It's late October, so you know what that means: the leaves have changed, the children have come out of their houses ready to trick or treat and Michigan started hot, only to lose a big game where they had complete control.
That's right, there is no real reason to recap Michigan-Michigan State here, because if you've watched Michigan at all in the Jim Harbaugh era you already know what happened: The Wolverines got out to a big lead against a highly-ranked opponent (in this case 30-14, late in the fourth quarter) and still found a way to lose.
Sure, the refs played a role (how was that not pass interference on Michigan's second to last possession?) but at the end of the day, the Wolverines have no one to blame but themselves and their coaching staff. On offense, Harbaugh inserted freshman JJ McCarthy on a crucial drive, only to watch him fumble (which led to Michigan State scoring its go ahead points). And on defense, the Wolverines got worn down, allowing Kenneth Walker to have his "Heisman moment" with five rushing touchdowns, including the game-winner with 5:08 to go.
Final score, Michigan State 37, Michigan 33, and another bad loss for Harbaugh in a big game.
Just how bad is Harbaugh in the games that really matter? Here are some updated stats from Stewart Mandel of the Athletic:
Yes, you read that correctly: 2-13 vs. the Top 10 in college football, 3-9 against Michigan State and Ohio State. Considering he is 0-5 against Ohio State, the more damning stat may be that he is now 3-4 against Michigan State, a school which was once considered Michigan's "little brother."
Well, "Little Brother" has now won 10 of 14, so we should probably stop calling them that.
On the one hand this loss is devastating just because of how it happened, but on the on the other, it really isn't, just because of how routine these losses have become under Harbaugh. New staff, new players, but you expected the bottom to fall out and it has.
More importantly, it once again looks like Harbaugh is about to have a season that ends with a big win total, yet ultimately ends unfulfilling. We're writing this before Ohio State plays Penn State, but there's no real reason to think Ohio State won't win that game, meaning that we're setting up for another season that ends with Michigan probably winning between 9-10 games, but not beating the teams that count, and more specifically their two biggest rivals: Michigan State and Ohio State.
Here is some other reaction to Harbaugh following the loss.
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