A Michigan State of Mind

By Kyle Rowland on November 25, 2013 at 9:15a
54 Comments
Meyer turned the page to Michigan minutes after the final whistle against Indiana Saturday.

Like clockwork, Urban Meyer enters his postgame press conference, says the best thing about being [insert number]-0 is a chance to go [insert number]-0, credits his team for a hard-fought victory and declares a 24-hour period of celebration.

On Saturday, some 30 minutes after Ohio State won a school-record 23rd consecutive game, Meyer’s focus quickly turned north. The 24-hour rule is ignored for the final regular-season game of the year. Sure, the Buckeyes will savor their 42-14 Senior Day victory. But preparation for college football’s biggest rivalry began in the locker room immediately following a humbling of Indiana.

“We take it very seriously,” Meyer said. “We’re working the game as we speak. We’re all going to go home and we’re going to see our families, but we’re coming back [Sunday] ready to go.”

Earlier in the week, offensive coordinator Tom Herman spoke on the subject of wins and appreciation. He admitted that all victories are not created equal. A win over UTEP at Rice is celebrated on a far bigger scale than almost every Ohio State win. At programs that aren’t spoiled with tradition and success, any “W” is something to be valued.

The expectations are different in the Columbuses and Tuscaloosas of America, which is why many glossed over Saturday afternoon’s triumph over the Hoosiers. Now, it’s Michigan Week, a seven-day stretch that Meyer recalls fondly when detailing his childhood. That appreciation evolved once he became a graduate assistant for the Buckeyes in the 1980s.

“I have great respect for this rivalry, humbled to be a part of it,” Meyer said. “When I say great respect, it almost makes me in awe. Eight of my nine assistants are from the state of Ohio and one [Everett Withers] wishes he was from Ohio. I’ll say this, the responsibility we have sometimes can be overwhelming for what we have this week.”

This weekend will be Meyer’s first trip to Michigan Stadium since the 1987 game, Earle Bruce’s finale as Ohio State’s head coach. Meyer referred to that day as “one of the great memories” of his career. But a win over Michigan in 2013 would be remembered for years, alongside other classic dates in the rivalry, if the Buckeyes finish the season with nary a blemish.

The Game’s importance is never lost on players from either team – both football facilities feature countdown clocks. Inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center, there are signs littering the walls with reminders of That Team Up North. Every letter “M” on campus is X’d out.

When players sign on the dotted line in February, they know their record against Michigan will define their career. The same goes for coaches – ask John Cooper and Jim Tressel. And if you aren’t well-versed in the history of the rivalry, all it takes is one introduction.

“I heard it was the best rivalry in all of sports. Not just in college or the NFL, but all of sports,” said freshman tailback Dontre Wilson, a native of DeSoto, Texas. “I watched the game on TV last year, but, to be honest, I don’t really know that much about it. I’m sure going to find out soon though.”

This year’s game is a throwback to the 1990s, when the Wolverines put a trademark on spoiling undefeated seasons for Ohio State. Michigan enters with a 7-4 record and losers of three of four and four of six games. While Meyer jostles prep work for the Wolverines and the BCS, Brady Hoke is dealing with an endless list of questions with few answers in sight.

“I’m expecting That Team Up North to bring their ‘A’ game. We are certainly going to bring ours.” – Carlos Hyde

This was billed as the year Ohio State and Michigan would meet twice – in the season finale and Big Ten Championship Game. Through the first half of the season, those predictions appeared plausible. But the wheels have fallen off for the Wolverines since a triple-overtime loss at Penn State in October.

“We’ve got to play for our seniors,” head coach Brady Hoke said after Michigan’s latest loss, a 24-21 setback at Iowa. “That’s been the first thing we’ve always played for. And we've got a pretty big rivalry game next week.”

If Las Vegas is any indication, the latest Ohio State-Michigan game will be a return to the Rich Rodriguez era, not Cooper. The Buckeyes are favored by 13 points. But that doesn’t even register on the minds of Ohio State or its legions of fans, which lived through 1969, 1993, 1995 and 1996 – the Wolverines spoiled undefeated seasons all four years. 

“I’m expecting That Team Up North to bring their ‘A’ game,” senior running back Carlos Hyde said. “We are certainly going to bring ours. It’s going to be an exciting game, my last against them. I’m looking forward to it.”

Said Meyer: “I’ve not really watched much of them on videotape. But I have great respect for this rivalry, and I am humbled to be a part of it.”

54 Comments

Comments

niblick's picture

anyone that's not excited for the ass whoopin that's getting unleashed Saturday just because *ichigan is in a down year, wasn't old enough in the 90's to remember the absolute gut wrenching, vomit inducing pain of 95 & 96.  2-10-1 never goes away.
I'll be driving up to watch this one in person and I'm going to relish every snap of the beating that will unfold.

