Okay, I'm going to be cryptic, because I'm really just writing this for myself and I'm not wanting this to end up on some opposing fan's message board.
But, I think its over. We're no longer on top. Not worthy of even starting on top. It was a fun ride, my God...it was a dream come true and I'll cherish it forever...but, I guess in the college football world, it is someone else's turn.
It was a long ride too. It started in November 2001 when we somehow hung on to beat our rival...something that had only been done two times before in the past 13 years. That started it. Then, the bowl game for that season resulted in a loss, but it had in it players that never quit. Players that were playing for next year...to ride some momentum into the following year.
And yes...what a year 2002 was. I WILL ALWAYS TREASURE ITS MEMORY. Nothing, even a repeat National Championship, would ever top 2002....the close games, the lack of respect that was given for the close wins...this team showed the world and simply believed. They played for all teams past and played for the future as well.
And then...the following six years took place. We had established ourselves as a top team. Won the Big 10 more than not. And took care of our rival all but once. The glory years indeed. Games like Texas and Michigan 06 were fantastic. We were the elite and it is fun to be there. When you are on top, you expect to be there and stay there.
And then came a rout on January 8, 2007. It was bitter. Hard to watch. Memory burn. Then, another rerun of that on January 7 2008. Other teams knocking us off and succeeding. Exposing us and giving us glimpses into our future. When fallen, we'd quickly get back up and keep trying to defend our top position, but it was easy to see that the pendulum swinging.
Now, I'm afraid we're more like that old commercial..."I've fallen and I can't get up." That's where we are. It hurts and the whole thing isn't fun anymore. No longer is beating the rival enough. No longer is winning the sucky conference enough. Doing that means nothing, truly when you look at the other football talent across the country. The nation is laughing at us now, as we know most are jealous of someone that has been to the top, and has been there for a while. They'll keep laughing, I'm sure, as we continue to wilt and mourn inside.
I guess I just wanted to say... it was fun while it lasted, and just recognize that fact that we did make it to the top of the college football world and stayed there for some time. Something I dreamed of experiencing as a fan in my lifetime. And I did. I'm just not looking forward to returning to mediocrity, as it is evident we are very near that, rather than where the champions of football are. There's no fun or pride in that.