A great weekend of college football

Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett dives into the end zone as the Buckeyes defeated Michigan Saturday. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett dives into the end zone as the Buckeyes defeated Michigan Saturday. (Leader photo/AMELIO RODRIGUEZ)

ANN ARBOR — It was painfully obvious that Michigan still has a long way to go to be a championship-caliber team.

But despite being crushed by arch rival Ohio State in the regular season finale, I have to give credit to Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan coaching staff for the job they did in putting together a team that overachieved all season.

Before the year began, I know many of my Michigan friends were hoping just to have a .500 record.

I believed there was more talent there than people wanted to believe and I said the Wolverines would be 8-4 at worst.

But Michigan ran into an Ohio State team that was hurt and motivated Saturday afternoon in Ann Arbor.

We all wondered where was the Buckeyes team which crushed Alabama and Oregon to win the national championship last season.

Well let me tell you, a loss to Michigan State the week before and the embarrassment that followed woke up the sleeping Buckeyes.

Michigan can still win 10 games this season with a victory in its bowl game.

That is a major accomplishment considering how pathetic the Wolverines looked the previous couple of seasons.

With the influx of new talent over the next couple of recruiting classes, I can easily see the Wolverines not only competing for Big Ten championships, but for national titles as well.

Since Michigan kicked off at noon and Michigan State at 3:30, I was only able to listen to the Spartans go after the East Division title on the radio as I made my way back home with photographer Amelio Rodriguez.

We had more than a vested interest in the outcome of the Michigan State-Penn State game as a Sparty victory would all but assure us of credentials to Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis.

But more importantly, we were excited to hear that Michigan State was going to win its third division title in the last five years because the Spartans’ offensive line coach is Mark Staten from Dowagiac.

I wish I could have seen the look on his face as we listened to the broadcast of center Jack Allen rushing for a touchdown against the Nittany Lions.

We both got to meet Jack at the Big Ten Media Days. He is a quality individual and an outstanding football player.

I had to smile as I know Staten was grinning ear-to-ear when Jack crossed the goal line.

I cannot wait to talk to both of them about that on Saturday.

 

Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at scott.novak@leaderpub.com

Education

Niles Community Schools’ remote platform allows students to go at own pace

Business

Dowagiac business donates backpacks, school supplies to students in need

Cassopolis

Miss Cassopolis Scholarship Program hosting school supply drive

Berrien County

Berrien County Health department gets blunt on marijuana education, safety

Cass County

Two Dowagiac men sentenced Friday in Cass County Court

Cass County

Cass County works to expand broadband access

Edwardsburg

Ontwa Township passes 2.25 percent millage increase

Berrien County

Local talent development leader honored by Michigan Works! Association

Cassopolis

Cassopolis awards preliminary marijuana licenses

News

Niles police chief looks forward to continuing work with city, two departments

Cass County

North Pointe Center class partners with church for cemetery cleanup project

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan sees 113,863 cases, 6,623 deaths

Cassopolis

Cass County to partake in annual Crop Hunger Walk

Brandywine Education

Performing Arts Workshops launches memorial fundraising campaign

News

Court of Appeals rules secretary Benson acted lawfully in mailing absentee voter ballot applications to registered voters

Dowagiac

SMC welcomes new dean of business, advanced technology

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Elks to host annual Guys & Dolls Golf Outing

Cass County

Michigan Works! closes central office, opens three new locations

Berrien County

MSP traffic stop data reveals need for deeper study

Berrien County

Ballard staff member tests positive for COVID-19

Cass County

Two arrested on meth charges in Pokagon Township

Berrien County

Lakeland Heart and Vascular earns testing reaccreditation by IAC

News

Court of Appeals: Absentee ballot mailers were lawfully distributed

Cassopolis

Our Father’s Family Keeper Ministries helps families in need during pandemic