The Rivalry Issue 2021

Page 1

Rivalry Issue

2A — Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Michigan Daily — michigan-

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Erick All blossoms into the buoy of Michigan’s passing attack DANIEL DASH

Daily Sports Editor


rick All has always had the tools to be one of the nation’s top tight ends. At 6-foot-4, 245 pounds, he has the size of an offensive tackle and now appears to have the ball skills of a wide receiver. His athleticism allows him to stretch the field vertically in the passing game, while he uses his size to clear out big holes for tailbacks on running plays. But even as coaches praised All during his first two years on the Michigan football team, he struggled with drops. During the Wolverines’ 33-7 win over Northwestern in October, however, All appeared to flip a switch. He set new career-highs with five catches and 34 receiving yards and flexed a solid rapport with junior quarterback Cade McNamara, who also doubles as his roommate. In many ways, it looked like All was on the precipice of figuring things out. The next week, he doubled down. With the whole nation watching Michigan’s top-10 showdown in East Lansing, All doubled his catch tally and nearly tripled his yardage mark from the previous week’s breakout performance. He finished with 10 receptions for 98 yards, single-handedly buoying the Wolverines’ passing attack at times. And despite missing the team’s Nov. 6 game against Indiana due to injury, All’s 26 catches through nine games were still the most on the team. Though he hasn’t found the end zone yet this season, All has established himself as a reliable open-field presence. He’s made a name for himself on crucial third-down conversions, often securing the ball in stride and shaking off hits in order to move the sticks. “The way he approaches things, because of his intensity, he gets better at everything incrementally,” Michigan tight ends coach Jay Harbaugh said Nov. 4. “… His habits are so good in terms of, he runs routes, the speed in which he practices, the extra work that he puts in, the desire to be really good.” For All, the second half of the 2021 season has been a revelation. A lightbulb moment. A productive stretch within a breakout season. Call it what you will, but in reality, it’s the culmination of a long process

that began in enemy territory about 18 months ago. hen Michigan’s game against Ohio State was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns last season, the 2-4 Wolverines were spared a trip to Columbus. But it also robbed All and junior linebacker Joey Velazquez of a homecoming of sorts. Not at the Horseshoe, but at Lincoln Tower Park — a small, open-faced public field at the foot of the Buckeyes’ home stadium in Columbus. The duo trained there with Austen Rankin, the director of football operations at Bo Jackson’s Elite Sports, during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the University canceled classes and in-person academic activities, players scrambled to flee Ann Arbor. The football facility shut its doors shortly after, forcing the Wolverines’ training staff to assemble home workout plans to keep athletes in shape with a fall season less than six months away. Ohio natives All and Velazequez returned to their home state to train and finish the semester remotely after the spring practice slate was wiped out. That’s when All brought up the conversation about temporarily moving into the Velazquez family’s home in Columbus — a 90-minute drive from his hometown of Fairfield. The request was granted. “They let me in during quarantine, and I stayed with his family,” All said last October. “Literally every time you would come downstairs, there was food on the table waiting for you. A nice, full-course meal. … So, hat’s off, that’s like my second family. I love them. Thank God for them.” As the pandemic worsened, local Ohio guidelines shut down local gyms and public high schools — two popular training spots away from campus for college athletes. So Velazquez reached out to Rankin, who he’s worked with for multiple years. With Rankin’s usual facilities closed, he invited All and Velazquez to Lincoln Tower Park for an initial session at the end of April. The idea of training at Lincoln Tower Park initially seemed like a good fit for everyone involved. It provided an accessible, central location for Rankin to hold his sessions, while it helped All


and Velazquez avoid making long trips across the state to train together during the pandemic. ut when it came time for the first session, All and Velazquez balked. They immediately noticed the scarlet and gray block ‘O’ staring back from the center of the turf. On all sides of the fenced field, they noticed Buckeye players in passing doing double-takes as All and Velazquez stretched. “At first, we felt a little iffy, because you know, the rivalry,” All said. “It was like a little intramural soccer field. … We get there and there’s all these football players, all the Ohio State players there. We were like, ‘Well, the only way we get off the field is if they take us off the field.’ We paid money for this session, it’s not like we’re about to just leave because of what they think or the rivalry.” Rankin has worked with Ohio State players and recruits, which has helped make a name for himself across the greater Columbus area. In the process, he amassed a loyal following of Buckeye players and fans. When Rankin posted behind-the-scenes videos of Velazquez and All’s first session on his Instagram story, his followers recognized them even without any maize and blue gear. And, as one might expect, there was no shortage of displeasure in response. “As soon as they saw a Michigan player on a field with the block ‘O,’ it was over,” Rankin told The Daily. “I think the fans kind of made it bigger than it was, which makes the rivalry what it is. In a rivalry of this magnitude, nobody is going to back down. That’s just how I view it. But to me, at the end of the day, it’s just another day of working out.” s All and Velazquez returned to Lincoln Tower Park for sessions with Rankin over the next six weeks, they treated the backlash as outside noise. The adversity of training in enemy territory during a pandemic only brought them closer together while requiring a layer of focus they might not have needed in the friendly confines of Ann Arbor’s Glick Field House.



Page design by Brittany Bowman Photo by Julia Schachinger/Daily

One of Rankin’s strengths as a trainer is his ability to coach all 11 positions on both sides of the ball. But by the end of Velazquez and All’s time training in Columbus, they were the ones helping each other through their position-specific drills. “Even though they may be doing different drills, if one of them wasn’t having the best day, they were picking each other up,” Rankin said. “And that’s the main thing I noticed as a coach. … They’d be out there working and it was all about holding each other accountable — outside of me telling them what they needed to do right. It was more so them coaching themselves up, along with taking coaching from the drills and stuff like that. “They were guys you could tell were close and had a family-type relationship to the point where one can get on the other without it being personal. That’s the main thing. And to me, that’s what shows you really love somebody.” Ultimately, Velazquez and All’s battle-tested relationship became as valuable as the sessions themselves. The fact that it developed at the foot of the Horseshoe only made it stronger. And now, All is reaping the benefits.

From the desk of President Mark Schlissel It ’s t i m e fo r T h e G a m e , Wo l ve r i n e s . For the 117 th time, the University of Michigan and Ohio State will meet in the world’s best football rivalry. It’s a clash of universities with outstanding traditions, legacies of excellence, great pride and deeply passionate fans. It’s great to be back, in person and in the Big House. We’ll hear “Go Blue!” from every corner of the largest football stadium in the country to the farthest reaches of our global alumni base of nearly 650,000. We’ll enjoy a rivalry expressed on the pages of The Michigan Daily and The Lantern and in living rooms and gathering places throughout both of our states. We’ll also rejoice on one very special Saturday afternoon as the eyes of the world turn to Ann Arbor. They’ll see a full Big House and the nation’s top student-athletes competing on the biggest stage. I especially commend the student-athletes of both teams for their hard work and success under challenging circumstances. They are an inspiration to so many in our nation. This year’s game reminds us that we must cherish and never take for granted the moments in history that bring us together. The Snow Bowl of 1950. Desmond Howard’s 1991 Heisman pose after a 93-yard punt return. The defense and senior quarterback Tom Brady leading a comeback Michigan victory in 1999. Devin Gardner’s poignant sportsmanship and support of the injured J.T. Barrett in 2014. There are countless moments over the course of our 116 games (and Michigan’s 58 victories) that have grown into legends over the generations.

We must continue to strive to always make sure that everyone can enjoy them. That’s what the best universities do. We step up when it matters most. Faculty members at Michigan and OSU have tackled the COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives in our hospitals and creating knowledge that allows our society to renew the fall traditions of football, gatherings of family and friends and learning in classrooms at great universities. Our students are competing in our annual Blood Battle (I donated last Friday) to address crucial shortages. We’ve collaborated on critical environmental, advanced manufacturing and educational initiatives that strengthen our communities and economies. And our universities are driving needed societal change through the Big Ten Anti-Hate and Anti-Racism Coalition. For more than a century, The Game has focused attention on two top public universities. Both U-M and OSU are proud to represent the people we serve, and to provide levels of excellence in research, education and patient care that no one can rival. I know that President Johnson is equally enthusiastic about how our wonderful tradition can make a difference for our institutions and beyond. I look forward to working with her in the years ahead to advance our collaborative impact. It’s an honor to join you Saturday in Maize and Blue to cheer on our Wolverine student-athletes. The Game is on. Go blue! — President Schlissel

The Michigan Daily —

Rivalry Issue

Thursday, November 18, 2021 — 3A



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Rivalry Issue

4A — Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Michigan Daily —

The Game, The Numbers On Oct. 16, 1897, the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes first faced off on the gridiron. In the 124 years since, the matchup has seen 3831 points, 115 games and 37 head coaches — all culminating in one of the most intense rivalries in college sports. As the Wolverines prepare to face the marginally higher-ranked Buckeyes on Nov. 27 in the Big House, The Michigan Daily took a data-driven deep dive into the history of the rivalry.

How do I read th i s g rap h ? Circles show every game Michigan has played against Ohio State.

The outer circle is the score of the winning team.

Data analysis and graphics by Aditya Singhvi & Naitian Zhou | Page design by Brittany Bowman


The inner circle is the score of the losing team.


The Wolverines and Buckeyes first met in 1897 in Ann Arbor, with Michigan shutting out Ohio State 34-0 — a game that would set the tone for the Independent era. The Buckeyes failed to win a single game during the era, getting outscored by the Wolverines 355-12 overall. In 1900, the two schools played the only 0-0 game in rivalry history.

1890 1900 1910

Michigan won 86-0 in 1902, the largest margin by either team ever.


After Hayes was fired, the Buckeyes hired Earl Bruce, who was named the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coach of the Year in his first season. The rivalry remained unusually balanced during the era — Ohio State won five games to Michigan’s four, and marginally outscored the Wolverines 165-150.


Although Bruce was fired the week before the matchup against Michigan in 1987, he coached the Buckeyes anyway and snatched a narrow 23-20 victory against a heavily-favored Wolverine team.



The Buckeyes hired John Cooper, the head coach at Arizona State, to replace Earl Bruce. He faced three Michigan coaches during his tenure — Bo Schembechler, Gary Moeller and Lloyd Carr. The Cooper era was dominated by the Wolverines, who won 10 out of 13 games and lost only twice, outscoring the Buckeyes 552 to 254. Specifically in 1993, 1995, and 1996, a lower-ranked Michigan team snapped an undefeated Ohio State winning streak, winning 28-0, 31-23 and 13-9 respectively. After Cooper was fired in 2000, Michigan students celebrated “John Cooper Day” on February 10, 2001 — or 2-10 — poking fun at Cooper’s record against the Wolverines.


1990 2000

Ohio Stadium was dedicated on game day in 1922.


Michigan won the national championship in 1997, its only championship since 1948.

Michigan also won the national championship in 1997, the only national championship for the Wolverines since 1948 — a 73-year period.



