Welcome to another day of Michigan week.
Four more days until The Game.
Let's have a good Tuesday, shall we?
TEAR IT DOWN. In Monday's Skull Session, I included a clip from the Eleven Warriors Twitter that featured the 1973 Ohio State football team tearing down Michigan's sacred M Club banner that reads “GO BLUE” from end to end.
In the video, Michigan announcer Bob Ufer says, "They're tearing down Michigan's coveted M Club Banner!" However, that's not everything Ufer said after one of the now iconic moments in the Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry. Actually, it's far from everything he had to say about the Buckeyes' act of war.
“They're tearing down Michigan's coveted M Club banner! They will meet a dastardly fate here for that! There isn't a Michigan man in the stadium who wouldn't like to go out and scalp those Buckeyes right now! They had the audacity – the unmitigated gall – to tear down the coveted M that Michigan is going to run out from under!”
I felt like Ron Burgundy from “Anchorman” when I completed the entire video. “Well, that escalated quickly,” I said after I heard Ufer claim every Michigan fan in the Big House would like to scalp the players on Ohio State's team and that the Wolverines would make the Buckeyes pay for their actions.
Spoiler: The Wolverines didn't make the Buckeyes pay.
In fact, Michigan perhaps had the worst-case scenario take place after that event took place. The Game ended in a 10-10 tie that year, which meant the Big Ten's athletic directors would choose the conference's Rose Bowl representative. And, despite the precedent that a Big Ten team should not play in the Rose Bowl in consecutive seasons, the ADs chose the Buckeyes.
Ohio State pummeled USC in Pasadena, California, 42-21, on New Year's Day 1974 behind a combined 246 yards and four touchdowns from Archie Griffin and Pete Johnson. Meanwhile, Michigan wasn't invited to a bowl game despite an undefeated 10-0-1 record.
I bet the Wolverines had fun watching the Buckeyes win the Granddaddy of Them All. But then again, probably not.
TOP 5. TOP 5. TOP 5. Ohio State and Michigan have the most AP Poll top-five matchups of all time with 12, which is two more than Texas vs. Oklahoma, four more than Oklahoma vs. Nebraska and five more than Georgia vs. Alabama.
But. honestly, would you expect anything different from the greatest rivalry in all of sports? It just means more when the Buckeyes and Wolverines battle on the football field.
The seven wins Ohio State has in the top-five battles are as follows:
- 1942: No. 5 Ohio State beat No. 4 Michigan, 21-7
- 1968: No. 2 Ohio State beat No. 4 Michigan, 50-14
- 1970: No. 5 Ohio State beat No. 4 Michigan, 20-9
- 1974: No. 4 Ohio State beat No. 3 Michigan, 12-10
- 1975: No. 1 Ohio State beat No. 4 Michigan, 21-14
- 2006: No. 1 Ohio State beat No. 2 Michigan, 42-39
- 2016: No. 2 Ohio State beat No. 3 Michigan, 30-27 (2OT)
As mentioned above, the tie was in a 10-10 finish in 1973. And as for the losses, we don't need to talk about those. Did they even happen? It must be Michigan propaganda.
Programming note: Matt Gutridge will detail all of the previous top-five matchups between Ohio State and Michigan in an article later this week. I'm excited for you all to read it.
IT'S A RECKONING. On Monday, Jim Harbaugh met with a room of media members ready to ask the Michigan head coach questions about his team's upcoming matchup with Ohio State.
For most of the press conference, Harbaugh spoke of the grandiosity of The Game and how honored he was to play a part in its tradition-rich history. He worked hard not to provide the Buckeyes with any bulletin-board material, but one of his final comments – though incredibly brief – may be all that Ryan Day and Co. needed to add some fuel to their already-burning fire.
Jim Harbaugh says his "third base" comments toward Ryan Day after Michigan's win over Ohio State last year don't matter heading into The Game in 2022. pic.twitter.com/MMcdmZHdaH— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 21, 2022
Here is the question from the reporter and Harbaugh's full answer (although there's not much to add for the Wolverines’ lead man):
Question: “Coach, there's always talk that goes back and forth between both sides (of the rivalry). Ryan Day supposedly said he was going to ‘hang a 100,’ and your comment last year about (Day) being on third base and thinking he'd hit a triple. Is that good-hearted rivalry talk?”
Harbaugh: “I guess. It's kind of irrelevant, is what I think. Kind of irrelevant.”
I mean, look. Harbaugh can play down his "third base" comments all he wants, but I can assure you Ryan Day has probably had those words seared into his mind since Nov. 27, 2021. The comments might not matter to Harbaugh, but they certainly matter to Day.
As for how Day will use the motivation those words have brought him on Saturday, I‘ll borrow from a wonderful movie called “Tombstone”: “Make no mistake, it's not revenge he's after. It's a reckoning.”
COLERIDGE BERNARD STROUD IV. Have you ever wondered how C.J. Stroud went from a boy growing up in Inland Empire, California – specifically in Rancho Cucamonga – to one of the best quarterbacks in the country for Ohio State?
If you have, the Big Ten Network has you covered. In its most recent episode of “The Journey,” BTN featured Stroud's path to becoming a record-setting quarterback for the Buckeyes. And let me tell you right now, it's well worth the watch.
I have to say I agree with Stroud's comments on this year's Michigan game at the end of the video. It doesn't matter how Ohio State wins on Saturday. The Buckeyes just need to win. As the saying goes, “Win and you're in.” If they can do that this weekend, everything Ohio State wants to achieve is right in front of them for the taking – a Big Ten Championship, a trip to the College Football Playoff and a national title.
SONG OF THE DAY. “Sail” by AWOLNATION.
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