00Buck's picture

A sign posted on the statehouse lawn in 1969  Go Go Woody beat Bo !  and MICHMASH or MASHMICH ! either way I will be happy, it will be icing on the cake if the Hokey Pokey makes a hasty exit back to San Diego........ for I think he is a coward and tsun deserves better !

Upon this Rock, I build my house....and Let no man put asunder

Buckabroad's picture

I attended Ohio State in the late 80s and early 90s. I will never forget that horrible age. We have not come even close to dispensing adequate payback for those atrocities.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."

cbusbuckeye's picture

 

 
"Let's beat the shit outta Michigan!" -Urban
 
edit: excuse my lack of embedding skills

Orangeslash's picture

Just FYI, that's a furniture advertisement.

Buckeye_Ryan's picture

Here's the link to the video: http://youtu.be/fenRMl7f1UY

Born a Buckeye, raised a Buckeye, will die a Buckeye.

droessl's picture

It's that wonderful week of the year!  Despite how good the beers are, I won't be drinking and Bells, Founders, or New Holland this week.  Muck Fichigan! 

cinserious's picture

Great Lakes and CBC baby!

Life's daily struggle is choosing between saying F--ck-it, or soldiering on with your responsibilities.  

droessl's picture

Love some Great Lakes, and it's about the only good Ohio beer I get down in NC. Need to go find, and purchase, a case of Christmas Ale. 

BuckeyeVet's picture

Love your choices! You, sir, are a man of taste & distinction.

"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read."          - Groucho Marx

 

buckeyefanatic's picture

GO BUCKS!

How many batteries does it take to beat Michigan football?   1AA
Want to beat Michigan? There's an App for that.

Seattle Linga's picture

ONE of the best parts of this week is seeing signs like this that I haven't seen for awhile - Thanks for sharing BF - UPS to you brother

Buckeye_Ryan's picture

Pretty soon Brady could have his own sign by the Buckeye faithful too.

Born a Buckeye, raised a Buckeye, will die a Buckeye.

UFest57's picture

I was at the game. Seeing this sign, getting O-H-I-O going around the toilet bowl, the mass of scarlet and the players jumping the wall to sing Carmen Ohio was one of the best Buckeye experiences I have ever been a part of.
Screw Blue

FROMTHE18's picture

Get to work Bucks, this is no walk over.

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

Do any of our 11W writers (or anyone else) know what Urbs and crew do to bring the out-of-state recruits up to speed on the importance of the rivalry, the history, the heartbreak, the victories, etc.?  It always seems like the guys "get it" when The Game rolls around, but I'm sure there's some education involved - just wondered what it was.
 

bedheadjc's picture

Seriously, scribes! Ask this question and do a piece on it...

Spider1944's picture

The rookies are in the same foxhole with the Vets. They get it. They get it real fast. Everyone knows the whole season, that's right, the whole season rides on the outcome of this game. Not Michigan State, not Stanford not even Alabama. 
GO BUCKS!!! Bring on TTUN!!

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

Brent Clay's picture

Just kick their ass to the point they want to quite!  If there is ever a game to run up the score, this is the one!
Make Hoke feel the pain and embarrassment all the way to the unemployment line. 

USMC11917's picture

Just kick their ass to the point they want to quite!

I don't know what it means to Quite, but Kicking that tail I am on board with!

Brent Clay's picture

so true.... I need to slow down and proof read!  (2nd time in two weeks)   :(

Spider1944's picture

Dam autocorrect!
OH-

"There are 3 things that can happen and 2 of them are bad" - the Curse of Woody Hayes

Seattle Linga's picture

I wonder if Mark Mayday will say that ttun - Just threw in the towel on defense.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

    "Just kick their ass to the point they want to quite!"
I don't know what it means to Quite . . .

In that context, quite is a cross between quit and shite. 

Brent Clay's picture

Wish I could fix my misspelled "quite" to QUIT..    I am sure we will  QUIET  the stands though  :)
Thanks for noticing that! 

nw_ohio_Buckeye's picture

Unlike the Cooper years I think UFM will keep this group focused and as he said after the game Sat. when this team focuses they are a very, very good team. Brax needs to be extremely focused on ball security. For all the upside that resides in his scrambles he is susceptible to putting the magic bean on the turf and that always seems to play into games with TTUN. OSU lost the turnover battle against Indiana 3-0 and still managed to dismantle them. I'm sure no one on OSU's squad wants to try their luck with such a TO deficiency on Sat. That said OSU should take care of business and launch themselves into their first B1G Championship game on a roll like none other. Go Bucks! BEAT MICHIGAN!