Jim Tressel took over as Buckeyes head coach in 2001. He faced off against Lloyd Carr, who was promoted to the Wolverines head coaching position in 1995. Ohio State won six out of the seven matchups between these two coaches, setting the tone for the remainder of the rivalry. Michigan did clinch a 35-21 victory in 2003, the 100th matchup between the two teams. The 2003 game marked the 100th match-up of the rivalry.




Ohio State and Michigan faced off as the top two seeds in the Bowl Championship Series rankings.


Ohio Stadium — where the Buckeyes still play today — was built during the era and formally dedicated on October 21, 1922, the day when the Wolverines shut out the Buckeyes 19-0. Although more balanced than the early years of the rivalry, the Wolverines continued their dominance through these years. The Wolverines were recognized as national champions six times during this era, while the Buckeyes managed one national title. The infamous 1950 game, nicknamed the Snow Bowl, was played during a blizzard in Columbus after the Buckeyes’ athletic director refused to accept a forfeit from Michigan. Eighthranked Ohio State and unranked Michigan combined to punt 45 times during the course of the game, with Michigan eventually winning 9-3 and becoming conference champions. The two teams also combined for 10 fumbles over the course of the matchup.

1950 1960


In 2006, the two teams faced off as the top two seeds in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings, with the Buckeyes ranked No. 1 and the Wolverines at No. 2. Ohio State secured a narrow 42-39 victory and became the outright Big Ten champion.



In 1969, Michigan hired head coach Bo Schembechler, who faced off against Hayes in a historic ten-year rivalry. In the first game of the era, the Wolverines snapped the Buckeyes’ 22-game winning streak by clinching a 24-12 victory at the Big House. The Ten-Year War pushed both teams to historic heights: Ohio State and Michigan shared the Big Ten title six times during the ten years. The Wolverines won outright once, the Buckeyes won outright twice, and Michigan shared the title with Michigan State once. 1960 1970


These six years saw two head coaches for Michigan — Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke — and three for Ohio State — Tressel, Luke Fickell and Urban Meyer. 2000

Ohio State's 2010 season wins were vacated after an NCAA investigation found "improper benefits for student athletes."



Woody Hayes was hired as the Buckeyes’ Coach in 1951 following criticism of previous coach Wes Fesler’s performance in the 1950 Snow Bowl game, and he led the Buckeyes to one of their most successful eras in history. Ohio State won four national championships during this era, and the Buckeyes outscored the Wolverines 315-203 overall.

089 099 000 010



Ohio State wins first game in 1919.


Earl Bruce coached Ohio State to victory in 1987, despite being fired a week prior.

noitagitsevni AACN na retfa detacav erew sniw nosaes 0102 s'etatS oihO ".setelhta tneduts rof stfieneb reporpmi" dnuof

Beginning in 1918, the teams played in 102 consecutive years as members of the Big Ten conference (previously called the Western conference). Ohio State won its first game of the matchup in 1919, winning 13-3. The Buckeyes won the next two games as well, 14-7 and 14-0.





049 059

Hayes was fired after a game between Ohio State and Clemson when he punched an opposing player after the Buckeyes surrendered an interception, ending the era.

The era included a number of notable games. In 1900, the two teams played their only 0-0 tie, one of six ties in the rivalry. In 1902, Michigan shut out Ohio State 86-0, the largest margin of victory by either team ever. The game fell in a dominant four-year stretch from Michigan from 1901 to 1904, where the Wolverines lost only one game over four years.


By Aditya Singhvi, Daily Data Journalist & Naitian Zhou, Managing Online Editor

In 2010, Ohio State decided to vacate all 12 victories from the season, including the 37-7 win against Michigan, after an NCAA investigation found violations for “improper benefits to student athletes.” The Buckeyes also won a national championship in 2014, their eighth overall.



Jim Harbaugh, the former quarterback for the Wolverines from 1983 to 1986 and a former NFL coach and quarterback, was hired in 2015 as Michigan’s head coach. In 2016, the teams met with Ohio State ranked second and Michigan ranked third in the National Associated Press (AP) poll. The Buckeyes tied the game 17-17 on a late field goal, forcing overtime. Ohio State eventually won 30-27 in double overtime. 2010 2020

The 2020 game was cancelled after a COVID-19 outbreak among students, ending a 102-year streak. Ohio State won 30-27 in double overtime after a late field goal tied the game 17-17.

In 2020, a historic 102-year streak was snapped as a COVID-19 outbreak among Michigan’s student athletes forced the rivalry game to be called off for the first time since 1917. Ohio State has won every game in the Harbaugh era so far, with a 5-0 record; in fact, since 2000, Michigan has won only three games in the rivalry.


Rivalry Issue

The Michigan Daily —

Thursday, November 18, 2021 — 5A Page design by Brittany Bowman Photo by Julia Schachinger/Daily

Brad Hawkins’s winding journey: How a post-graduate year shaped his Michigan tenure JARED GREENSPAN Daily Sports Editor

Entering his senior year of high school, Brad Hawkins had his future neatly laid out in front of him. Hawkins, a four-star wide receiver prospect from Camden, N.J., committed to Michigan in June 2015. In 2016, he was set to join his high school teammate, Ron Johnson, in Ann Arbor as a fixture of the budding New Jersey-to-Michigan recruiting pipeline. But that vision wouldn’t materialize — at least not right away. In Camden, Hawkins attended two high schools; the first didn’t submit his transcript to the NCAA, a Clearinghouse issue that casted doubt over Hawkins’s eligibility heading into the Wolverines’ 2016 summer program. Both his status and potential for a seamless transition were at risk. The situation left Hawkins scrambling. A post-graduate year emerged as a feasible option, which is where Suffield Academy entered the picture.

Suffield is a small, private preparatory school tucked away in rural Connecticut. It’s quiet, with an enrollment of roughly 415 students but also has a strong cultural imprint, housing students from over 20 states and 25 countries. It’s a far cry from Ann Arbor and the swelling crowds of 109,000 fans jam-packed into Michigan Stadium. In a coincidental circumstance, Suffield boasts a bevy of strong Michigan ties. Charlie Cahn, the school’s headmaster, is a Michigan alum. Drew Gamere, Suffield’s football coach, is close with former Wolverines’ defensive coordinator Don Brown, who entrenched a strong recruiting presence in the New England region. Most importantly for Hawkins’s sake, Suffield had an open roster spot — an unusual position considering that Hawkins decided he would take a post-graduate year unusually late in the recruiting cycle. “On film, he’s the type of kid that you certainly get excited about,” Gamere told The Daily, recounting

his first tales of Hawkins. “The tape speaks for itself.” Suffield, though it touts its rich athletic history, prioritizes more than athletic merit. Hawkins had to check additional boxes pertaining to his character and personality. When he first toured Suffield with his family, those qualifications were instantly evident. “He’s quiet, but you could tell right away that he’s a great person,” Gamere said. “The disappointment of maybe not going to Michigan right away turned into excitement, and he saw potential in a great year. From day one, he embraced being here. I think that takes some maturity.” As expected, Hawkins flour-

Michael Hermanoff GO BLUE!



Sandy Hermanoff GO BUCKEYES!

ished as a dynamic, explosive wide receiver, making a sudden impact on Suffield’s varsity team. He reeled in 868 yards and 11 touchdowns. Hawkins’s mentality, though, proved more impressive. “Every drill was run hard, it didn’t matter whether it was a practice or a game,” Gamere said. “When younger players see that from one of your better players right from the start, they respond. And, when one of your best players is also one of your hardest workers, as a coach, that means a lot.” That drive manifested itself in different ways. He battled through a painful rib injury, showing few ill-effects on the field. On the bas-

ketball court, Hawkins embraced his role as the team’s sixth man, playing every position from point guard to forward, often surrendering several inches in height to battle in the post. “Whatever his role was, he was there for it,” Jeff Depelteau, Hawkins’s basketball coach, said. “You never had to ask. All the little things that mean so much to winning teams, he was eager to do them. It sets such a tone for everybody else. It helps your culture and your program.” It helped Suffield’s culture as a whole, too. Hawkins took an acting class, prompting a prominent role in the school’s musical, Sister Act. In short order, he became one of

the top tour guides, show- casing Suffield to prospective students. “I’d go to see third or fourth-level basketball games and he’s there in the crowd cheering on freshmen,” Cahn said. “Here’s the captain of our football team, supporting those kids, not just with the starters and the key contributors, but with everybody. It’s humility. It’s genuine.” Prior to Hawkins’s arrival at Suffield, Gamere coached Christian Wilkins, a unanimous All-American at Clemson and a first-round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins in 2019. Read more at

Rivalry Issue Michigan is refocusing on Ohio State. Is it enough?

6A — Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Michigan Daily —

JT was short

throwing axes too!

BRENDAN ROOSE Daily Sports Editor


t least physically, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh entered the 2021 season a changed man. He spent much of the offseason working with strength and conditioning coach Ben Herbert. In spring and fall practices, he pushed sleds and lifted weights alongside his team. By the start of the season, he’d gotten back down to his “playing weight” and said he felt more energized than ever. Alongside Harbaugh’s reinvention of himself, he’s worked to reinvent his team’s approach to preparation. Practices are more exciting. There’s music. More competition. Every player who’s discussed the change from 2020 to 2021 has brought up the newfound energy on the practice field. Perhaps Harbaugh’s most notable reinvention, though, has been in the name of a common drill: “In years prior, we would call it 9-on-7, which is what the drill is,” junior offensive lineman Trevor Keegan said Sep. 13. “This year, we changed it to (the) Beat Ohio drill. Now, we’re blasting music, smelling salts, everything. And it’s a pretty physical period, and we love it.” The drill itself isn’t anything special. Put simply, it’s football at its purest: The running back takes a handoff up the middle, and the defense tries to stop him. It’s seven blockers trying to clear out seven defenders so the back can score. It’s old-school, hat-on-a-hat football.

