Ball State nearly Shatters 2007 Season
SALINE MI, Sunday 5 November 2006
What appeared to be a mere nuisance (almost an annoyance) on the 2007 M Football schedule, Ball State proved to be more than just a walk-over. With under 3 minutes to go in the game, Brady Hoke’s Fighting Jars had the Wolverines on their heels. The 109,000 on hand were on their feet, urging Michigan to stop them – yes, to stop Ball State! So what does all this mean? Let’s look at both sides of the coin here, why this could mean a lot, and why this might not mean anything.

Why This is a Disaster: Here’s a few reasons why this is a really a disaster
– Michigan almost lost to Ball State. To Ball State. They had to ball on the 2 yard line and could have easily punched it in, and got the deuce. Anything can happen in OT, although Michigan has never lost in OT.
– The secondary looked brutal, albeit it was second string guys. Was this a look at the future of our secondary?
– Could this come back to bite Michigan in the polls, and thus drop Michigan out of the BCS rematch scenario, assuming they lose to the Buckeyes?
– While most of the damage happened against the 2nd string defense, the first team gave up that final drive when the pressure was on.
– There is already talk that the near-disasters by Michigan and Ohio State could end any chance of a BCS Title rematch.

Why this doesn’t really Matter:
– First and foremost, if you’ve watched college football for many years you know this kind of thing happens to the best teams in the country. Heck, if you watched college football on Saturday you realize this can happen. You can make a good case that Ohio State’s near-scare with Illinois was worse than Michigan’s with Ohio State.
– Many don’t realize that it was the second string guys that were exploited. The first team was responsible for a total of 3 points.
– There were a few flukes. First, that Ball State didn’t turn the ball over during meaningful gametime was a fluke. Hart’s fumble (and safety) was a fluke. Henne’s pass returned for a TD was a fluke.
– The bottom line, Michigan will play Ohio State as an undefeated team and how they play on 11/18 is really the only thing that matters as long as they win, even by a single point.

More Takes on the Game:
– Because the game was only shown on ESPNU, the demand for tickets to this game was qctually pretty strong. I sold a few extra tickets and had little trouble getting rid of them. Granted it wasn’t for face value but they went quick.
– Patrick Stewart, aka Captain of the Enterprise Jean Luc Picard conducted the band at halftime and even gave the 109,000 on hand a few instructions: “Go forth and defeat the Buckeyes….Make it so, Number One.” Will do, Captain.
– Two F-16 buzzed the pressbox after the National Anthem and that was pretty cool, here’s someone who captured it all on YouTube:

– They are now saying Mike Hart’s fumble was technically not a lost fumble, so technically his streak is still alive although no one really cares or thinks so.
– This was definitely the most exciting game in the 4th quarter this year, with a close second being the Penn State game. A few times during Ball State’s comeback, I could hear coaches yapping at players in my seats 45 rows from the sideline.

1 Comment

  1. The near loss to Ball State will not matter unless the team does a repeat this Satursay vs IU. I really believe the team looked past Ball State, and this is a dangerous precedence. They also should not look beyond IU to OSU. I think this is a lesson well learned by all. Go Blue.