Michigan. Ohio State. The Odometer.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Before I get to our evaluation of the Michigan-Ohio State experience, there is an important college football issue I need to address.
It's time for Heisman talk to heat up, and Going Big feels obliged to lobby on behalf of one Big 12 player that has been relatively ignored in this year's discussion.
The biggest knock against him seems to be that he's a freshman, and no underclassmen has ever won the Heisman. But now that Florida sophomore Tim Tebow seems to be the favorite, we can throw this underclassmen garbage out the window.
The player I'm referring to is Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree. And if you've watched him at all this year, you know he's all that and a proverbial bag of chips.
The numbers alone are staggering, and they should be enough to get him consideration for an invite to the Heisman ceremony. The redshirt freshman has 125 catches for 1,861 yards and 21 touchdowns. That's not a typo.
And it's not just the numbers, anyone who saw his 60-yard catch against Oklahoma on Saturday night can tell that Crabtree is a beast in the open field. Dan and I were watching the game in our hotel and giggling as pass after pass went Crabtree's direction. Check out this highlight reel if you haven't been watching him.
The other major knock against Crabtree is that Texas Tech runs a gimmick pass offense, and it inflates his numbers. That's bogus. He's playing against the best competition in college football, and the kid is dominating. When Eric Crouch won the Heisman, no one said, "eh, the option is designed to let the quarterback rack up rushing yards." Crouch played within the system, and he was rewarded. People should be recognizing Crabtree for doing the same thing.
And if you're argument is that Texas Tech isn't good enough, then that's also silly. For one, it's an individual award, not a team award. Second, why are people still talking about Darren McFadden for the award, even though his team is mediocre and he's having a great, though not transcendent season.
I'm not saying Crabtree should definitely win, but he should be in the discussion.
Hey, Going Big has to look out for its own.
I hope you're as excited for the odometer as Michigan was on Saturday at noon.
Days on the Road for Going Big: 81
Miles Driven in the Grey Ghost: 9,706
States Visited: 17 (Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska). No mas, at least we don't think so.
Points We've Seen Scored on the Field: 686 in 14 games (including one high school game)
Times We Heard "No One" by Alicia Keys: 15 (and that doesn't count the times I've watched the video on YouTube). Call us lame if you'd like, but Going Big has found an anthem. There are a number of XM stations that have Ms. Keys' latest smash in heavy rotation, and we can't get enough of it. It's rare that I enjoy a pop song so much, and I'm enjoying the chance to hear it often. It's a corny love song, but it's a damn good corny love song.
Related Sidenote: At the end of "No One," there is male voice singing "Oh, oh, oh, oh" along with Keys. I am pretty positive it is rapper Pharoahe Monch, but I can't seem to find confirmation of this anywhere on the web. Can anyone verify this for me?
Yards By Someone Nicknamed Beanie: 222. The prestigious "Going Big Player Of The Year" is still being decided, but Ohio State's Beanie Wells is definitely the leader in the clubhouse. When you add the 222 yards Wells ran up on Michigan to the 169 we saw him rack up against Wisconsin two weeks ago, that makes 391 yards on 60 carries over two games. Oh yeah, with five touchdowns to go with it.
I can't say that Wells was directly responsible for Lloyd Carr retiring as Michigan's coach, but he certainly helped put the nail in the coffin. Carr had a fantastic career and can always rest easy knowing that he brought the Wolverines a national title, which is something Bo Schembechler never did. Unfortunately, his last few years were not his finest, and going out with four consecutive losses against Ohio State will leave Michigan fans with a sour taste.
On the plus side, Carr's recent failures in bowls and against OSU will make things a little easier for his successor at first.
T-Shirt Of The Week:There were a lot of anti-Tressel t-shirts in Ann Arbor this weekend, but this won takes the prize due to its simplicity.
Bartles & James, or Smirnoff Ice?
Most Comical Moment Of The Week, And Possibly Year: So we're standing outside the Alpha Epsilon Pi house on Friday morning during their charity car bash, and we noticed two girls walking down the street in front of us.
One was wearing baggy sweat pants and an equally baggy sweatshirt with high heels, and the other was wearing what was clearly the outfit she wore out on Thursday night.
We didn't want to stare, but it was hard not to notice these two young women in the midst of their "walk of shame." The one still wearing her Thursday night best saw us noticing her and screamed loud enough for the entire street to hear, "I'm not a whore! I swear!"
Trust me, this was really funny.
Now on to breaking down our Michigan-Ohio State experience . . .
Tailgating: For sheer volume, Penn State was the best tailgate we've seen. But for enthusiasm and revelry, yesterday was tops. We rolled up State Street at 9 a.m., and the students were already in full force. There was music blasting from each house's porch, and friendly smack-talking going back and forth between fans. It was one of those days where even though you were excited for the game, you wished it was a 3:30 kickoff as opposed to noon so that you've have more time to enjoy the pregame party.
Student Section/Crowd: As Dan talked about yesterday, the student section was a little lackluster. He should know, he sat among them. In their defense, the weather was abysmal and they didn't have much to cheer for. On top of that, we saw them a week after Wisconsin, which is without question the best student section we've seen on Going Big.
Band: Another strong performance from Michgan's band, and as someone with my initials, I always enjoy a giant "M".
That might be the largest single letter we've seen a band make this year.
Mascot/Cheerleader: The cheerleaders did their best despite the conditions, and still hit the turf to spell out "Michigan" letter by letter. Now that's dedication.
If you can't tell, that's a "H".
Traditions: Ohio State-Michigan is a tradition in it's own right, and everything surrounding the game lived up to my expectations. Unfortunately, none of the players or coaches could control the weather.
Game: Due to the aforementioned weather, the game was anything but pretty. It was at least close for a half, but once Wells galloped for a 62-yard score on the first play of the second half, you never got the feeling Michigan could come back from a 14-3 deficit. The rain was certainly a factor, but the execution was still lackluster on Michigan's part. You kept hoping for them to break a big play that would get them back in it, but it never happened.
Overall: If the game had been a little better, I'd have given this experience an A+. Unfortunately, we didn't get everything we could have hoped for on the field. Nonetheless, it was still OSU-Michigan, and it was still awesome.