Ohio State Vs. Michigan

August 26, 2013

I couldn’t agree more with Columbus (Ohio, USA) Dispatch sports writer Bob Hunter, who opined this past Sunday that having Ohio State and Michigan playing twice in one season is a great concept.  I think the Big 10/14 made a huge mistake by placing the two schools, the conference’s biggest perennial national football powers, in the same division beginning next season, thus preventing them from playing each other in the conference championship game.

Since the Big 10/14 championship game is now far more important than one of the nation’s oldest and biggest rivalry games, a rivalry that many consider the biggest in all sports, I would think the conference would want these two teams playing for its championship on prime-time television.  And, because you would not want the teams playing each other in back to back weeks, it makes sense to move The Game to the middle of the season.  Logically, this makes far more sense, since common sports wisdom dictates that it is almost impossible to get a team “up” for a championship game just one week after your biggest game of the year.

Many sports fans will cry out that tradition commands The Game be the last game of the season, with a noon start.  I say hogwash!  College football long ago sold its soul to the television networks and the almighty dollar.  I say The Game would be even bigger if played under the lights as the only game on prime-time national television.  The stadium would be electric, after the lucky hundred thousand plus fans that had tickets spent the day tailgating, pumping themselves full of their favorite spirits.

This scenario would be magical!

Steven H. Spring
The Ohio State University, Class of ‘87


4 thoughts on “Ohio State Vs. Michigan

  1. First and foremost Michigan and Ohio State will not be playing twice this season. But that is not the point. You say playing twice would be good but I think you would change your tune if the Bucks beat Michigan in the regular season and then lost in the championship game. Historically, the loser has the upper hand in the rematch. Also playing that second game in a neutral site cheapens the rivalry in my opinion. Either way I think the best thing for any rivalry is to play once.

    • Jake,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my article concerning the OSU-Michigan rivalry. No doubt, the losing team always seems to have a chip on its shoulder pads during a rematch. And since the Buckeyes have beaten Michigan 10 out of the past 12 games, some Buckeye fans might not want a second game, however, if these two teams are the best in the conference, they should play for the Big 10/14 championship. I just think it rather stupid for the Big 10/14 to have its two most high profile teams in the same division.

      Some people think Yankees-Red Sox is the best sports rivalry, yet they play a couple dozen times a year during the regular season and then again in the playoffs. That hasn’t cheapened their rivalry. In the NFL, there are many hated rivalries within the divisions in which the teams play twice during the regular season and possibly again during the playoffs. Two or three games a years does nothing to cheapen heated rivalries such as Browns-Steelers, Cowboys-Redskins, Raiders-Chiefs, Giants-Cowboys, Patriots-Jets or Raiders-Chargers. I attended one of the Raiders-Chargers games back in the ’70s, the game in which Kenny Stabler, I believe it was, intentionally fumbling the ball forward to score the winning touchdown. Because of this play, the NFL now has a rule against it. Walking out of the stadium, I didn’t say a word about either team for fear of getting sucker punched. It was unreal the number of fights breaking out.

      The problem I have is that after playing The Game, both the Buckeyes and the Wolverines will be facing a letdown when either wins their division and plays for the championship. This current setup will be a huge disadvantage to either team winning the division.

      Since it is possible that Ohio State and Michigan could play in the championship game this season, what makes you think they won’t? You must be a Michigan fan, since we all know the Buckeyes will be in that game come end of the season.

      Go Bucks! Beat Michigan!

      Steven Spring

  2. First and foremost Michigan will not win its division for the right to play Ohio State (or Wisconsin, but most likely Ohio State) in Indy. That division is highly competitive. There are 4 teams (including my team the Nebraska Cornhuskers) who are all about equal when its all said and done. I do not believe that Michigan comes out of that division. I think its much more likely that Sparty or the Huskers win it. Hell I would put Northwestern with a better chance. Secondly who comprises the greatest rivalry is a matter of perspective. You as a Buckeye fan believe it is Ohio St. and MIchigan. I live in Texas, where it is commonly believed it is Texas and Oklahoma or formerly Texas and A&M. Growing up it was always Nebraska Oklahoma as the best in sports. Point is every region has a rivalry it holds up as the best. Im not saying its right or wrong, just fact. Also using the Yankees Red Sox as an example is futile because baseball has so many games. College Football is unique in that you typically get one shot at your rival. Also imagine a scenario where both teams had the division locked up and the game on the campus site was just two teams not trying to reveal what the real game plan is. That would be a travesty. So I disagree and feel that if a team is a true rival as Ohio St. and Michigan are, they should be in the same division and battle it out for the division championship. Its the only way to avoid watering down the rivalry.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post and reply. Its nice to hear about BIg 10 football. Best of luck with you and your team this coming fall as long as your interests dont conflict with mine (and I sure hope they do at some point).

  3. Jake, no doubt I am biased with my opinion that OSU – Michigan is sports best rivalry, however, many sports writers think this way as well. In all seriousness, there are many great rivalries in college football such as Nebraska – Oklahoma, Texas – Oklahoma, Auburn – Alabama or Notre Dame – USC, just to mention a few. Fans of these teams have every reason to believe their rivalry is the best. I find it pitiful that every year it seems local television fails to broadcast some of these games.

    What I don’t like about the new Big 10/14 format is having the Buckeyes play Michigan one week, then if eligible playing for the conference championship the next week. That, to me is asking for a butt-kicking. However, most Buckeye fans want the Michigan game as the last game of the year.

    Be sure to watch for my article that I’m posting next Wednesday, on the eve of the first NFL game. Although I first discuss how the NFL talked ESPN out of participating in the PBS show Frontline’s expose on concussions, but then get into a topic is never addressed, that of the effects on the brains of young children caused by the banging together of helmets that occurs on every single play during not only games but practices as well.

    Thanks for reading!

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