Michigan on the brink of settling family business after a Rose Bowl win for the ages
“Now you saw the result of having those failures,” Jack Harbaugh said after an epic OT win over Alabama
PASADENA, Calif. — Sometimes, the most important things are better left unsaid. They don’t need to be spoken, not when all 11 men in the huddle are aware of the weight that they carry, with the burden of past postseason failures hanging over them like a dark cloud, ready to rain on their magic and end their run any play now.
Michigan was going to lose to Alabama. The Wolverines wasted a dominant first half, they made multiple special teams miscues and the Crimson Tide’s defense finally seemed to have their offense figured out. Of the soon-to-be three College Football Playoff semifinal losses in as many years, this was going to be the worst of them all for the maize and blue.
Michigan was a better football team than Alabama. It was also four minutes, 41 seconds away from losing to Alabama, ending a run that, given the stakes, would have been wholly unsatisfying, especially with so many uncertain futures within the program.
Then the Wolverines took the field down seven points and sitting 75 yards away from the end zone. They looked each other in the eye.
“We were just saying ‘do or die,’ ” Blake Corum said. “Do we want this to be the last of us playing together? We didn’t want to let our fans down.”
None of this was actually stated, of course, because as Corum said, “if it’s understood, it doesn’t have to be explained.”