But more importantly, the name represents a newfound emphasis on the Ohio State rivalry from a program that, under Harbaugh, has struggled to keep up. The numbers speak for themselves: zero wins, five losses and a combined score of 221-126. With the change, Harbaugh hopes to send a clear message that those results aren’t acceptable in such an important rivalry. That change has also elevated the competition level within the drill itself. Before, it was just another element of practice, another opportunity to make minor on-field gains. Now, it’s the most competitive part of practice and a time that the entire team looks forward to every day. “When that period comes up, whether it was practice in the spring or fall camp — we did it every day we had pads on,” Harbaugh said. “And we do it every Tuesday and we do it Monday during the season — that has become a drill of emphasis. Look forward to it. Excitement. They wanted music, so we play music during that drill.” f course, the drill’s new name alone won’t snap the Wolverines’ eight-game losing streak against the Buckeyes. To do so will require more progress than can be described in this entire issue, let alone one article. But that doesn’t render it useless, especially in the context of other efforts to refocus on Ohio State. Over the summer, pictures emerged on social media of a sign in the weight room that read “What are you doing today to beat Ohio State?” At Big Ten Media Days in July, both Harbaugh and senior edge rusher Aidan Hutchin-


son emphasized beating the Buckeyes as a priority in 2021. In isolation, the name change would probably just be a gimmick. But taken in conjunction with everything else — even if it’s impossible to know if the team is really emphasizing Ohio State, or if it’s mostly just talk — it seems like there is at least some element of refocusing this season. “It’s always been a period we take a lot of pride in,” fifth-year offensive lineman Andrew Stueber said. “I’m not really sure when it got changed. But it kind of came along with the whole tradition of, ‘What are you doing to beat Ohio State every day?’ Kinda taking that rivalry into focus every day is a big focus for us.” till, the question remains: Is it enough? It’s not controversial to say that the Buckeyes have taken the rivalry more seriously in recent years — it’s visible not just in their success in the game, but in their entire demeanor outside of it. Ohio State has always emphasized rivalry all year; the Wolverines seem to have just begun that. And, of course, there’s still the talent gap. The 247Sports Talent Composite — which aggregates recruiting rankings from previous years to rank a team’s overall talent level — ranks the Buckeyes as the third-most talented team in the country. Michigan? Fifteenth. Regardless, if Harbaugh’s Wolverines can catch up to Ohio State, it won’t happen overnight. A re-emphasis on the rivalry is just one step on a long road toward being competitive in it again. At the end of the day, though, it only takes one win to transform the rivalry.



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The Michigan Daily —

Rivalry Issue

Thursday, November 18, 2021 — 7A

Amid high-stakes NIL ‘arms race,’ Michigan and its studentathletes turn to third-party companies for assistance JARED GREENSPAN Daily Sports Editor


ared Wangler saw a problem. On June 30, the Division I Board of Directors approved a landmark Name, Image & Likeness (NIL) policy, allowing student-athletes to profit off their NIL. At once, college athletics — long defined by a misguided aura of amateurism — was fundamentally altered. The legislation plunged athletes, schools and businesses head-first into the unknown; Wangler referred to the ensuing weeks as the “wild west,” rife with rash deals and little substance, with companies viewing athletes as “billboards, not people.” Players were left uneducated and unprepared. That’s where Wangler entered the fold. A running back on the Michigan football team from 2014-2018, Wangler never had the opportunity to profit off his NIL. Neither did Jake Butt, an All-American tight end who played for the Wolverines from 20132016, or Niko Porikos, a forward on the Michigan hockey team from 20142018. The trio watched the frenetic NIL landscape unfold in front of them and decided to intervene. “We saw a hole in the system,” Wangler told the Daily. “We know the University of Michigan and NIL, they want to be able to maximize this and remain competitive, but they can’t themselves manage this for the student-athlete to create monetization opportunities. So that’s why this group was created.” angler founded Ann Arborbased Valiant Management Group, which he now runs alongside Butt and Porikos. The goal is to offer third-party services, independent from the University, to assist, provide and manage NIL monetization opportunities for all student-athletes. The University of Michigan’s official NIL policy states that the university “is not responsible for providing or procuring name, image and likeness opportunities for any student-athlete(s).” That’s where groups like Valiant play a factor, ensuring


student-athletes remain compliant and easing the anxieties induced by the novelty of the industry. “For me, I probably would’ve been starry-eyed,” Wangler says, when imagining how he would have handled NIL as a student-athlete. “I didn’t know what was out there or how businesses worked.” And as Wangler realized, neither did current student-athletes. *** wo days before Michigan’s clash with Michigan State, Wolverine junior safety Dax Hill released a custom t-shirt made by the Player’s Trunk that would be delivered in 30 minutes or less, as guaranteed by Gopuff. To strike the deal, Hill utilized Opendorse. In the same vein as Valiant, Opendorse helps student-athletes avoid the pitfalls of NIL, smoothing out the monetization process at each step. “An athlete gets pitched a deal, gets a notification that says, ‘GoPuff wants to pay you to do this’,” Opendorse co-founder and CEO Blake Lawrence said. “Then, the athlete gets reminders on what to do, how to do it, how to submit it. And they get paid.” From there, a number of student-athletes — like graduate transfer quarterback Alan Bowman and swimmers Willie Chan and A.J. Bornstein — were paid to promote Hill’s apparel, posting on their social media feeds. They used Opendorse, too, a part of a burgeoning community that includes roughly 50 Michigan student-athletes and 1,500 new student-athletes each week. Lawrence likens Opendorse to the Zillow of the NIL sphere. Much like Zillow does for home-sellers, Opendorse provides student-athletes with their approximate worth, a platform to communicate with business representatives and a stream of valuable information, all while acting compliant. It’s a place to manage deals, contracts, ventures, payments, disclosures and taxes, all in one. “So many things have to go right for an NIL deal to happen without interruption and maintain compliance and, for most athletes that are doing this all on their own for the first time, it’s scary,” Lawrence said.


he process at Valiant is similar. Valiant has a local Ann Arbor office which student-athletes often frequent to receive direct, in-person assistance. Wangler says that they have a “trust factor” with the University, which soothes concerns

what NFL players make. Or, Buffalo Wild Wings striking a deal with the entire offensive line, rather than just one player. That’s an area that Wangler maintains is “going unnoticed,” especially with big-time agencies like CAA

That pitch gets the imagination going. “You start talking to some recruits and their families and they’re like, ‘OK, how much can I expect in NIL, because this school is saying that I’ll make this much next year,’ ” Wangler said. “And every school is just looking to get an edge.”


FILE PHOTO/Daily Former Michigan halfback Jared Wangler is trying to shape the way NIL is implemented within the program.

on the compliance end, both for student-athletes and prospective business partners. “We want to be very cognizant of the rules and always be above board and working with somebody who represents student-athletes like Valiant does at Michigan,” Michael Mackey, the chief business officer of 15 Seconds of Fame, said. “We’re looking to work with companies that are looking for the best interest of the students, trying not to create a have and have-not situation.” That proposition lies at the heart of the NIL unknown. Wangler thinks he’s found ways around it. t starts with group deals and bundles, emphasizing multiple student-athletes rather than the team’s star. For instance, over the summer, Wangler helped orchestrate a group licensing deal for the football team with the M-Den, ensuring each player earned the same commission for their jerseys — a figure that is four times


swooping in to net top-tier athletes with the intention of inking them to professional deals in the future. “That’s where I’ve seen more traction, in blanket things, stuff that’s streamlined,” Rishi Narayan, the founder and managing owner of Underground Printing, said. “Stuff that benefits multiple players or the whole team. From the average student-athlete perspective, maybe that’s more enticing.” *** In 2013, as a 17-year-old 4-star recruit, Wangler made the rounds to a number of high-profile programs. Each time, they reverted to the same talking points. “Every University, their pitch was, ‘Hey, we got this new locker room,’ or, ‘Hey, we got this new training facility,’ or, ‘We’ve got the best weight room in the country’,” Wangler remembered. “That was the arm’s race in college athletics.” State-of-the-art facilities were prerequisites for recruiting; they merely got top recruits in the door. Schools splurged to tout lavish buildings containing everything from cutting-edge technology to laser tag to built-in movie theatres. Each program rushed to top the next. ow, eight years later, things have both changed and stayed the same. “It’s no different for NIL,” Lawrence said. “If a school doesn’t have a definitive NIL program on campus and isn’t explaining to recruits how they assist in helping them build their brand and get NIL opportunities, then they’re falling behind. It’s the new standard.” The NCAA precludes NIL from serving as a direct enrollment inducement, but the eye never strays too far. In the recruiting realm, the arm’s race is predicated on NIL information: how a school prepares athletes for the future, using current deals and partnerships as the barometer.


GRACE BEAL/Daily Michigan athletes have several avenues of monetizing their NIL deals, but still can’t use the iconic “Block-M.”

Michigan boasts inherent advantages in the NIL orbit. It has one of the world’s largest living alumni bases, a rich tradition of athletics and, most importantly, the Block-M — an indistinguishable mark Lawrence calls “uniquely valuable in the world of sports.” “Everyone knows Michigan athletics,” Lawrence said. “Players at Michigan naturally have a larger audience than players at other schools. That’s just the power of the program and the fanbase.” The M-Den, too, is unique in its role as a quasi-NIL hub. It’s a space to maximize merchandise for student-athletes, as opposed to outsourcing gear to a host of retail stores or smaller bookstores, two routes often taken by other schools. Still, the picture isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Michigan student-athletes aren’t authorized to use the Block-M mark and other University trademarks to sell merchandise — legislation which prompted Hunter Dickinson to call the university’s policy “a little restrictive” in August. Ohio State, by comparison, recently reversed its stance, enabling its student-athletes to use its logo. To remain competitive in recruiting, Wangler maintains, Michigan will soon have to do the same. He’s optimistic that will happen, though not certain. That’s a common theme, five months into NIL’s infancy, with few things truly set in stone. “In no place do I feel like it’s, ‘Oh, this is 100% the model on how everything should be done’, ” Narayan said. “I personally don’t feel more clarity on this in the way that it’s gonna be, ‘This conference or university has it totally figured out.’ ” NIL is still a novelty, even though the legislation first passed in June. And Michigan, like any other school, has a lot more to iron out to remain near the front of the pack.

8A — Thursday, November 18, 2021

Rivalry Issue

The Michigan Daily —

through the lens of past student journalists


Managing Sports Editor

Expecting to get maybe a handful of responses, I emailed the Michigan Daily Sports Alumni base asking if anyone would be willing to share their experiences covering the Michigan-Ohio State game for the Daily. An hour later, I had 15 responses. By the next morning, I had somewhere near 40. In the end, I’ve conducted and compiled interviews with 23 alumni who covered the Michigan football team between 1963 and 2020:


963-1998: The dominant years (or at least the even years) What were the major storylines in the year you covered the team? Mike Block (1963): I was really looking forward to covering the Ohio State game. It was just fun to be in the press box and do all the cool stuff. But then, Kennedy was assassinated (the day before the game), so the focus, as you might imagine, was way less on Ohio State. The University and the Big Ten handled it really badly. … They didn’t cancel until the last minute, almost literally. So people, besides being extremely upset about the assassination, were really not happy with how things were handled. Bob Miller, former sportscaster for Fox Sports, (1978): The first that comes to mind if you’re talking about Michigan and Ohio State, it was last year that Woody and Bo were coaches in that game together because after the season was over was the unfortunate incident where Woody Hayes hit a Clemson player in the bowl game and got fired. Phil Nussel, editor at Automotive News, (1986, 1987): (Michigan) beat Ohio State at Ohio State after Harbaugh guaranteed the victory. I sat next to him when he did it. We all thought he was being crazy. And we go ‘Wait, Jim are you serious? Are you just bullshitting or is this on the record?’ He goes ‘Absolutely, I’m on the record. I’m guaranteeing a victory at Ohio State.’ We all looked at each other. … We all just couldn’t believe it. He didn’t clear it with Bo, that’s for sure, because Schembechler got all over his ass later on that day. Nick Cotsonika, columnist for (1997): I had Michigan finishing fifth in the Big Ten. Penn State was the odds on favorite to win the Big Ten, followed by Ohio State. I didn’t think they were going to be great. (Michigan went on to win the National Championship)

Did you expect Michigan to win? What was the state of the rivalry at the time? Miller (1978): I feel bad for the people that came after me because I think that you want that kind of importance tied to the rivalry. … It was Woody versus Bo. And it was special to the effect that the game lived up to its hype. It was a low-scoring game, but it was the kind of game that kept everybody in the stadium till the final gun. Ryan Harrington (1993): When I was in school, I mean, we had really good teams, and I think the rivalry was really fun because we kind of owned it at the time. We won. We haven’t lost to them at all. It was the tie in the year before, but it was never the kind of thing like now where you go into the game, kind of just presuming you’re gonna lose because we just don’t have the talent. We had the same talent they did. There was no talent gap, and more often than not, we played harder than them at the time. And we

were able to beat them even when maybe there was a year or two where we weren’t as good on paper.

