The Dubgate Embraces New Rivalries

By Jason Priestas on September 29, 2012 at 6:00a
The good uncle that turned on you

No coach generates as many conflicting emotions in Columbus as Mark Dantonio.

The Zanesville native did two tours at Ohio State, first as a graduate assistant from 1983-84, while a young Jim Tressel was working with the quarterbacks, running backs and receivers, and then returning with Tressel in 2001 as Ohio State's defensive coordinator.

It's this relationship with Tressel—he also served as his DC for his first four seasons at Youngstown State—and the fact that the man is somewhat of a defensive savant that has endeared Dantonio to so many Buckeye fans. It was his defense, after all, that sacked Ken Dorsey on Miami's first offensive play of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, setting the tone for the upset that would lead to Ohio State's only national championship in the last four decades. Swoon, indeed.

Dantonio's closeness with Tressel prompted him to famously defend the ousted coach's tenure in Columbus by calling him a "tragic hero" two months after his exit. That kind of stuff will win a lot of hearts and minds in the 614.

But the Mark Dantonio of today is not the same guy that we casually cheered for at Cincinnati and during his first four campaigns in East Lansing.

This is a man that has built one of the league's best teams by mining Ohio for overlooked talent until he was able to lure four-stars from the Buckeye State. When Urban Meyer arrived, he successfully targeted and flipped one of those talents—Canton McKinley product Se'Von Pittman—leading Dantonio's bulldog, defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, to wax poetic about agreements between gentlemen before going on to say that the two staffs were no longer friendly with each other.

This week, both staffs have avoided any bulletin board material, with Dantonio even going so far as to cut off media access to his team so they could "come closer together."

But make no mistake, while there may not be bad blood flowing between the staffs and their teams, it's salty at best and the Spartans present a team that the Buckeyes must contend with if they are to capture conference championships while Dantonio is in town.

Green is the new hate.

What's the cure for disastrous Big Ten non-conference play? Why, league play, of course!

11 Big Ten teams are in action today, with Purdue in the B1G's only non-conference tilt, which means that instead of 11 or 12 potential losses, we're guaranteed to have six at most! Progress!

It's another relatively weak slate across the board (on paper at least) with just one matchup of ranked foes and it just so happens to feature your favorite team.

The full lineup of today's games of note:

12:00pm Baylor at #10 West Virginia FX -- WVU (-11.5)
12:00pm Indiana at Northwestern BTN BTN2GO NU (-11)
12:00pm Penn State at Illinois ESPN WatchESPN ILL (-1)
12:00pm Minnesota at Iowa ESPN2 WatchESPN IOWA (-6.5)
3:15pm Marshall at Purdue BTN BTN2GO PUR (-16.5)
3:30pm #14 Ohio State at #20 Michigan State ABC -- MSU (-2.5)
3:30pm Tennessee at #5 Georgia CBS -- UGA (-14)
3:30pm #16 Clemson at Boston College ESPN2 WatchESPN CLEM (-7)
3:30pm Virginia Tech at Cincinnati ESPNU WatchESPN VT (-6.5)
4:00pm Arizona State at Cal FX -- CAL (-1)
6:00pm #3 Florida State at South Florida ESPN WatchESPN FSU (-16.5)
7:00pm #7 South Carolina at Kentucky ESPN WatchESPN SC (-21)
7:50pm #12 Texas at Oklahoma State FOX -- UT (-2.5)
8:00pm Wisconsin at #24 Nebraska ABC -- NEB (-11.5)
9:15pm Ole Miss at #1 Alabama ESPN WatchESPN ALA (-30)
10:00pm #19 Oregon State at Arizona Pac-12 Network -- ARIZ (-2.5)
10:30pm #2 Oregon at Washington State ESPN2 WatchESPN UO (-31.5)



Comments Show All Comments

BuckeyeEd's picture

Hard to Hate a Guy that helped us Lift the Crystal Ball.....EERILY familar was Bo under Woody who later went to, and still is, are most hated rival......TTUN. Us Old Buckeyes Know though that the true Hatred for that TTUN started before Woody and Bo.....It is a Hatred that stretches the fabric of time and spans Generations. It is one of the first Lesson's learned in my family.
Smash Sparty.....
Kill the Wolverine!!

Geraffi's picture

Well said, but there's always room for more hate. Especially for a team from the state up north. After all, we don't give a damn for the WHOLE state of Michigan. amiright?!
Bring home a W, Buckeyes!  Smash Sparty!

BLeezy17's picture

Agreed. I can always find room in my heart for more heart. Welcome to the hate party Sparty.

cajunbuckeye's picture

There is always room. Hate is the "jello" of emotions.

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

BoFuquel's picture


I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Tonga Buckeye's picture

It's conference play, take no prisoners, destroy, no retreat, OHIO STATE FOOTBALL! 

