Tag Archives: The Game

Urban Meyer on Ohio State-Michigan State (and Michigan)

Monday in Chicago at the first of the Big Ten football media days, the head coach of Buckeyes was asked his thoughts on the Nov. 8 clash with Michigan State in East Lansing, a game getting more preseason hype at this point than the traditional regular-season ending clash with Michigan at Ohio Stadium.

“If we take care of business, it will be real big. But we’ve got some things in the way before we get there, so if we do our job it could be a real big game,” Meyer said. Big Ten logo

The natural followup was about the state of the “rivalry” between the Buckeyes and Spartans, the two teams that clashed in the Big Ten football title game last year and are considered the top two teams in the new Big Ten East Division this year.

“When I was at Ohio State back in the mid-80s they beat us at Ohio Stadium, so there’s a great rivalry already there. You’ve got to be clear, though, there’s one rival and that will never change. However, Wisconsin became a very big game and then obviously this one’s a huge game, and it’s a credit to both schools that they’re good programs, but there’s one rival.”

Ohio State-Michigan Second Thoughts

Ohio State’s 42-41 win over Michigan was certainly worth a second full viewing.

The No. 1 takeaway? The Wolverines played pretty well, but Buckeye mistakes were mostly why it was a close game.

Credit goes to much-maligned Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges, who called a great game all the way down to the final touchdown. His uninspired two-point conversion call, however, might have cost the Wolverines the win… (read more).


As for Ohio State, Herman always strives for balance, but Michigan defensive coordinator Greg Mattison practically dared him not to be, and that failed miserably.

I mean, yeah, the Wolverines avoided getting dinked and dunked to death by screens, and they forced Miller to pull the ball down in some passing situations, but why Mattison aside from a handful of field linebacker blitzes never put an extra hat in the box to help against a running game that gained nearly 400 yards is beyond my comprehension.

Read more: Scout.com: Ohio State-Michigan Second Thoughts.

Browns assembling Wolverine killing crew?

The Cleveland Browns may not catch the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North race, but maybe the signings of former Ohio State offensive lineman Reid Fragel and former Appalachian State quarterback Armanti Edwards yesterday indicate a new goal: assuring they can Michigan.

While unique, this is an approach that figures to play well to a large portion of the Browns’ fan base that warms up for Sunday afternoon by spending Saturdays hoping for Ohio State wins and Wolverine losses.

Browns sign Edwards, Fragel.

For Those Who Still Don’t Get It…

Though I expect this to fall on deaf ears, I typed it up, so I might as well share it, right?

A.) The argument that OSU-Michigan has anything to do with keeping up with the Joneses is totally off base. It would apply if the discussion still involved the chance there could be no championship game. That is clearly not the case. The debate is only about whether or not to draw the league’s divisions based on the simple and ultra successful SEC model, the relatively decent Big 12 plan or the completely disastrous ACC actions.

(As an aside, the argument that a conference must have a championship game to be relevant is wrong in itself. The Pac-10 and Big East play regular season games that weekend to remain in the public’s consciousness. There’s virtually no difference except the winner of a conference championship game gets a bastardized version of its league’s title regardless of the quality of the two teams in the game. Meanwhile, last season Oregon-Oregon State and Cincinnati-Pitt were end-of-regular-season games that weekend that decided the winner of the conference and had the added benefit of actually involving the two best teams in the conference, something not always true of a conference championship game because divisions are rarely balanced from year to year.)

As Frank The Tank explains, the geographic model is the way to go.

B.) In terms of “joining the whorehouse”,that’s already done with the addition of Nebraska, and no one is crying about it anymore. But fundamentally changing the Ohio State-Michigan game would have to qualify the Big Ten for its own special suite unless you can name another conference that broke up end-of-season conference rivals for such a reason as the Big Ten is considering (or perhaps has decided to do). Last time I checked, the SEC expanded without harming the Iron Bowl and the Big 12 did not touch Texas-Texas A&M, Oklahoma-OSU, Missouri-Kansas, Kansas-KSU and Nebraska-Colorado. Otherwise, yeah, it’s totally the same thing.

Texas and Oklahoma don’t fit the analogy because they had a rivalry long before they were ever conference members, so expansion enhanced that rivalry by adding more to the stakes whereas moving OSU-Michigan would lessen the importance of the game as it exists now. Miami and Florida State never played in the same conference, either, but in case you hadn’t noticed, their setup has completely failed to accomplish anything positive for the league or the schools and there is not really any evidence an OSU-Michigan move would produce any better results.

So to compare this specific action to anything done by any other league is to prove a complete lack of understanding about the situation because the facts don’t fit the case.

If you don’t find the preservation of tradition to be a compelling reason to do something, that’s all well and good. Please go find a situation that involves only that argument and mock those people instead because there’s more to the story here.

Contrarians are always welcome in a debate, but at least get the major points of the argument correct before refuting them.

If you believe the Big Ten must have 12 teams and a championship game to be relevant, A) You’re probably wrong, but more importantly, B) that can be achieved without changing the yearly impact of the Ohio State-Michigan game to such a significant degree. I disagree with Jim Delany’s probably insincere belief that Ohio State and Michigan should not play for a divisional title. Doing that every year beats the hell out of playing for nothing most years.

(Previously discussed here and here.)