"The minute I think I'm getting mellow, I'm retiring. Who ever heard of a mellow winner?" ~ Woody Hayes 

acBuckeye's picture

I agree. Ball security will be priority #1.

sharks's picture

Strike first, strike hard, no mercy.

Just the way Sensei Kreese drew it up.

The postgame show is brought to you by... Christ, I can't find it. The hell with it...

TMac's picture

"I have great respect for this rivalry, and I am humbled to be a part of it" - UFM
"And we've got a pretty big rivalry game next week." - Jaba the Hoke

Compare & Contrast

IBleedSandG's picture

Ugggh, it's only Monday. Thank God for the Thanksgiving holiday, that help speed the week up.

"You pick up the rifle and go as hard as you can possibly go."
-UFM

acBuckeye's picture

Yeah. Remember the days when our regular season was over by now?

acBuckeye's picture

Oh look........ it's 8:47 CST and michigan still SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Grayskullsession's picture

'Twas the night before "The Game" when all through the dorms
Not a Michigan coach was sleeping, not even Al Borges
The helmets worn tight on their heads with fear
Dreading the time when St. Meyer would be here
Brady Hoke was nestled with his donuts all snug in his bed
While visions of Zach Boren danced in Gardner's head
 

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

Boom777's picture

Bravo!

Wherever you are, there you be!

Boxley's picture

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,

It was the Scum O, once again torn to a tatter.
 

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

acBuckeye's picture

***butterflies in stomach***
***heart-rate increasing***
***breathing gets quicker***
***palms getting sweaty***
***realizes it's only Monday***
***realize I need help***

00Buck's picture

So good..   I laughed my ass off REALLY !  now I have nothing to hold my pants up..... 

Upon this Rock, I build my house....and Let no man put asunder

97Buckeye's picture

The memories of those 90s teams are burned into my brain as I was a student at tOSU from '92-'97. I will never forget the pain and sadness of each of those Cooper losses. They were each more devastating than the previous. Tressel did a lot to repair my psyche, but a glorious 50 point win would do even more. Let's all pray for a non-windy day so that our weapons of mass destruction can all be on full display this Saturday.

Respect but destroy.

cronimi's picture

Yeah, I was there '89-'93 -- a pathetic 0-3-1 record. It still sickens me. I can't imagine having been a student during the Tressel glory years or being there with Urban at the helm. Must be exhilarating. I'm jealous.
 

OSU_ALUM_05's picture

I was there for the 2001 - 2004 football seasons ... it was amazing.  Tressel called his shot in year 1, won the title in year 2, hiccup on the road in year 3 and then Troy Smith'd/Ted Ginn'd them in year 4 .... great times.

Rapping Bum's picture

IM JACKED UP BRO

Help is on the way.

stittracer99's picture

El Guapo gonna bring his A game

Estrada's picture

I love that gif so freakin' hard.  It was the perfect way to close out the game; using Denard's stupid eating motion after picking up the final first down.

Jugdish's picture

Deleted

Remember to get your wolverine spade or neutered. TBDBITL

Doc's picture

Come on Buckeyes beat the shit out of the Skunkbears!  Damn it is only Monday 10:35 a.m,. and Missigan still sucks! 

"Say my name."

Buckeye1004's picture

12-0 Baby!  Time to Crush ttun!  Go Buckeyes!

Clinger76's picture

"fail to the losers" to the team up north!! Saturday yet?

Our Honor Defend, I will fight to the end for......O-HI-O!!

Seattle Linga's picture

When will the madness end ???????

Run_Fido_Run's picture

The Buckeyes must never take the Skunkbears lightly, but fwiw their '93, '95, and '96 teams were way better than this Wolverkitty outfit.

  • 1993: TTUN lost to a ND team that went on to beat #1 FSU (and almost played for the NC if not the Irish suffering a shocking upset to BC) and the Big Ten was tough in '93 (first year of the Alvarez renaissance, PSU was good, etc.).
  • 1995: got by a UVA team that later upset #1 FSU and, again, the Big Ten was tough (NW dream season, PSU really good, etc.).
  • 1996: TTUN beat #5 Colorado, UCLA, and BC in non-conference games (remember those kind of schedules?) and, yes, the Big Ten was tough that year.
BuckeyeInOrlando's picture

This is such an exciting week! Nothing like playing michigan with everything on the line! Go Bucks!

ChazBuckeye's picture


 

Some people think we’re the hunted.I don’t feel that way at all.We’re the hunter.Everybody wants an angry football team.Everybody wants a team on edge and a hungry team.If you’re a hunter,that usually equates to being hungry.

harleymanjax's picture

"Because I couldn't go for 3"