"go not where the path may lead, rather go where there is no path and leave a trail"

Statutoryglory's picture

Its quite likely that a coach w us now ends up coaching in the big ten in 5 or so years. Especially after Pizza Hut brings the cheeseburger stuffed crust to the US and brady hoke continues to be passionate about food.

painterlad's picture

I like Dantonio. He's salty and crusty...damn, why am I craving a pretzel right now? Anyway, I don't hate Sparty. I hate Wisconsin, Illinois and the other michigan state, but Sparty is nothing but another midwestern wall to hurdle.

To err is human. Really sucking requires having yellow stripes on your helmet.

BuckeyeinExile's picture

Same here, I have always liked MSU especially under Dantonio as he is in the Woody mold. I obviously hate TSUN, but the school I have hated even more is Wisconsin - I just can't stand them or the chief cheesehead Bielama. I do see a strong rivalry forming with MSU but I see it more as a respectful rivalry then a hateful one like we have for their lil bros the fighting shoelaces.

jestertcf's picture

I think along with Wisconsin and TTUN, I add a differnent one each year that poses the biggest threat to us this year. As to do i dislike the coach? No, and I don't think I could really, he helped us upset one of the greatest football teams of the time. (Does anyone else remember the "experts" saying that Miami team could go out and beat the Bengal's that year?)
He also brough UC out of realative obscurity. He has paid his dues, and is doing good things at M State. I root for him, except when they play the bucks.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

xtremebuckeye's picture

My love for hate goes to that other team up north

O H I O is the Buckeye State

BuckeyeChief's picture

I don't hate Sparty, other then '98 (ugh). Dantonio is still one of my favorite coaches, even if he looks like the Red Skull from the Captain America movie.

"2014 National with it!!!"

Culp's Freaking Hill's picture

Oh, hey, thanks for bringing up 1998.

Twitter: @conquestnorman

BuckeyeChief's picture

Just another stepping stone in the hell I call life. if it makes you feel any better, I can throw in the fact that I was living in a trailer park because I was a broke E-4 who didn't make enough to live off the ship, and I had just totaled my car, without full coverage. My nickname used to be "The Black Cloud".

"2014 National with it!!!"

johnblairgobucks's picture

Dantonio has more of a Sling Blade look, IMO:

buckeye76BHop's picture

Go Bucks!  Sparty pulls a "Sparty" and OSU leaves with a close win.  Smash Sparty!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

Rooster Buckburn's picture

Simply can't hate the architect of our last national championsihp defense - but still want to beat them down on the field today!  Go Bucks!

Geraffi's picture

Philosophically, hate is an emotion, like all other emotions, with a wide range of intensity. So, perhaps I hate MSU less than I HATE TSUN, but it's still hate. Can we all agree to just hate MSU a little less than TSUN, and maybe hate those hapless Hoosiers a little less than that, so that all teams in the B1G are somewhere on the continuum of hate?
Who's with me? Let's go!  Come on!
/Bluto yells battle cry/runs out of room expecting others to follow/

Whosisbrew's picture

Any way one can watch the game online?

Idaho Helga's picture

It's on ABC nationally so I'd think you could find it on the internet since its broadcast free.
I kinda like Sparty especially w/ the Dantonio OSU connection and the fact "little brother" has been smacking the arrogant TSUN lately.  Still calling them "little brother" makes about as much sense now as calling us Ohio.  LIke with the "Ohio" thing,it's meant to be an insult but in reality just makes YOU look stupid.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

#1.  scum:  simply because they exist.
#2.  wisky:  just a visceral hatred of the coach and fan combo.    (jump around is sweet though)
#2a. sparty:  you ruined 1998.
#3.  purdue:  why can't we win there?  the end.
#4.  illinois:  no, no, no, you are not good.
#5.  penn/iowa:  gay-ass lion sound at stadium 675 times a game/your coach is overpaid.
#6.  gophers:  you will always stink. penance for terry glenn's shoulder.
#7.  indiana:  dumb nick-name.  tom crean. 
#8.  nerds:  i like pat fitzgerald, but you're still nerds. 
#9.  bill brasky:  last year was a fluke.  don't let it happen again
#2b.  notre dame.  rip Declan Sullivan.  you are the worst brian kelly.

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

BuckeyeinExile's picture

How about moving notre dame up a bit higher on the list since Ron Paulas was the original annoying overated QB that Beano Cook picked to win the Heisman every August!

Geraffi's picture

That's what I'm talkin' about. A continuum of hate!  Well done BuckeyeEddie27. 

osubuckeye4life's picture

I think that list needs USC. 
The only PAC 12 team that regularly gives us fits. Last time we beat them was in the 1973 Rose Bowl.