What are your memories from The Game? Or from covering the team generally? Phil Hertz (1969): The most celebratory mood in the Daily offices that I can recall was that Ohio State game. People were going crazy. You know, booze everywhere. I don’t remember if there was a whole lot of drugs around — I mean, clearly drugs around the campus, but you know, there were too many non-Daily people around, coming in as hangers on and checking out the scene. It was really crazy. And I remember having to kick a couple of people in the butt to get their stories written because they were getting drunk and talking more than they were writing, but eventually we got everything done. Cotsonika (1997): I think every single person in that stadium realized what a significant moment that (game) was. Right? And obviously something that we know now. You know, nothing quite like that ever happened again. Since you know, it was just an unbelievable day. If we look back now, you realize how spoiled and lucky we were. … I don’t think any of us realized that that was going to end fairly soon.

What was it like to cover the team as a college student? Miller (1978): The week before the Ohio State game, we’re down (at the practice facility), as usual, waiting to get some post practice quotes, and it was freezing. It was so cold and standing outside the hall waiting for (Schembechler) to come out.. It’s just incredible. And he’s never taken that long before. And when he finally came out, he looked at us. ‘What are you doing here?’ We said ‘What do you mean what are we doing here? We’ve been here every day for the whole season.’ He goes ‘I didn’t think you’d be stupid enough to stand out there in that cold weather. I didn’t come out because I didn’t think you were here.’ He goes ‘Get in my car,’ so the three of us got in his car. He turns on the heat full blast so that we could warm up, and I’m in the front seat along with him and my two friends are in the backseat. … So the subject got (on) Iowa’s head coach. He was in trouble because Iowa was having a really poor season. And Bo looks at me and he says, ‘Can you believe the student newspaper at the University of Iowa called for the firing of their head coach?’ And he’s looking at me, and he’s got fire coming out of his eyes. And I’m like, ‘No, I wasn’t aware of that.’ And he grabs my wrist and he is holding on to it in a death grip. And he looks at me and he goes ‘You would never do that, would you?’ And I’m thinking ‘Okay, if I value my life, the answer is ‘No Bo, I will never call for your firing as the senior editor of the student paper.’ And so then he’s kind of like let go and we just started talking a little bit more. He lightened up and it was an amazing performance that we — mere mortals — had the opportunity to see what the football team saw week in and week out day in and day out. Adam Schefter, sports journalist at ESPN (1988): It was a tremendous lesson to hang around a legend like Bo Schembechler. At the end of the Michigan football season, my senior year, I remember going over to him at a luncheon at Weber’s. I went over to him and I thanked him because I always miss class to go to his press sessions and eat a free lunch. … And he slapped me on the cheek and he said ‘You like to bullshit son,

don’t ya?’ But I meant it. You know, I meant it. I felt like I got to be around a legend and listen to him talk about football. And that, to me, was invaluable and educational.


0 0 0 -2015: The t ra nsit ion years What were the major storylines in the year you covered the team?

Scott Bell, sports editor at Dallas Morning News, (2006): It was pretty crazy because it ended up being No. 1 Ohio State against No. 2 Michigan, the last game of the year. That was also the year that Bo Schembechler died two days before the game. So it was quite a lot going on, but it was cool, and it was obviously an honor and a privilege to just get to chronicle such a crazy time. Dan Feldman, writer for NBC Sports, (2008): So this was Rich Rodriguez’s first year. The team was bad, and it was the first bad Michigan team in a long time and ended a real long bowl streak. It was very slowly but surely figuring out, ‘This team is bad’ and ‘How bad?’ and, ‘Oh, they’re not going to win a bunch of games,’ ‘Oh, they’re not even gonna make a bowl.’ Obviously, it had been a long (losing) streak against Ohio State, but Michigan was a big underdog going into the Game — it was just hopelessness going in.

Did you expect Michigan to win? What was the state of the rivalry at the time? Kyle O’Neil (2003): Certainly anybody who watched in the ‘90s knew how Michigan had found a way to dominate and I probably thought that we were just set for probably back and forth and back and forth. I wouldn’t have guessed that ‘03 would have been kind of the last monumental (game) next to 2011. Courtney Ratkowiak (2008, 2009): (Michigan) lost. I think it was like 42-7 and the team was completely uninspired. Nobody wanted to talk to us after the game. I remember there also being this sense that it didn’t feel like (Rich Rodriguez) really understood the gravity of the rivalry, but he would tell you he did, of course. But he said ‘We’ve only lost this one game.’ That’s all I remember him saying. And it’s like, ‘Well, actually Michigan’s been losing to Ohio State for quite a few years now.’ Tim Rohan, senior writer with Religion of Sports, (2011): If I remember correctly, people were cautiously optimistic. Ohio State had dominated the rivalry, but Michigan seemed like they had the better team that year. All the emotion of Michigan not having won in so long and the Rich Rod years and all that. Everyone just stormed the field (when Michigan won). … At the time, it felt like maybe, Michigan was on the cusp of something. But the very next year, Ohio State hired Urban Meyer, and they’ve won ever since.

Ratkowiak (2008, 2009): It was in Columbus. I was wearing a suit. We dressed up to cover all of the games, and we were walking to the stadium and carrying our laptops and all of that just getting full cans of beer thrown at us. I remember that so clearly and being like, ‘I’m not even in Michigan clothes. How do they know?’

What was it like to cover the team as a college student? Zuniga (2014): Following the Ohio State game, Brady Hoke is fired, and Michigan went into a coaching search. Come December, it seems like everything’s pointing toward Jim Harbaugh being the new football coach. Myself and the rest of the football beat, who were still in the Ann Arbor area, managed to track down Jim Harbaugh’s flight as it was coming from the San Francisco area where he had been working. We were actually the ones who broke the story that he had arrived in Michigan and was set to take a Michigan football job. The following day at the press conference, he called me out (and) said really nice things about me, which was very cool. Because we were there; because we had a team of four people; because we were young and kind of crazy student journalists who were willing to take a shot because, you know, what do we have to lose? Right? We were the ones who were able to break that story.


016 -Present: The current state of the R ivalry What were the major storylines in the year you covered the team?

Ethan Sears, sports reporter for the New York Post (2020): The storyline of that team was Josh Gattis was the new offensive coordinator. So it was seeing what that offense would look like after they had kind of (been) a disaster of a few games to end the year in 2018. And their adjustments that offense and then they lost were blown out early in the season in Madison against Wisconsin, and a lot (of the season) was based on how they would recover from that. And they strung together a couple wins. After they lost to Penn State that kind of turned it around in the second half (of the season) and from there, they were a much better team, but still not particularly good enough to compete with Ohio State.

Did you expect Michigan to win? What was the state of the rivalry at the time? Ethan Wolfe (2018): I think Michigan had lost so many of the previous matchups that there was certainly an outcry, but there wasn’t any ‘woe is me.’ People were just resigned to the fact that this is how it goes.

What was it like to cover the team as a college student? Mike Persak, sports reporter at the Pitts-

What are your memories from The Game? burgh Post Gazette (2018): Those big games, Or from covering the team generally? that’s why it kind of feels like a fever dream, Brady McCollough, sports enterprise reporter at the LA Times, (2002, 2003): (After losing in 2002), it was like, ‘Well hey, they’re coming back to Ann Arbor. You know, we got to put a stop to this. Can’t lose three in a row to these guys.’ … It’s funny enough looking back, Michigan actually won the game. And it was amazing and a great release and the whole students section rushed the field. I was a student reporter down there in the chaos and trying not to celebrate even though of course (I was) over the moon that Michigan actually did it and beat those guys.

right? You look around the press box, and it’s like all the people are here, everyone who matters in college football media, and yet you’re just there as a student newspaper writer. It just kind of feels odd. I don’t know if it’s always like that for the Michigan-Ohio State game, but for that one specifically it really did feel like that. It’s just kind of odd to be there reporting on the same level when there are people who’ve been doing it for 20 years who were also there and paying very close attention (to) this game because it mattered a lot.

Rivalry Issue

The Michigan Daily —

Thursday, November 18, 2021 — 9A

Thirty-five years on, remembering the “Guarantee Game” BRENDAN ROOSE Daily Sports Editor


ive days before the Nov. 22, 1986 game between Michigan and Ohio State, it had already become one of the most iconic matchups in the history of the rivalry. Fresh off an upset loss to Minnesota but with Big Ten Championship hopes still alive, Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines’ quarterback at the time, uttered the now-famous (or perhaps infamous) line: “I guarantee you we’ll beat Ohio State and be in Pasadena.” Harbaugh’s guarantee will forever define the 1986 game, and rightfully so. It represents part of what makes college rivalries great — a favorite son of one historic program making an arrogant, outlandish claim and then backing it up with a 26-24 win. Regardless of the legacy he does (or doesn’t) build in his time left at Michigan, Harbaugh’s clearest stamp on the rivalry will remain that Monday press scrum in ’86. But the game was so much more than just one line. For one program, it snapped a two-game road losing streak — uncharacteristic for the rivalry at the time — and solidified its coach as the winningest in program history. For the other, it derailed a previously undefeated Big Ten season and contributed to the unceremonious firing of its coach less than a year later. The “guarantee game,” then, carried implications beyond the bragging rights and Big Ten title it awarded. In

