Michael Hart is one of the best players in college football. Had an ankle sprain not hampered him over the past month, Hart would be one of the five invited to the Heisman Trophy presentation in New York in mid-December.
Hart's legacy consists of dozens of awards and records. He's one of the best players in the prestigious history of Michigan football.
But he's never beat Ohio State. Saturday may be that day.
The Wolverines are at home. They're angered about a fallen season that ended after a first week loss to DIAA Appalachian State. A blowout loss to Oregon the following week ended any sliver of hope Michigan had for a national championship. Getting pushed around last week at Wisconsin didn't help either.
Hart, quarterback Chad Henne, and left tackle god Jake Long all returned for their senior years, giving up millions of NFL dollars, for one last shot at glory.
But Saturday is the day the Wolverines can redeem the lost season. A victory will give them the Big Ten Championship and a berth in the Rose Bowl. Most importantly, it gives the seniors a satisfaction earned by so many prominent Wolverines before them.
Said Hart in yesterday's Detroit Free Press:
So you wonder, this week, if the colors scarlet and gray have come up in those more private conversations. Because for all he has done -- the all-time rushing record, leading the Big Ten as a freshman, countless honors and awards -- there is one thing he hasn't experienced: smiling after an Ohio State game.
"It's irritating, I can't lie," he says. "It's real irritating, especially with the way the game went last year and the year before. ... It's hard."
Can you put it into words?
He doesn't blink.
"I'd rather lose to Appalachian State than lose to Ohio State."
Time to get it done, Hart.