Until about 4 p.m. on Nov. 26, Ryan Glasgow’s final season as a Michigan football player was at its highest point. The Wolverines had a chance to beat Ohio State in Columbus that day, and if they had, they would have kept playing, starting with the Big Ten Championship this past Saturday.
When Michigan lost on the final play of double-overtime a few minutes later, its season was suddenly altered. The players had last week off while the coaches were out recruiting, with only the bowl game left to prepare for.
Somehow, the Wolverines had to move on. So when they boarded the bus to return to Ann Arbor, Glasgow pulled out his iPad and watched the game film. He watched it again that night. And then he came into the film room at Schembechler Hall the next day and watched it again.
He estimated that he saw the defensive film about eight times before Tuesday or Wednesday last week.
“That’s a game that will stick with me for a while, because we’re so close to beating Ohio State at the Horseshoe, No. 2 versus 3, one of the biggest games in a long time, and just came up short,” Glasgow said.
The sting of the Ohio State loss lingered for many players. The Buckeyes, too, were off last week, but they were coming off a win and felt confident about their College Football Playoff chances at No. 2 in the rankings.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” Glasgow said. “You can cite all the referee controversy you want, but we didn’t play well enough to take it out of the hands of the referees. I’m not partial either way, what people are saying about it. Can’t really do much about it anymore.
“Really disappointing, you go five years here, try and prepare as hard as you can, try and work as hard as you can, and to leave winless against Ohio State is something I don’t even think I’ve fathomed yet.”
Meanwhile, Wisconsin and Penn State, two teams Michigan beat early in the season, practiced all week and played for the Big Ten title Saturday in Indianapolis while the Wolverines sat at home.
During the week, the players had to find another way to pass the time, relieved of the 20 hours per week they spend practicing during the season. Some studied, some watched TV and some played games.
“It was weird,” said senior cornerback Channing Stribling. “There’s never been a time when we’ve been off, not doing anything.”
And some players — such as Glasgow, who is taking just six credits this semester as a fifth-year senior — struggled to occupy themselves.
“It’s different — you feel like a normal student for a week, kind of,” Glasgow said. “But then it just gets boring.”
Such is the predicament when a team’s season ends abruptly. For most of the season, Michigan thought it would keep playing until the Big Ten Championship. Instead, heartbreak had a chance to settle in.
Glasgow then took the opportunity to talk about the opportunity to play Florida State in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 30. Tuesday, the Wolverines’ dead period ended when they went back to practice in preparation for the bowl game. They have 15 practices to stay at the level they played at for most of the season. Then, in a few weeks, Glasgow will have one last chance to cap his career, add to his NFL Draft stock and create some game film he’ll enjoy watching on the way home.