Dear Jim Harbaugh: Simply beat Ohio State and save the season for Michigan

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Michigan vs Florida State
Dec 30, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh catches passes prior to the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

NOTE: The views expressed in this EDITORIAL do not necessarily reflect the views of Detroit Sports Nation or a majority of its writers and should not be misconstrued as such. The views contained within are the views of the author and the author alone.


Dear Mr. Harbaugh,

The biggest tradition that Michigan football has to offer is simple: you simply win games. You’ve followed that simple concept decently this year, carrying an 8-3 record into the final week of the regular season. But, key losses to Penn State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State have made it seem as though this season has been a bit hollow. Although it’s certainly nice to have the eight wins, each time that we’ve geared up throughout the week to watch our team take on a top flight opponent, we were quite simply let down.

I don’t count the season opening win against Florida as “top flight” because they were short-handed for that game, and their season has been a train wreck. But, through all the letdowns this season, there is a way to rectify the season: simply beat that school down south.

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I’m willing to look past the blowout loss to Penn State; the rain-soaked, turnover-laden disaster against Michigan State; even the heartbreaking loss that officially ended our conference championship hopes against Wisconsin. And let’s not forget the sub-par play we saw throughout the season from quarterbacks Wilton Speight and John O’Korn (and there is a LOT to look past there). I’m talking about looking past every single thing that did not work out in our favor this year.

It certainly will not be easy, but I’m willing to forgive it all if you can do one thing: simply beat that school down south.

I know, you’ve got a really young team on your hands this year. They’ve shown that youth numerous times throughout the season, too. But, if there was ever a time for you to harness the talent that you have on this team and get them up for one particular game, this is the one. I can’t legitimately put into words how tired I am of losing to Michigan State and that school down south. We’ve lost eight of the last 10 against MSU, and 12 of the last 13 against Ohio. I’m not calling for jobs…. yet, but saying that we absolutely have to change this culture of consistently losing to our biggest rivals.

There is literally no better time to start that change than right now, and it starts with this: simply beat that school down south.

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Let this sink in real quick, Mr. Harbaugh: You can save the season tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if it’s O’Korn or Peters who is under center for the game. It’s on you to have the proper game plan in place. This is “The Game.” We plan for this one particular day for months, and count down the days until it gets here all season. The stats coming into this match-up don’t mean anything. It’s all about the end result of the game. If I have to see that annoying grin on Urban Meyer’s face after the game yet again tomorrow, my feelings for this season as a whole will be completely unsatisfying. We could say that those feelings are already in place after the roller coaster ride this year, but it’s at least a salvageable situation.

The only way to make this season acceptable awaits you tomorrow at noon: simply beat that school down south.

Semi-patiently waiting to see what happens tomorrow,

Shae Brophy