the context of the rivalry as a whole, it fundamentally altered the course of both programs and sent shockwaves that are still felt today, some 35 years later. At the time, though, it was one game. *** hen running back Jamie Morris heard Harbaugh’s comments, his thoughts immediately turned to his head coach. “The thought of everybody was, ‘I want to see what Bo’s gonna say,’ ” Morris told The Daily. “So when we were in the full-team meeting, all he said was, ‘Our quarterback shot his mouth off, I guess we’re gonna have to go down there and prove he was right.’ “So, it was there, but it was kind of a surprise what Bo said. We thought he’d say, ‘Nobody says that! I’m the voice of Michigan football!’ But instead he said what I just told you.” Even before Harbaugh’s comments, the Wolverines already knew the stakes of the game. Two of the team’s main goals — winning the national championship and finishing as the No. 1 team in the country — had already been lost in the defeat against Minnesota. Michigan also hadn’t been to the Rose Bowl in four years, an unheard-of drought at the time, and a loss would make the class of 1986 the first group under Schembechler to never make it to Pasadena. Equally motivating, too, was the chance to play spoiler. Despite losses to Alabama and Washington in non-conference play, Ohio State had torn through


the rest of the Big Ten, beating all seven opponents by a combined score of 201-69. Especially in Columbus, a Big Ten Championship for the seventh-ranked Buckeyes seemed like a foregone conclusion. Still, spurred by the guarantee, the sixth-ranked Wolverines continued to grow more confident. Many viewed the loss to the Gophers the week prior as a product of looking ahead to Ohio State, so the team felt ready despite the previous week’s meager outcome. Schembechler worked to build on that confidence. In Columbus the night before the game, he met with individual players and told them to “visualize.” The hope was that if they went to bed visualizing a victory, then the next day, they’d be ready to make it a reality. “From our standpoint, we were expected to win that game,” Morris said. “We knew we were gonna win that game. We knew we could beat that team.” ichigan maintained that mentality into Saturday, but it didn’t take long for the Buckeyes to challenge it. On the opening kick, Ohio State returned the ball to the Wolverines’ 45-yard line. Four minutes later, quarterback Jim Karsatos connected with wide receiver Cris Carter for a touchdown. Morris punched back, returning the subsequent kickoff to the 40-yard line, but after Michigan’s drive stalled and ended in a field goal, the Buckeyes responded with a touchdown that extended their lead to 14-3. After a dropped pass, an interception and another disappointing


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field goal left the score at 14-6 entering halftime, the Wolverines’ chances of pulling out the win seemed bleak. Then, Jamie Morris happened. After a modest 60 rushing yards in the first half, Morris spearheaded a Michigan offensive explosion in the second half, tallying an additional 150 yards on the ground. His most notable run — a 52-yard third quarter scamper to the Ohio State 24-yard line — set up the score that gave the Wolverines a lead they would never relinquish. “That’s the best I’ve seen him play,” Schembechler said after the game, according to The Daily’s archives. “ … When do you remember any back getting more than 200 yards against Ohio State?” Alongside Morris, Harbaugh made good on his pregame promise, completing 19 of his 29 passes for 261 yards. Even when Michigan kept the ball on the ground, Harbaugh played his role well, calling the right checks at the line to give the Wolverines the numbers advantage. On the back of that combination, the Wolverines opened up a 26-17 lead early in the fourth quarter. But the Buckeyes crawled back into it. After blocking a field goal that would have extended Michigan’s lead to 12, Ohio State drove 56 yards for a touchdown that instead narrowed it to two. Minutes later, the Buckeyes recovered a fumble at their own 37-yard line, then drove to the Wolverines’ 28 to attempt a game-winning field goal with a minute remaining. The kick, of course, missed left. The immediate aftermath was predictable: elation on one sideline, dejection on the other.

While Schembechler told his team how happy he was for them in one locker room, Karsatos fought back tears in the other. “I was planning on going home (to California for the Rose Bowl),” Karsatos said postgame, according to the Lantern’s archives. “It’s going to take a couple of weeks to get over this.” Long term, though, the game was even more impactful. Not only did it send Michigan to its first Rose Bowl in four years — a game it ended up losing, 22-15, to Arizona State — it also granted Schembechler his 166th win, passing Fielding Yost as the winningest coach in program history. The effects were even more profound at Ohio State. Though the Buckeyes went on to win the Cotton Bowl, 28-12, coach Earle Bruce’s program never quite recovered from that shortfall. After opening the 1987 season 5-4-1, Bruce was fired the week before the Michigan game with only one Big Ten Championship to his name. In his final game coaching against the Wolverines, Ohio State pulled out a 23-20 upset win of their own. Bruce’s replacement? John Cooper, who coached Arizona State in its Rose Bowl win over Michigan. Hard to think that’s a coincidence. *** oday — even with how much the rivalry has changed — the 1986 matchup remains an iconic meeting. Despite the role his guarantee played in the game, Harbaugh doesn’t like to talk about it much.



Woody versus Bo:

10A — Thursday, November 18, 2021

Thursday, November 18, 2021 — 11

‘Because I couldn’t go for three’ TAYLOR DANBURG

The Lantern: Sports Editor

As legend would have it, when asked by the media about going for two points while blowing out arch-rivals Michigan in 1968, Ohio State head coach Woody Hayes infamously said, “Because I couldn’t go for three.” The context of this saying, and whether it was even said at all, is a mystery. Truth or not, Hayes’ legendary quote forever sits in Buckeye lore and hangs in the balance of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry’s history. This storied meeting of arch-rivals would not have the same pageantry, tradition or unrest as it does today without the “Ten Years War,” a decade where each of the late November clashes were some of the best the college gridiron has ever seen. Ten games of tension and anticipation with trips to the Rose Bowl typically on the line. But it was the two coaches with

a past connection — Hayes and Michigan’s Bo Schembechler — that gave the adversarial matchup an iconic status.


eginnings After a successful career as a tackle at Denison University, followed by stints as a high school football coach before enlisting in the U.S. Navy, Hayes was chosen to return to Denison as its head football coach. During his time at his alma mater, Hayes led the Big Red to two division titles and 19 straight wins before taking over the football program at Miami (OH) in 1949. While his stay was short, it was there he coached a tackle by the name of Schembechler, who followed Hayes to Columbus as a graduate

assistant for the Buckeyes after the 1951 season. Schembechler was elevated to offensive line coach for Hayes’ staff, a coaching core that won three National Championships before his departure for Miami in 1963.


he Pupil Meets The Teacher Leading up to the 1969 meeting between the two programs, Ohio State had beaten Michigan in 12 of the 18 games played under Hayes. The Buckeyes had no signs of stopping that season. Already dubbed by media as “the greatest college football team of all-time,” the Buckeyes were overwhelming favorites to win the national championship and expected to stomp 17-point underdogs Michigan. Michigan was ranked No. 12 in the country and led by a coach who was familiar with its rival: Schembechler. In front of a record 103,588 fans at Michigan Stadium, Schembechler’s Wolverines outlasted Hayes’ Buckeyes 21-12 to pull off a stunning upset, rejuvenating the rivalry.


evenge After Michigan’s upset in 1969, Hayes wanted nothing more than vengeance on his former player and coach. He began game planning for the next meeting against the Wolverines on the bus ride back from Ann Arbor after the crushing defeat. Hayes’ years worth of preparation worked, with fifth-ranked Ohio State beginning the recurring theme of revenge, topping fourth-ranked Michigan 20-9 in 1970.



With the Hayes-Schembechler installment of the rivalry tied at one game apiece, 1971’s installment shot tensions to new feats. With Ohio State trailing 10-7 in the fourth quarter and facing a long third-and-16, quarterback Don Lamka threw the ball towards receiver Dick Wakefield, but Thom Darden made a leaping interception to seal the victory for Michigan. With the Ohio State sideline screaming for pass interference on Darden, Hayes took it one step further with an infamous tirade, throwing penalty flags into the stands and first-down markers like they were javelins while also destroying yard markers left and right. As Michigan took the final knee to end the game, Buckeye linebacker Randy Gradishar slugged Michigan quarterback Tom Slade, starting a ten-minute brawl to halt the game. It was at this point where the rivalry turned into a brutal, but epic, blood bathing border war.


or All The Roses 1973 saw two undefeated teams — Michigan at 10 wins and Ohio State at nine — playing on the final day for a Rose Bowl berth. With a tough decision at stake, the last situation the voting committee would have wanted occurred, as the Buckeyes and Wolverines tied in Ann Arbor, 10-10, with a groundbreaking decision at stake. Over the telephone, Big Ten athletic directors gathered to decide who would advance to Pasadena, California, with the verdict resulting in Ohio State advancing over Michigan. It was Schembechler’s turn to enter fits of outrage over the 6-4 decision, bashing the committee and their “petty jealousies.” Ohio State proved its worth

with a trouncing of USC 42-21 for Hayes’ fourth Rose Bowl victory.


omentum Following 1973’s ”Vote for the Roses,” the rivalry — and the battle within it — became all about momentum. Riding the advantage of the previous year’s controversial decision, Hayes’ Buckeyes took the next two matchups, out-scoring Michigan 33-24. The Woody and Bo series began to shift in favor of the scarlet and gray, but the maize and blue would prevail in the final three installments, kicked off by a 22-0 rout of the Buckeyes in Ohio Stadium.


inale Hayes’ incident in the 1978 Gator Bowl would be the sole reason the “Ten Years War” would end between him and Schembechler. With a tie of the conference title on the line, Michigan — which had won the last two games — clinched a share of the Big Ten with a 14-3 win for Schembechler’s fifth victory over Hayes, prematurely ending a legendary decade-long feud. Without Hayes or Schembechler, The Game might just be another Saturday in November. Instead, it is 364 days of endless preparation and hatred, but also respect. The names “Woody” and “Bo” are synonymous with college football, but mean even more in the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry.

A rivalry decided on the recruiting DANIEL DASH

The Daily: Senior Sports Editor


hile the annual Thanksgiving weekend matchup between Michigan and Ohio State brands itself as one of the nation’s top rivalries, it hasn’t been much of a competition as of late. Though the game itself is battled out on the gridiron, the rivalry is actually won years in advance. The same sentiment holds for the Buckeyes when compared to any other Big Ten foe, really. According

to 247Sports’ College Football Team Talent Composite, which measures the overall talent of each Division I team based on recruiting evaluations, Ohio State has the nation’s third-best 2021 roster. Of course, some former NFL Draft picks weren’t even identified by major scouting services coming out of high school. Recruiting rankings don’t necessarily dictate a prospect’s college career, but they’re a damn good indicator.


n fall Saturdays, the Buckeyes trot out 16 former fivestar prospects, second-most in the nation behind Georgia (19), in addition to 49 four-stars and 20 three-stars. Since Jim Harbaugh took over at Michigan in 2015, the Buckeyes have signed the Big Ten’s top-ranked recruiting class six times in seven years. All six of those conference-best classes ranked inside the top five nationally. The only exception came in 2019, when the Buckeyes underwent a head-coaching transition from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day. But even in that cycle, one of the Wolverines’

top overall targets — five-star defensive end Zach Harrison — signed with the Buckeyes. When Ohio State visits Ann Arbor this month, Harrison will try to inflict the same pain coming off the edge as former star Buckeye pass-rushers like Chase Young and the Bosa brothers, Nick and Joey.


he Wolverines, on the other hand, have just three former five-star prospects on their 2021 roster. One of them, true freshman J.J. McCarthy, is a second-string quarterback who has yet to throw more than 10 passes in a single game. Another one, junior defensive tackle Chris Hinton, hasn’t yet established himself as a game-breaking NFL talent like most other five-star recruits. The third, however, has made an impact. That would be junior Daxton Hill, whose name is generating day-one NFL Draft buzz following his successful transition from safety to nickel corner this past offseason. Beyond the three former five-star prospects, the Wolverines feature 41 four-star recruits and 36 three-stars.

