That R Word

By Sarah on November 19, 2012 at 3:00p

If classic literature, TV shows loosely based on classic literature, and Quentin Tarantino movies have taught us anything, it's that revenge can be a powerful motivator. 

Crush them! Make them suffer!Destroy the Wolverine we must.
(via @SammySilv)

This season, the Ohio State football team has played the part of a vengeful spirit as the Buckeyes try to prove, with all apologies to Woody Hayes, that it is possible to pay back.

In 2011, Braxton Miller looked like the lost freshman he was in an ugly 10-7 loss to Michigan State. A year later, Miller displayed his playmaking talent as he led Ohio State to a 17-16 win over the Spartans.

In 2011, Miller helped his team take a 27-6 lead in Lincoln, Nebraska, but then he left the game with an injury and the Cornhuskers rallied for the victory. A year later, Ohio State fell behind early and quickly rebounded for a decisive 63-38 win in which a healthy Miller bested his own school record by rushing for 186 yards. 

In 2011, Purdue defeated Ohio State in OT, which was forced when the Buckeyes missed an extra point attempt after a last-minute comeback. A year later, Ohio State again put together a last-minute drive and thanks to a successful two-point conversion, they forced OT and this time, the outcome was favorable

In 2011, Penn State's defense and lack of pick-sixes helped them beat Ohio State, 20-14. A year later, Ohio State's offense, and a Ryan Shazier pick-six, gave them the 35-23 win

These results should hardly be surprising. Dating back to the start of the Jim Tressel era in 2001, Ohio State has only lost to the same team1 in consecutive years twice: Wisconsin ('03, '04) and USC ('08, '09). Urban Meyer has a similar record in revenge games. While at Florida, it also happened just twice: the Gators were beaten by Auburn2 in '06 and '07 and by Alabama in '09 and '10.

With one game remaining, Ohio State has one final shot at redemption for last season. Even though revenge will certainly be on the players' minds, it will not necessarily be the key factor it has been in those earlier four games. 

Because when it comes to Michigan, rivalry is the "R" word that really matters.

As cathartic as defeating Wisconsin3 was for many of the Ohio State players who saw their perfect season ruined in Madison two seasons ago, it pales in comparison to this week.

For Ohio State vs. Michigan, there needn't be any extra incentive beyond getting the best of their hated rival. If revenge played a significant role in The Game, then Ohio State would have been more successful in the 90s and it wouldn't have taken the worst Ohio State team in decades for the Wolverines to end their losing streak against the Buckeyes.

Each team has seen or heard nonstop mentions of the other throughout both the season and the offseason. The weight rooms and locker rooms serve as a reminder that the last game of the season requires greater attention than the ones that came before.

Winning is the goal of every game, but when Ohio State and Michigan take the field, it's not just about that. It's also about beating the other team. 

Of course in the grand scheme of things, a Buckeye win would mean more than "just" beating Michigan. It would help ease the minds of any fans who might be worried that Ohio State's prosperity in the rivalry ended when Tressel and his Midas touch left. The Aughts were a blissful period for the Scarlet and Gray faithful, but the painful memories of the Cooper years can never be fully avenged. 

Whether they're called Michigan or That Team Up North, they still suck. One of these things is not like the others

And it would also send a message to Michigan that last season was an aberration and that Brady Hoke's approach to The Game, including his nickname for Ohio State, is no match for the Urban Meyer "That Team Up North" method.

Meyer understands this game, saying, "This is all I've ever known growing up" and for him, Saturday represents its own form of payback. During his head coaching career, he has only lost one bowl game—the 2008 Capital One Bowl against Michigan.

More importantly, a win would get Ohio State to 12-0. Even though this team is banned from postseason play, they still have the opportunity to leave their mark with an unblemished record and by sending their seniors, who have had to deal with a lot of turmoil within the program, out as victors.

After a nightmare season a year ago and the gut punch of a bowl ban, Ohio State has the chance to exorcise some of their demons. Making it through a season unscathed is not easy to accomplish in college football, especially following a 6-7 season and a coaching change. This team can finally put to bed the notion that they've had nothing to play for in 2012.

Because all season long there's been something to play for, whether it's revenge, redemption, or rivalry.

If living well is the best revenge, then there's no better way for Ohio State to cap off a perfect season than with a win over Michigan. But regardless of record, that's always the best way to end November4.

  • 1 No, the SEC doesn't count as "a team", no matter if their chants try to convince people otherwise.
  • 2 Somehow, Tommy Tuberville is Urban Meyer's Kryptonite—Meyer is 0-2 against him in his career. Guess it's a good thing Texas Tech isn't on any of Ohio State's future schedules.
  • 3 Bret Bielema's not as triumphant in revenge games, which isn't surprising because he's basically Ogre
  • 4 Beat Michigan.

