I'm not taking last night's Big Ten championship loss well. I slept perhaps all of one hour last night tossing and turning. There are tough losses (Iowa 2009 comes to mind) and there are gut-wrenching, tear-your-heart-out-of-your-chest, depressing killers like last night's 42-39 loss to the Wisconsin Badgers.
I suppose the higher the stakes, the more difficult it is to accept these defeats, and it's unfamiliar territory for me and probably plenty of other Spartan football fans. But what make this loss particularly hard to handle is the collateral damage: No Big Ten title, no Rose Bowl, and probably no BCS bowl game. And to add further insult to injury, the second Big Ten BCS slot will probably go to our hated rivals in Ann Arbor. Talk about kicking a dog when it's down.
But for as bad as I feel, I can't imagine how rough it must be for the MSU players and coaching staff--the ones who actually make up the team and are fully emotionally and physically bound to the program. I truly feel for them and hope that they are able to rebound and make a strong showing in whatever bowl game they end up in.
I have to take a step back and appreciate how far this program has come in five short years. In three of Mark Dantonio's five years as head coach, the Spartans have played for the Big Ten title and Rose Bowl on the final day of the season. Not too shabby.
Well, life goes on--as the old cliche goes.