As far as I could tell, the sports media as a whole saw the game as a lackluster affair, that had no real implications nationally. The Game will always be intense for the 2 fanbases & teams involved, but if you truly believe the national perception hasn't changed, & that the casual observer cares about it the way they once did, then we see things differently.
To your point about the Buckeyes in the 90s - we had trouble, but the rivalry remained interesting because UM was beating OSU teams that were competing for NCs yearly. They weren't beating OSU teams that were 5-7. The Game is suffering now because they suck so bad. People always think I am sympathetic to them. I'm not. I hate em more than most & think a loss to OSU would hurt them more if they had a chance at doing something good & we crush that dream. Just like they did so many times to OSU in the 90s.