The roster has the 15th-most talent in all of college football, according to the Team Talent Composite. That narrowly slots Michigan ahead of Big Ten rivals like No. 16 Penn State and No. 21 Wisconsin, but it’s well behind the Buckeyes. Finding diamonds in the rough is a key aspect of recruiting, but it’s seldom enough to overcome that sort of talent gap. At least on the recruiting trail, more is always merrier. Success is a positive feedback loop. Recruits’ eyes are drawn to National Signing Day spectacles, dramatic commitments and swaths of top talent heading to certain college towns. Most prospects mention winning in the same breath as proximity while sorting through dozens of scholarship offers. Every team to appear in a national championship game since 2002 has rostered at least one five-star recruit.


nce recruits arrive on campus, much is made of talent development. It’s an area where some coaching staffs excel and others falter. In April 2020, a deep dive by 247Sports measured talent development from 2011

to 2015 by tracking the NFL draft fate of top recruits. The Buckeyes checked in at No. 2 nationally with 64% of their top-247 prospects drafted, while Michigan lagged behind at No. 20 with just 27% of its top-247 recruits drafted. Under Harbaugh, that figure has increased dramatically. Still, given the positive feedback loop of recruiting, the five-year stretch from 2011 to 2015 caused the gap between the programs to widen even further. The Richard Rodriguez and Brady Hoke eras allowed Ohio State to distance itself from the Wolverines, laying the foundation for severe recruiting disparities reflected in today’s Team Talent Composite.


t’s difficult for even coaching to overcome that, and it’s a root cause of the Buckeyes outscoring Michigan

by 95 points over the last five meetings. It also helps explain why the Wolverines, despite remaining alive in the Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff races, are once again set to enter this season’s meeting as a heavy underdog. Still, if it wants to break the feedback loop of recruiting and compete with the Buckeyes on the trail, Michigan must do one thing: Beat Ohio State on the f ield.

2 | The Lantern | Thursday, November 18, 2021




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After an unbroken string of annual games dating back more than a century, the COVID-19 pandemic delivered to both Ohio State and Xichigan something even more devastating than a loss in The Game: a missed opportunity to compete for a win. So, this year, the 117th meeting between our teams means something special for our student-athletes, schools and states we serve. It means a return to the tradition that has long anchored our football seasons and Thanksgiving holidays. It means we again have license to rehash battles from the Toledo War, the Ten Year War and all the contests in between and ever since. And it means we can return to a competition that has motivated our universities to work harder and reach higher in all that we do. This impulse — and Ohio State football — is in my family’s blood. My grandfather played right guard for two of the earliest Buckeye teams. And although he graduated just before this matchup existed and evolved to captivate the nation, it has remained with me and taught me something fundamental about the legacy of our storied rivalry: Each of us is better because the other is there. A powerful example of this is our annual Blood Battle, now in its 40th year. Through this friendly competition, we have collectively donated thousands of pints of blood for patients in our communities. Despite the prominence of our historical opposition, we have developed a knack for collaborating to build a more harmonious future. Our faculty, and colleagues across 11 higher education institutions, four global corporations and three government research labs, are working together to make artificial intelligence more efficient, interactive and secure — and to train the workforce that will leverage these technologies for the good of society. We are also collaborating to refine ways of using carbon dioxide captured during energy production to help generate electricity from geothermal heat. We are overcoming barriers limiting the effectiveness of cleaner hydrogen fuels. And we’re working side by side to address water quality on Lake Erie and better forecast the impact of harmful algal blooms on the millions of people who depend on the lake for clean water and economic prosperity. That School Up North and Ohio State are both founding members of the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities. This innovative initiative brings together colleges and universities across the nation to better integrate the arts into our teaching, research, student experience and community engagement to promote new ways of thinking, greater understanding and more holistic solutions. While competition has enhanced the excellence of Buckeyes and Wolverines alike across our shared history, we shine brightest when working together. That has always been the case, and it will continue to be in the years ahead. Even so, this is rivalry week, and ours is one of the greatest in American sports. For just a few hours on Saturday, I’ll be setting aside partnership in favor of the play-action pass. May the best team win.

Go Buckeyes!


-President Kristina M. Johnson


Thursday, November 18, 2021 | The Lantern | 3

Ohio State fans sound off on return of The Game BRYCE HIRAYAMA

LANTERN REPORTER With the change of seasons, another football season begins to dwindle and signifies one thing for all Buckeyes: The Game is upon us. This year marks the 116th matchup between the University of Michigan and the Ohio State University, with the rivalry dating all the way back to 1897. Many people, including students, have picked sides and even let their fandom choose what school they attended. “It was not the main reason by any means, but sports has always been a big part of my life and continues to be now,” Haleigh Shafer, a third-year in marketing, said. “My love for OSU went beyond academics. This intense rivalry and the atmosphere of game days in Columbus was something I knew I wanted when looking at school during my senior year of high school.” The same could be said for students at Michigan as they were raised on the rivalry and the dominance Michigan has on the all-time record — holding a 58-51-6 advantage. However, with the continued success of the Buckeyes in the 21st century,


Ohio Stadium sits mostly empty for the Ohio State-Nebraska game Oct. 24, 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions not allowing fans in the stadium.

many Ohio State students have not seen the might of Michigan that dominated the rivalry in the 20th century. “My earliest memory was when I was still in high school and my sister was going to Ohio State, so my family and I watched the game. Ohio State was dominating and we ended up winning huge,” Jack Vorreuter, a second-year in finance, said. “To me, it seemed like the turning point of where competition with Michigan wasn’t a concern, which I loved.” The Buckeyes have won the last eight

meetings with the Wolverines, which is one away from tying the longest streak in the rivalry. Michigan currently owns that title with nine victories spanning from 1901-1909. The Buckeyes had a chance last year to tie the record, but during a COVID-19stricken season, the game was canceled due to Michigan’s inability to field a team for the matchup. While there is definitely disappointment about last year’s matchup from students, the return of a full season with full

stadiums has given many students and fans the opportunity to cheer on the Buckeyes in person. Some fans even plan to travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to see the Buckeyes live, surrounded by the maize and blue. “This will be my first time seeing this matchup in person,” Shafer said. “Even if we are all the way up in the nose bleeds, I’m just excited to see the sea of scarlet and gray in The Big House and watch that showdown in person for the first time.”


MARCUS HORTON WEB/INFOGRAPHICS EDITOR The last time Michigan ended a football game with more points than Ohio State, I was in the midst of my final year of elementary school, getting ready for winter break and travel basketball tryouts. Ten years, eight matchups, one pandemic and zero Michigan wins later, here we are. Every season, it feels like the Wolverines have a brand new reason for hope against the Buckeyes. Every season, that hope is shattered in a brand new way. First, it was Denard Robinson, the speedy Wolverine quarterback who got the job done in 2011 –– against an Ohio State team with an interim head coach and plenty of internal drama, mind you –– but couldn’t recreate the magic the following season. Then, after former head coach Brady Hoke’s abrupt downfall, came the supposed Michigan savior and current head coach, Jim Harbaugh. We all know how that has played out.

The list goes on. From former Wolverine defensive coordinator Don Brown and his mighty defense, to a rotating carousel of quarterbacks, no one from Ann Arbor, Michigan, has been able to topple the Buckeyes on the gridiron in a decade. There have been close calls, like when the Buckeyes stopped a Michigan twopoint conversion with 32 seconds left to escape The Big House in 2013, or when J.T. Barrett and Curtis Samuel saved Ohio State in a 2016 double overtime classic. But in the end, Michigan has fallen short time and time again. I never witnessed a Wolverine win in middle school or high school, and I’ve yet to experience anything close to such a sensation in college. In fact, it seems like the gap between these two proud programs has only widened. Under current head coach Ryan Day, Ohio State has suffered a grand total of three losses in two-plus seasons. Michigan

has nine losses in that same period of time. Only two Michigan quarterbacks have thrown for 22 touchdowns or more in a single season since 2011. Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields tossed for 22 scores in eight total games last year. The recruiting gap is widening dramatically, too. The Buckeyes brought in seven five-star recruits this year alone, according to 247Sports. Michigan has earned commitments from just six fivestars total since Harbaugh took over in December 2014. That was a very long-winded way of saying something that has become crystal clear the past few seasons: Ohio State has made its way to the ranks of college football’s truly elite, while Michigan is simply treading water, hoping for a miracle from Harbaugh and company. Still, in no way should any Buckeye fan write off this year’s edition of The Game due to past results

or a growing imbalance between the two sides. No matter what the trends, stats or rankings say, Ohio State versus Michigan will always be a closely contested battle. That’s the way rivalries work. Michigan enters Thanksgiving weekend with a powerful duo of running backs, a quarterback who has done just enough to keep the ball moving consistently and a top-tier defense led by a dominant front five. Like Harbaugh’s best teams of the past, this is a group that prides itself on defensive physicality and grinding out games on offense. It knows its own limitations and plays to its very obvious strengths: controlling the tempo of games with a ground-and-pound mindset. In decades past, these characteristics would make the Wolverines a difficult matchup for Ohio State — especially this Ohio State team, which has had more than its fair share of breakdowns against the run and short-pass game. But gone are the days of Ohio State relying on its defense to win games. In TreVeyon Henderson, Chris Olave, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Garrett Wilson — plus a few more — the Buckeyes have unmatched talent at their disposal. It will not matter how successful the methodical Michigan offense fares against an unpredictable Buckeye defense. Despite their defensive numbers, the Wolverines haven’t seen anything close to this Ohio State offense and will have no answers come Saturday afternoon. With Day at the helm, a gluttony of weapons on offense and a young quarterback who has shown oodles of potential in big games, Michigan just can’t keep up with the Buckeyes. Such has been the theme these past few years. Ohio State has adapted to the new world of college football, one focused on high-powered offenses led by gunslinging quarterbacks and innovative playcallers. Michigan has not. Simply put, we’re not in elementary school anymore, coach Harbaugh. On Saturday, that will be made clear once more. GABE HAFERMAN | ASST. PHOTO EDITOR

4 | The Lantern | Thursday, November 18, 2021


15 years later, Tressel looks back on the ‘Game of the Century’ DANNY FOGARTY




THE RIVALRY TINUES!! N O C 46 years of a house divided!

