In a year that was riddled with sanctions -- which resulted in two-thirds of the Leaders Division to be eligible for the championship game -- this year would have the easiest route to victory for Michigan, they just had to survive their road schedule.
There's no need to rehash old memories of what happened in the Nebraska game. There is also no need to talk about "what-if's". Michigan lost, Michigan didn't take care of business. It's as easy as that. What I'm not okay with is what happened last night.
Now when I tell you 70-31, surely you'd think Nebraska came out and destroyed Wisconsin. Actually, Nebraska never really left the bus. Wisconsin, who didn't even win their division outright, brutally thrashed Nebraska to earn their back-to-back Big Ten Championship last night.
For Michigan fans watching as spectators of the conference, that one hurt.
It hurt for various reasons, for those who say "it should've been us" and for those who felt Wisconsin didn't belong there. The abomination that was the conference game last night sums up the lackluster year the entire conference shared. The conference has fallen so far from grace I sometimes wonder when we'll ever see a resurgence. But, I digress.
Now, we have to see Wisconsin -- a five loss team and a team that finished 4-4 before the championship game -- head to Pasadena and play in the Rose Bowl against an 11-2 Stanford team. A silly match-up that will Wisconsin is surely headed to defeat. For the Big Ten fans across the country, barf bags are available on New Years Day.
At the end of the day, whether pure luck was the cause or not. Michigan didn't take care of business. Nebraska did. The fact that Nebraska was the only team that "deserved" to be there and then getting killed in the way they did makes it all the more hard to swallow for fans of the legends division.
In short, this is a Big Ten Conference football season to forget about. All of the teams that are bowl eligible will pack up their things, head to a bowl and then try again next season.
As for Michigan fans, they will have to let this one simmer for a year. This is a wound not easily forgotten.