COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohio State fans streamed onto the field, celebrating a perfect season. All Michigan could do was watch.
Some of the Wolverines moved fast and were gone before the throng began to envelop the Ohio Stadium field. Others were caught in the mass, Elliott Mealer and J.T. Floyd walking slowly, heads down, as Ohio State fans celebrated around them.
Michigan entered Saturday thinking it could end a perfect season, could put itself in position for a potential BCS bowl berth and win back-to-back games against its archrival for the first time since 1999-2000.
Then predictability happened. Turnovers showed up. It was the same old, same old Michigan football team away from home against an opponent with any quality, and the Wolverines were deemed not quite good enough again.
It was another road game against a top opponent and another letdown for Michigan, another chance to take a step forward as a program and to establish themselves as an emerging power in the Big Ten washed away with the same predictable problems in a 26-21 loss to Ohio State.
Turnovers, which doomed Michigan against Notre Dame, showed up against Ohio State in the form of three fumbles lost and an interception. Offensive predictability, which showed up against Nebraska and even in a victory over Michigan State, was amplified against the Buckeyes.