November 27


Buckeye wins

25 (8 straight wins since 2012)

November 27


Wolverine wins


Ohio State has played Michigan 116 times in football, but the 2006 matchup stands above the rest. In 2006, the Buckeyes and Wolverines were the top-two teams in the country, so the winner of the game could claim a berth in the Bowl Championship Series National Championship. Jim Tressel, who coached the Buckeyes from 2001-2010 and won a national title in 2002, looked back at this game on its 15year anniversary. No. 1 Ohio State was led by senior quarterback Troy Smith, who would go on to win the Heisman Trophy, as well as receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez and running back Chris “Beanie” Wells. Tressel said the 2006 Buckeyes, who came into the Michigan game 11-0, had a crucial win over No. 2 Texas early in the season and his players were improving with every game. No. 2 Michigan’s offense was supplied with future NFL players like quarterback Chad Henne and receiver Mario Manningham. These potent offensive rosters led to a scoring attack hardly seen between these two teams: The 81 points scored became the highest score in The Game in 102 years, at the time. “I never know, going into a game, if it’s going to be high or low,” Tressel said. “I don’t know how the chess match is going to work. You just don’t know what the conditions are going to be.” The game was neck and neck until Ohio State pulled away with a 28-14 lead at halftime. Michigan quickly battled back with a Mike Hart rushing touchdown, followed by a field goal after Smith threw an interception. Tressel said while there were concerns over an arm injury Smith dealt with the week before the Illinois game, he was confident his quarterback was ready for the challenge. “He had been thinking about his senior year Michigan game for a long time, so he was totally focused,” Tressel said. “He’d been preparing a long time for this big one and he was glued into the mood of what he wanted to do.” Apparently, what Smith wanted to do was throw four touchdowns and 316 passing yards.

Smith’s output was crucial to the Buckeyes’ victory as the Wolverines refused to let up with the score 35-31 and 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Tressel said Michigan’s ability to stay in the game was aided by a hunger for revenge as the Buckeyes won the rivalry in the prior two years. “It’s hard to beat your rival a couple of years in a row,” Tressel said. “The team that gets beat a couple of times has a resolve that’s very deep.” Smith would throw one last touchdown to receiver Brian Hartline, who is now the wide receivers coach for the Buckeyes, to give Ohio State a two-possession lead. Despite both a touchdown and two-point conversion by the Wolverines with two minutes to go, the Buckeyes were able to hang on 42-39. When Smith kneeled to secure Ohio State’s victory, Tressel said he was glad that Buckeyes near and far could let their feelings out. “When the game ended, our emotion was finally allowed to express itself,” Tressel said. “I was so happy for our fans. I was so happy for our team.” However, Tressel said his happiness was short-lived as the mob of students rushed onto the field. “It was a great feeling,” Tressel said. “But then, all of a sudden, it turned into a survival mode because it got awfully crowded down there.” The crowd not only stormed the field, but also began to tear pieces of turf from the ground to keep as souvenirs of what would come to be known as the “Game of the Century.” Ohio State would go on to play Urban Meyer’s Florida Gators in the National Championship Game but fall 41-14. The Buckeyes have only lost once to Michigan since 2006. They currently have an eight-game winning streak in the rivalry coming into the 2021 edition of The Game. So the 2006 game was significant, not only because of the score, the rankings and the ground literally being lifted out from under them, but because it showed that Ohio State was on top, Tressel said. “I think it was an important game for the Ohio State side of the rivalry,” Tressel said. “To prove to everyone that we believe we could be the dominant group in this rivalry.”


THE LANTERN @thelanternosu @TheLantern @LanternSports @thelanternosu @thelanternosu





Casey Smith, a third-year in journalism, dresses up as Brutus Buckeye in 2013 for Halloween.

In the Smith household, there were three rules: Try your hardest in school, do your chores and hate that team up north. The photos of me wearing Ohio State gear as an infant are evidence that the final Smith absolute was instilled in me at an early age, and my dad is to blame. My dad, Gene Smith — who coincidentally shares a name with Ohio State’s athletic director — is a Buckeye, born and bred. Raised in Ashtabula, Ohio, he moved to Virginia after serving in the United States Air Force where he met my mom, Karen. They settled down in the Hampton Roads area and had a couple of kids, but my dad’s northern spirit made its way south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Throughout my years in school it was evident that I was an Ohio State fanatic. It became a part of my personality. My friends came to know me as “that Ohio State fan,” always making it a point to talk to me about the Ohio memes and the current happenings of the football team — especially if the Buckeyes lost the previous Saturday. It probably didn’t help that 75 percent of my wardrobe was Buckeye garb — thanks to the many birthdays and holidays in which I’d restock with the most up-to-date gear.

Thursday, November 18, 2021 | The Lantern | 5

‘THE RIVALRY’ But my fandom showed through my actions as well. It probably didn’t help that 75 percent of my wardrobe was Buckeye garb — thanks to the many birthdays and holidays in which I’d restock with the most up-to-date gear. But my fandom showed through my actions as well. I flaunted my team to my friends, who generally had to wait until basketball season to get their jabs in as fans of Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving break are when I did most of my trash talking, though. One of my closest friends throughout middle and high school was a Michigan fan, and she did not hear the end of it. By the end of “hate week,” she probably knew the number of days it had been since Michigan beat Ohio State like the back of her hand. Just out of spite, and staying true to the Buckeyes, any text I sent her that week was littered with red “X” emojis where any “m” was supposed to be. She’s just lucky we never watched a game together, but it was always better watching with my family anyway. The morning of The Game, the first thing my family would do the

morning of The Game is place the “lucky” Ohio State flag out on its stand next to our mailbox in the front yard. Then, we’d watch the pregame shows while making our two favorite game day foods: cheese fries and pigs in a blanket. About five minutes before kickoff, we would get situated in our “assigned” seats before 3 1/2 hours of yelling, cheering and high-fiving, celebrating the most storied rivalry in college football, with the Buckeyes almost always coming out on top. I was not alive during Michigan’s 86-0 demolition of Ohio State in 1902. I was not alive during Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler’s “Ten Year War.” I was not alive during the 2-10-1 stretch under former head coach John Cooper. The 17 Ohio State victories in my lifetime mean nothing on the last Saturday thisin November. I still get butterflies that it might be the year the Wolverines get the best of Ohio State because, like in all great rivalries, the opponent always gets their foe’s best game. This year will be the first where I won’t watch the game with my family, but believe me, they’ll be there with me along the way. If I get the chance, I’m heading to any restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, that sells cheese fries.

6 | The Lantern | Thursday, November 18, 2021


OSU coaches reveal what it’s like on both sides of rivalry




Ohio State women’s basketball assistant coach Wesley Brooks coaches from the sidelines during the Ohio State-Bucknell game Nov. 10. Ohio State won 71-48.


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Wherever one lies in the rivalry, there is a distinct and fine line between supporting either Michigan or Ohio State. Rarely are there instances for fans or players to support both teams in such a begrudging, storied rivalry. One could be seen as a traitor to switch caps between two bitter programs. But it may be even rarer for a coach to don a jacket from both Michigan and Ohio State. “I think the culture of both schools is totally different,” Ohio State assistant women’s basketball coach Wesley Brooks said. “I think both schools are tremendous institutions, but they’re definitely different. You can definitely tell that there’s a different feel at each place.” From the Buckeyes’ Woody Hayes and the Wolverines’ Lloyd Carr, legends from the coaching staffs produce flashbacks to when they led their teams to glory on the gridiron. Ohio native Bo Schembechler infamously comes to mind as someone who learned as a graduate assistant under Hayes in the early 1950s at Ohio State, then later took the helm up north at Michigan in 1969. This marked the start of “The 10 Year War,” in which the Buckeyes and Wolverines went 5-5-1 against one another and combined for 11 Rose Bowl appearances. Over the years, Michigan and Ohio State coaches have laid the foundation of the rivalry through their game day approach and culture within their respective programs, and their effects are still felt today. Buckeyes softball head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly, who pitched at Michigan from 1991-95, said she took pages from the styles of coaches like Carr and Ryan Day and applied them to her playbook. “I was super invested in learning how Lloyd Carr did things and how he functioned as a coach. I respected the way he ran a game,” Schoenly said. “I get invested in how the coaches coach the big games. As a coach, that’s what I’m watching now.” Eleven coaches among Ohio State’s 36 athletic programs have ties to the state of Michigan, either as alumni, coaches or natives of the region, including secondary coach Matt Barnes and linebackers coach Al Washington. Brooks, who joined the Buckeyes women’s basketball program this offseason under Kevin McGuff after four years as an assistant with the Wolverines, said he doesn’t think there’s a much bigger rivalry than the one between Ohio State and Michigan, comparing it to the likes of the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, as well as Duke and North Carolina. He said he can see similarities in the ways both programs consider the rivalry,

whether it’s Ohio State’s “Our Honor Defend” andor Michigan’s “Leaders and Best” mantras, or their determination to keep in-state recruits at home. Brooks said those traditions are rooted deeply in the history of The Game. “I think the football coaches have kind of set the cultures for both programs,” Brooks said. “I think just through the history, they kind of set the athletic culture at both programs. Both schools have done a job of identifying something that they want to build culturally and then running with it.” Schoenly said she attended ‘The Game’ as a student-athlete, and Brooks said he’s followed the rivalry closely. But, the turmoil between Michigan and Ohio State goes beyond just the football field. Michigan owns a 24-5 advantage on the softball diamond since Schoenly took the reins in 2013. Despite the tilt in the records, Schoenly said she sees the importance of competing against their rival invested in each of her players. “One of the reasons I coach is I just watch the kids rise up in big moments,” Schoenly said. “Watching our kids make those memories of beating that team and competing against that team because they care about the pride of our school, to be a Buckeye, you are taught that that’s an important moment in your career.” On the court, the Buckeyes hold an 8-5 record when the women’s hoops teams have battled since McGuff’s hiring in 2013. The objective is the same, no matter which sideline a coach is on: beat your rival. However, the larger goal for Michigan and Ohio State is to raise a national championship, and Brooks said he’s seen that emphasis from both programs. “At this point in my career, you want to go somewhere where championships matter, where you’re always trying to compete for a national championship, you’re always trying to compete for a Big Ten championship,” Brooks said. “That’s what we’re playing for — championships.” The coaching lineage at Michigan and Ohio State is rich and renownedstoried, but it’s few and far between for these to wear the caps of the two teams at points in their careers. Passion and vigor for The Game goes beyond the football field, as the road to postseason play for Michigan and Ohio State often goes through one another. One common theme, though, is shared among the several Ohio State coaches who’ve been on both sides: there is nothing else like the rivalry. “Michigan-Ohio State speaks for itself,” Brooks said. “You can go anywhere in the world, people are going to recognize that block ‘O,’ people are going to recognize that block ‘M.’”


Thursday, November 18, 2021 | The Lantern | 7


A member of the Ohio State Marching Band holds up their traditional “Beat Blue” banana during the game against Michigan Nov. 26, 2016, at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won 30-27.

