Maybe he’s just taking advantage of Rivalry Week in college football, or maybe he’s being serious. I hope it’s not the latter because Dan Wetzel’s latest on the Ohio State – Michigan rivalry paints a picture of something that simply doesn’t exist.
This isn’t a Scarlet and Gray debate I’m taking up here – against the Maize and Blue – but instead, let’s say, Rivalry v Wetzel. I run this blog as a hobby, not because it pays me or gets me anywhere close to getting out of my other 60-hour-a-week hobby as a corporate asshole. Yes, it’s an Ohio State blog. Yes, I’m a fan. But this isn’t about bashing Michigan or its program, but instead shining some light on the real situation that is the greatest rivalry in American sports. Dan Wetzel did a poor job of it.
I’ll even start out from the assumed perspective of the northern side of the Ohio-Michigan border. The next to last line in Wetzel’s article reads as follows:
“They are both bringing it hard now, both programs seemingly on their game at the same time for the first time in a long time.”
Is this a joke, or the punch line to one that the Yahoo! editors cut before publishing? Either way, I don’t get it. If he spent the last twelve weeks, or even the last three, watching a different Ohio State team than I watched then I’d beg to know what channel they were on and who can throw it up on DVR for me to enjoy. The current-state Ohio State Buckeyes are as far from “seemingly on their game” as I can remember in recent history. After all we just came out of a decade that saw Ohio State post 106 wins against just 22 losses, including five BCS wins (1 of which was a National Championship) in eight appearances.
The last time Ohio State lost three consecutive games was in October of 2004. Hell they only lost three games in an entire season once in the last six years, all of which ended with a Big Ten title, yet here we sit closing out the 2011 campaign on a 3-game slide, but “seemingly on our game?” I don’t get it. I don’t. Hiring the best coach out there is a victory, but it doesn’t put a .500 team “on their game” leading into the first off season since Tattoogate.no comments
Braxton Miller came into 2011 carrying enough hype to fill the entire Ohio Stadium and the hearts of a fan base that stretches from one coast to the other. He was the anti-TP. As any true freshman will do, especially under the circumstances that has engulfed current-day Ohio State football, he has struggled to find his way all season long. His heroic, last-minute touchdown strike to beat Wisconsin in September made him legit. A win today - in this situation, under these circumstances - makes him Legendary.
Only one true freshman has won The Game taking snaps from under center in the storied rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan, and it had never been done wearing visitors’ whites. That one was our own Terrelle Pryor three years ago, but the circumstances were far different.
In 2008 the freshman Pryor simply “managed” The Game. He was a pedestrian 5/13 for 120 yards with only one turnover. The story of that game was 224 combined rushing yards, with 3 touchdowns, by Beanie Wells and Boom Herron – coupled with the Silver Bullets holding Michigan to only 198 total yards with two turnovers –in a 42-7 victory for #10 Ohio State. Today circumstances are far different.no comments
With the way college football lends itself to regionalized fandom there are natural rivalries everywhere, some bigger than others. Pitt and West Virginia’s Back Yard Brawl is a pretty big deal. So is Army v Navy, Auburn v Alabama in the Iron Bowl, and even Oregon v Oregon State in their Civil War. Texas and Texas A&M was a huge, historical rivalry but that’s coming to end with the Aggies’ exit to the SEC and the Longhorns pouting about it. Texas still has their Red River Shootout with Oklahoma to look forward to, but it’s not THE Game. None of them are.
Rivalries exist in every sport, but none quite like The Game. The Yankees and Red Sox is a big one but they’ve played more than 2,000 times, including eighteen times last season alone. That’s not “The Game.” It’s a good rivalry, but it isn't at the very top of the list.
The NFL has their share of rivalries as well, from Broncos-Raiders to Cowboys-Redskins, but they lack the passion and luster of a college football rivalry. Most of those matchups found in the NFL are within a division as well, meaning the play twice a year. For the same reason Duke-North Carolina hoops isn’t The Game (yes, they play a home-and-home every year as well), neither is anything found in the NFL.
“The Game” is reserved for that one-time battle between universities separated by a state line and an uncontrollable hatred for one another. Its 107 meetings in 114 years. It’s the Ten Year War, Bo v Woody, O$U v scUM, Ohio v That Team Up North, and its 2,926 days since your team beat ours. It’s The Ohio State University v the University of Michigan. Buckeyes v Wolverines.
This Saturday marks the 108th renewal of the series so let’s put on our Scarlet and Gray glasses and take a quick look backwards at it all before jumping back to the present day and putting our focus back to this Saturday’s clash. After all, we don’t get to today without yesterday...no comments
They sure are an angry, bitter bunch. Losing 9 out of 10 to Tressel will do that to a group.
We used to do a “quotable” post each week that pulled all of the coach-speak from the prior 7 days together into one place. This week we’l bring it back, with a bit of a twist, and just quote some of the Michigan fans found on multiple, public online message boards.
By the way these weren’t aimed at BHC because we don’t hang out on scUM boards and make posts. We just go over and hover like the creepy dude at the mall.
By the way their new, portly head coach Brady Hoke has taken to calling us “Ohio” rather than “Ohio State” and their fans have picked up and ran with it. It’s kind of cute.
DISCLAIMER: If you don’t want your overall IQ to drop 40 points today I would suggest you stop reading this by clicking HERE for an alternate supply of high entertainment.
On with the intelligence….no comments
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Welcome to Buckeye House Call,
Join us today at 6:30pm Eastern for the Valpo v Ohio State LiveBlog.
Participants include as many fans as want to hop on, as well as reps from: Buckeye House Call, The Buckeye Battlecry, OSU Silver Bullet, Men of the Scarlet and Gray, The Buckeye Blog, Our Honor Defend, & Fox Sports Ohio.
It’s officially Thanksgiving Day and we’re just two days out from another successful trip to Ann Arbor. It has certainly been a rough football season (following an even rougher off-season) but college hoops are finally here and we have high hopes for the 2011-2012 basketball Buckeyes.
That being said, rather than talkin’ Bucks on the NFL’s day to shine, we’ll chose to discuss everything the very young Buckeye House Call is thankful for, and it isn’t a short list.
We’ve now been publishing for two months and have gone through a design and graphics change, a domain change, and we’ve started building our online social presence through Twitter and Facebook. It’s been a lot of effort - a few headaches – a bit of stress - and a ton of support...no comments