Comments Show All Comments

droessl's picture

I wonder how much the avg ticket price went up Sunday morning.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I just paid $300.00 yesterday and prior to Saturday, they were hovering around 250.00

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

theDuke's picture

OH man... if that's not Pump UP sauce right there, i don't know what is. Thanks Sarah. 


jthiel09's picture

I would love to have a camera and a mic around John Simon at all times this week.


BuckeyeBoyer85's picture

Campus is oozing with disdain for TTUN, scUm or whatever TSUN calls themselves. Urban's troops will be ready for the Brady Bunch and their Hoke-y pokey, urine stained helmets. It's 4:01 pm and you know the rest.

Wayne Woodrow Hayes

timdogdad's picture

pretty cool we're going for a 3rd perfect regular season in 10 years. and could have been 4 except for 07 and juice williams.   i remember this week in 02 and 06 real well.  kinda of glad only working 3 days so don't have to sit at work and think about the game for 5 straight days.   just remember the last 48 hrs- thurs to sat  to be grueling.  as much as you get excited for the glory of 12-0 and scum game win, you have to prepare for a loss too.   it's super emotional either way. so many chapters in the game history book.        

IBleedSandG's picture

Yeah, Thank God for a 3 day work week. 5 day work weeks go way slower than the 3 day versions. The day before The Game is always slow though.


Run_Fido_Run's picture

Officially, the state of Michigan takes it's name from the Ottawa Indian word "michigama," which means "great water." Supposedly, the Ottawa's used the word to describe what we now call Lake Michigan.
But that's the official, PC story they tell to school kids in Michigan.
The true story: in 1678, two fur traders - a Frenchman and an Englishman - were exploring the Huron River. One night, they staggered up to a trail-side roasted venison stand run by an Ottawa indian. Against the Englishman's advice, the Frenchman dined there.
The Frenchman got food poising and thus terrible indigestion. One theory is that Michigan was indeed named after the Ottawa word for "great water," but that it had nothing to do with Lake Michigan, if you know what I mean.
Another theory: every time the Frenchman had to make a pit stop, he would cry out, "Pardon moi ami . . . Je doi chier!" The Englishman would scream, "Speak English, damn it!" So the Frenchman would say, "Me s--- again!" Over time, that got shortened to Michigan.  

Doc's picture

As I told my boys.  Meatchicken is Indian for "Butthole of the World".

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

painterlad's picture

To me revenge is for lesser teams. For example, I had revenge in mind when we played Purdue this year. When we play Michigan it is never about who won last year or who has done better since fill-in-the-blank. The Game is a season unto itself, an accomplishment that is left to the players and coaches. It is about right freaking here and right freaking now. It's never about tomorrow or even yesterday. Revenge is a petty emotion and often a poor motive. Beating Michigan is all about pure, raw hatred for everything they are and taking satisfaction knowing they can never become what we are.

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

JLBNYC's picture

I like how each word in "Quentin Tarantino movies" links to a different film! (including Kill Bill 1 & 2, in order)

pjtobin's picture

It is a beautiful state. Clean and refreshing in the up. I just hate the south border to the center. Then it gets nice. Is their hate as strong as ours? And I wonder how many violations they broke from 1890-1930? Being a bigger, more established school had to help them recruit. Did I say I hate tsun? The school. Why does reknob pretend he is eating? Little skinny retard. I want big hank and Simon to rip him in two then make a wish! I hate his dreads. His big ass helmet. His cockiness. Break him in pieces and let justice be served. What a twat. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

Conroy's picture

Revenge of the Buckeye for Purdue.  Return of the Jimmy for Michigan?  Or perhaps The Empire Strikes Back?

CowCat's picture

Gooood!   Goooooooood!
Use your aggressive feelings, boy.   Let the hate flow through you!

"We get paid to score touchdowns, not kick field goals"
-- Urban Meyer

dtanmango's picture

This was great -- Revenge vs. Rivalry.
Classic -- loved the comparisons between last year -- such a stark contrast. Let's go bucks!


MediBuck's picture

Indeed. Revenge is what we do to upstart inferior squads for daring to raise the ire of the mighty Scarlet and Gray. scUM is about relentless rage, resentment, rancor, repugnance, revulsion, all leading to a ravaging the likes of which those rabid, repulsive little rodents west of Romulus will remember for eons immemorial.

"There is a force that makes us all brothers, no one goes his way alone." --Woody Hayes

osubuckeye4life's picture

Is it Saturday yet?