Opinion: 2021 game primed to be an all-time great JACK EMERSON Sports Editor It’s been five years since The Game ended with a single-digit margin of victory. The last time it happened, Urban Meyer still strolled the Ohio State sidelines, J.T. Barrett still led the Buckeyes’ offense and Ryan Day still coached quarterbacks in the NFL. The 2016 game between bitter rivals Ohio State and Michigan will always live in the minds of Buckeyes and Wolverines fans — albeit for different reasons. But, 2016 also marked the last time the rivalry was truly competitive as Ohio State has dominated the past three meetings by a combined margin of 149-86 — including back-to-back three-plus score wins in 2018-19. Like that double overtime battle, the 2021 meeting between the Buckeyes and Wolverines is expected to carry College Football Playoff implications. As of Nov. 10, Ohio State is in playoff position at No. 4, while Michigan sits at No. 6. In 2016, the Buckeyes and Wolverines both held playoff spots, with Ohio State ranking at No. 2 and Michigan at No. 3 heading into the game. This season’s meeting could also bring some much-needed juice back into the rivalry, with Buckeyes and Wolverines — including Day and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh — jawing at each other since their last meeting in 2019. “Beat Ohio [State], our rivals, Michigan State, everybody. That’s what we’re going to do,” Harbaugh said at Big Ten Media Days. “We’re going to do it or die trying.” Although Harbaugh has said similar things in the past, he’s backed up his words with action within his program. The changes come on the heels of former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields declaring that the Buckeyes take rivalry more seriously than their northern foe in 2019. For starters, Harbaugh erected a sign that reads “What are you doing to beat Ohio State today?” in the Wolverines’ facilities over the summer. The Michigan skipper also changed the name of one of his more physical drills — a nine vs. seven running drill — to the “Beat Ohio” drill over the summer. “It’s always been a period that we take a lot of pride in. I think the past couple of years, I’m not sure when exactly it was

changed, it kind of came along with the whole tradition of ‘What are you going to do to beat Ohio State every day?’ ” Michigan graduate offensive tackle Andrew Stueber said. While the Wolverine program and Harbaugh have begun to emphasize the rivalry in 2021, it’s always been a focus for Day, who is in his third season at the helm of the Ohio State program.

I tell recruits, the number

one job is to beat ‘That Team Up North.’ If we can

do that, the rest of the things fall in line. Ryan Day Head coach

Like his predecessors, Day even refuses to utter the word “Michigan,” as he told NFL Network’s and Michigan alum Rich Eisen. Although the third-year coach refuses to say the name of his opponent, that hasn’t stopped him from sharing heated exchanges with Harbaugh. With The Game’s cancellation in 2020 due to COVID-19 issues in the Michigan program, the two adversaries haven’t met since Harbaugh reportedly accused Day of breaking offseason rules, to which Day replied by telling Harbaugh to focus on his own team. Day then told his team that the Wolverines should hope there is a mercy rule because the Buckeyes were going to “hang 100 on them.” While the energy and pettiness around the rivalry has returned to The Game, the competitive nature is also primed for a return. The Buckeyes’ seemingly unstoppable offense, which averages 44.9 points and 541.8 yards per game, will meet the immovable object that is the Michigan defense. The Wolverines allow just 16 points and 297.3 yards per game. As Michigan’s focus has increased and the Buckeyes have looked vulnerable at times this season, the 2021 meeting between Ohio State and Michigan is primed to return The Game back to its glory days.

The best way to respect this rivalry is to

work it every day during the year, think about it all the time and do a great job of preparing. Ryan Day Head coach

8 | The Lantern | Thursday, November 18, 2021


Big Ten commissioner Warren recalls memories of The Game JACOB BENGE ASST. SPORTS EDITOR Before becoming Big Ten Conference commissioner in 2020, Kevin Warren was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona — over 1,800 miles from either Ann Arbor, Michigan, or Columbus. Warren led a successful collegiate basketball career at the University of Pennsylvania and Grand Canyon University, where he was inducted into the latter’s Athletics Hall of Fame. Come late November every year as a student-athlete, Warren managed to allocate time to watch The Game between Michigan and Ohio State — he didn’t want to miss it. “Huge rivalry,” Warren said. “I don’t think I’ve ever missed that game.” Following his playing career, Warren joined the front offices of three NFL franchises, including the Detroit Lions, St. Louis Rams and the Minnesota Vikings, where he served as the chief operating officer. He spent over 15 years with the Vikings after arriving in Minnesota during 2005, where Warren said he and his family lived much deeper in Big Ten country. When the team hit the road, Warren said he built time around the showdown between Michigan and Ohio State into his itinerary every year. “Even when we would be traveling on NFL road trips, I would always find a way to watch it,” Warren said. “It’s part of the fabric of college athletics and Big Ten athletics.” Warren said he likened rivalry games to a “remember where you were when” event, noting Wolverines wide receiver Desmond Howard’s Heisman pose following a punt return touchdown in 1991 as an example. His memories date further back than


Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren speaks before the Big Ten Media Days for football July 23 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

that. Warren said he remembers the days where The Game held postseason implications as he watched from the West Coast. “I remember even as a kid just watching those games. I remember me growing up in Arizona. It looked so cold to watch those games later in the season,” Warren said. “But, that was for all the marbles then. There was no College Football Playoff; the winner went to the Rose Bowl.” Unfortunately, Warren — and everyone

else — missed The Game due to the pandemic in 2020. He shared the same disappointment many others felt upon the cancellation of the rivalry for the first time in over a century. But, the next edition of Michigan and Ohio State comes with heightened vigor this season. Both Michigan and Ohio State are near the top of the Big Ten East Division, owning more than five conference wins entering the stretch run.

Warren said he’s scheduled and booked for a trip to Ann Arbor when the rivalry renews Nov. 27. As it stands, this year’s edition of The Game may have impacts similar to what Warren experienced growing up: a trip to the conference championship game and even College Football Playoff. “I can’t remember a year where I didn’t watch it. I’ll be excited to be there this year,” Warren said. “It should be another just incredible, incredible game.”


Thursday, November 18, 2021 | The Lantern | 9

Records that could fall during the 2021 meeting between rivals


Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) prepares for a snap in the Ohio State-Rutgers game Oct. 2. Ohio State won 52-13.

JACK EMERSON SPORTS EDITOR The Buckeyes and Wolverines have battled for over 115 years, meeting year in and year out in the biggest rivalry in college football. With such a storied rivalry comes plenty of notable performances that have tipped the outcomes of major meetings between the two universities. Here are a few Ohio State records that may fall in the 2021 clash between the Buckeyes and Wolverines: Passing yards In 2018, then-Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins unleashed a dominating 396-yard, six-touchdown performance against Michigan’s defense — which ranked at the top of the nation heading into that game. Haskins’ performance led the Buckeyes to their largest point total in The Game’s history: 62. While Haskins’ big day will be remembered by Ohio State fans for the rest of time, his passing yards record has the potential to fall in 2021. Redshirt freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud has uncorked numerous performances this season that would have broken Haskins’ mark of 396 yards. Against Oregon in Week 2, Stroud threw for nearly 500 yards — landing at 484 yards and 15 yards shy

shy of Haskins’ single-game program record. Since then, Stroud has tossed two other 400-plus yard games, throwing for 406 yards against Maryland and 405 versus Nebraska. As Stroud has eclipsed the 400-yard mark three times this season, including against a solid Nebraska defense, there’s no reason he can’t do it again. Field goals made Multiple Ohio State kickers have sent a record four field goals through the uprights against the Wolverines. In 1974, the Buckeyes needed all four of their field goals as Tom Klaban’s 12 points were the only points they could muster in a 12-10 win. Klaban’s four field goals were not matched until Drew Basil connected on 4-of-5 attempts to power Ohio State to a 26-21 win. Ohio State’s current kicker, graduate Noah Ruggles, has drilled four field goals in a game twice this season. In back-to-back outings against Penn State and Nebraska, Ruggles drilled four field goals in each game — including a pair of kicks to ice each game. Ruggles has gone a perfect 15-of-15 in field goal attempts thus far this season and could see enough opportunities to break the record four field goals set by Klaban and Basil.

Total offensive yards In the aforementioned 2018 meeting, Haskins’ masterclass helped pace the Buckeyes to 567 yards of total offense. As Ohio State produced 396 yards through the air, the two-headed monster of Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins powered the Buckeyes on the ground — combining for 142 rushing yards. Haskins added 34 rushing yards as well. The 2021 version of the Buckeyes average 541.8 yards per game and contain dynamic passing and rushing attacks. Ohio State produces 352.8 passing yards per game, while it adds 189 rushing yards per game. Ohio State’s offense boasts a talented

receiving corps headlined by senior Chris Olave, junior Garrett Wilson and sophomore Jaxon Smith-Njigba, while freshman running back TreVeyon Henderson provides the Buckeyes’ ground game with both power and finesse. The combo of the Buckeyes’ air and ground attacks are enough to give any defense fits. The current Ohio State offense has crossed the 567-yard mark three times this season, including two performances above 600 total yards — coming against Oregon and Akron. As the Buckeyes head into the Big House for another meeting, expect offensive fireworks and a potentially record-breaking outing from Stroud and company.

Someone is Looking for You! There IS a superior intelligence “out there” – and a loving one too. Your Creator wants you to acknowledge Him, and come to know Him and His ways. Don’t be deceived by evolutionism. All creation screams of intelligent design! The odds alone of DNA evolving are virtually nil. Evolutionism is the only “science” that denies the law of degeneration (entropy). God alone is the origin of life, and the true God wants/needs no one to take away life for Him – beware the “god” that does! What is unique about the Bible? It is the only book with fulfilled prophecy (Isaiah 46:9-10). Try (current situation) Psalm 83 and Zechariah 12; (reformation of Israel after nearly 1900 years) Isaiah 66:8, Jeremiah 16:14-15, Amos 9:9-15, Ezekiel 34:12-31, and Ezekiel 36; (suffering/crucifixion of Christ) Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53; (future situation) Zechariah 13:7 – 14:21; (timing of the 2nd Coming of Christ) Joel 3:1-2, 2Peter 3:8/Hosea 5:14 – 6:2. “No one knows the day or the hour!” you cry? The Word says: 1Thessalonians 5:1-6. “Too hard to read and understand” you say? Try the KJV/ Amplified/Complete Jewish parallel bible ( “It’s all in how you interpret it” you say? The Bible, despite numerous transcribers over hundreds of years, is remarkably consistent/coherent and interprets itself (2Peter 1:16-21). Beware of modern, liberal translations from “the higher critics” which seriously distort the Word! Finally, if there is a God, why is there so much evil? We have rejected God, and now see what it is like to live in a world where God has permitted us (temporarily) to rule ourselves. Give up your lusts, and come to your Creator and follow His ways (Jude 1:18-25). All that this world has to offer is as nothing compared to what He has in store for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9, John 14:15). Isaiah 55:6-7!