense of the Wolverines. People applauded Michigan, saying what a great season it had been. Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh called it one of the greatest in program history. Michigan beat Ohio State. It won the Big Ten and advanced to its first College Playoff semifinal in history.
And guess what? It was a good season.
However, in 2015 it was a quite different narrative when Michigan State did pretty much the same thing. The Spartans beat Ohio State and Michigan. They won the Big Ten title and advanced to the college football playoffs where they were outmatched by an SEC power, Alabama, which overwhelmed Michigan State, 38-0.
When the smoke cleared we did not praise Michigan State for a fantastic season. Instead, we laughed and laughed and laughed for six years because Sparty could not handle the big moment against the big team.
We laughed right up to last Friday’s Michigan-Georgia game until it became clear Michigan would suffer a similar fate. Then the Spartans loss wasn’t that funny anymore.
Damn! These top end SEC teams are damn good. What hope did any Big Ten team, outside of Ohio State, have against these behemoths?
I will admit to laughing at the Spartans. I laughed at my hopeful Spartan wife who went to Dallas for the game against Alabama. I’d told her not to go because that game was going to get ugly. She ignored me but saw the guillotine coming in the third quarter and wanted to leave.
We discovered once again that it is men against boys when comparing the top of the SEC with the rest of college football. The conference will win its third consecutive national title regardless of who wins, and this marks the seventh consecutive year the conference advances to the finals.
In a perfect world, we should not make fun of college kids who give their all against a superior opponent.
But once again I ask. If it is OK to poke fun at the Spartans, why can’t we do the same with the Wolverines?