5 Things We Learned or Confirmed

By Jason Priestas on November 20, 2006 at 4:42p
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Troy Smith
  1. Troy Smith has locked up the Heisman Tropy and is the best quarterback in Ohio State football history.
    The stiff-arm trophy was basically his to lose going into the Michigan game and, if anything, all he did was help to make the vote unanimous. Every time the team needed a big play, Smith delivered. I was a little surprised to see him so down on himself after the Branch interception, but I guess that's Troy recognizing just how important every play in The Game is. Smith is now an astounding 25-2 as a starter including 3-0 against Michigan.
  2. Jim Tressel once again had his team prepared for a huge game.
    Is there any better big game coach in America right now? 5-1 against Michigan and 4-1 (soon to be 5-1) in bowls is pretty damn impressive. The Vest had the perfect game plan to attack the vaunted Michigan defense. The hurry-to-the-line-overstacked-play-fake-bomb-to-Ginn was one of the prettiest plays I have ever witnessed. Softening up that defense with the spread sprung both of the long touchdown runs.
  3. The Wolverines are a good squad, but the Buckeyes were CLEARLY the better team.
    Michigan came out and executed well. Their opening drive had me a little nervous and Mike Hart carved up the Buckeye defense all afternoon. A lot of teams have success running against the Buckeyes, but Troy Smith and the offense take away a team's ability to run by getting out to early leads. Saturday was no different. A lot of the Michigan blogs are saying a rematch would be a different story, but if it weren't for two bad snaps and some questionable calls, the score could have been ugly. I don't care who you are -- I've been watching football for a long time and have never seen a roughing the center call before in my life.
  4. Buckeye fans showed a lot of class.
    The folks at the MZone want to complain about the treatment they received in Columbus and there was even a few national writers wondering if Buckeye fans would boo during the moment of silence for Coach Schembechler, but overall, the fans did us proud. I take a little bit of pride thinking that Buckeye nation is the closest thing to English soccer hoolaginism this side of the pond, but one thing we are not is heartless. This series is intense, but it's always been about mutual respect.
  5. The two best teams in America were on the same field Saturday.
    There's a lot to still sort out in terms of the BCS, but there's no doubt in my mind that Ohio State and Michigan are the two best teams in the nation. A few weeks ago, I thought a dream would come true and the Bucks would get the chance to beat Michigan twice in one season. This may still come to fruition, but as of now USC has the inside track. Either way, it's good for the Buckeyes. We get to beat up on USC -- the most hyped team of the past five years or the chance to shut up Wolverine fan on a neutral field with a "good" track.

Some other notes...

  • Get your popcorn ready: ESPN Classic will re-air The Game this Wednesday at 9:00PM EST.
  • Speaking of broadcast television, The Game was the highest rated regular season college football game since 1993:
    Top-ranked Ohio State’s victory over No. 2 Michigan drew the biggest television audience for any regular-season game since Florida State-Notre Dame in 1993. ABC’s broadcast pulled a 13.4 rating, which translates to 14.96 million households and 21.77 million viewers.
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