Monday, November 24

This individual does not give a damn about the whole state of Michigan

Yep, that's a member of your FCF writing team, photographed prior to Ohio State-michigan kickoff this past Saturday morning. I ran in the annual "Pigskin Classic," a tailgate/5K race held in downtown Cleveland the morning of the big game each year. The race is, of course, themed around the game; entrants can even pick between a beautiful scarlet and gray race t-shirt or a hideous blue and yellow one. I left my souvenir at home (it's bad etiquette to wear a race t-shirt during the race itself) and decked myself out in Buckeye garb to the fullest extent possible. I am, in fact, wearing Ohio State Buckeyes boxers in this photograph. I put up a 22:23 in the race - not great, but OK considering the cold conditions. Good enough for 53rd out of 574 sports fans.

As for the game, well, that was outstanding. 42-7. I will never feel bad for Michigan, no matter how many times we beat them down. We've been coming to the same party for five straight years now...and in no way is that depressing.

I'd like to reiterate how silly that pre-game cliche tripe was about how you can "throw the records out the window" for a rivalry game like OSU-michigan. No, you can't, no more than for any other athletic contest. There is a reason why um entered the game 3-8 and OSU 9-2. Michigan is lousy and Ohio State is quite good (Big Ten Co-Champs!), and the Buckeyes crushed them. Michigan never had a chance to win this game. Not a chance.

John and I watched the game at Scorcher's, where there were about four Michigan fans roaming around looking sheepish. They were generally quiet except for this Snoop Dogg-looking character sporting a yellow and blue leather jacket and sunglasses, despite the fact that it is neither cold nor bright in Scorcher's. He got in heated arguments with the barmaids who wouldn't (in fact, couldn't) turn up the TV's to his liking (they were plenty loud, especially since the game was called by my personal broadcast crew from hell, Paul Maguire and Bob Griese). Threatened with forced removal, he angrily proclaimed that he was going to Panini's instead. I'm sure they'll love you there! What a piece of garbage. A better representative for the state of Michigan I cannot imagine.

This game was all about dominant Buckeye defense and big plays for the OSU offense; Wells' 59-yard sprint, Pryor's deep ball to Hartline; the 2-play, 92-yard drive with equal parts Wells and Herron. John kept clamoring for OSU to mount a drive and was consistently thwarted by the Buckeyes instead going straight to the end zone without passing Go or collecting $200. I, personally, approved of the strategy.

I loved seeing Todd Boeckmann close out the game and get the chance to throw a TD pass against Michigan. Very nice.

Figgs will recap the game in greater detail, I'm sure, but for now, a word on the OSU-Michigan rivalry from a historical perspective.

Click on the link above and take a look at the table. The end of it is particularly lovely. Someone ran out of blue ink! Michigan fans will point out how their side leads all-time 57-42-6, a substantial 15-game advantage. I point out that: whatever. Look at the early years: the Wolverines went 13-0-2 in the first 15 editions of the game, probably before teams could even pass. OSU scored 21 points total in those meetings, i.e. 1.4 per game. Wow.

Why do I mention this? I do because: who cares about those ancient games? Michigan is just trying to make themselves feel better, padding their advantage by essentially counting glorified rugby games. Since 1928, the series is 39-38-4 in favor of the Ohio State Buckeyes. So fine, Michigan, enjoy your phantom edge in the overall numbers, but know that over the past 80 years, you're only second best.

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