“For years, the Michigan-Ohio State player rivalry split friends only when Ohio players came to play for the Wolverines.”
Urban Meyer has undoubtedly brought a new flavor since his arrival in Columbus. One of the big changes he made, was heavily recruiting the state of Michigan, something that wasn’t done at quite the rate that Meyer does in the past. The proof of this is in the current roster, with Ohio State represented well by Cass Tech in Mike Weber, Damon Webb, and Josh Alabi. Typically, we’d see Ohio players going to play up north, but that’s changed, and it’s paying off for the Buckeyes. Weber in particular is friends with Jourdan Lewis, one of the best players Michigan has to offer.
“I know him very well. We all grew up together,” Lewis told Snyder. “Played Little League, we all knew each other. Really, it’s just a testament to his athletic ability. He’s a very tough runner, we all see that, very skilled. Can get out of cuts and stuff like that, breaking tackles. He’s just a spectacular athlete.” Lewis is right about that. Weber has over 1,000 yards as a freshman, which has only been done by Robert Smith and Maurice Clarett. That’s pretty dang good company.
“Ohio State felt as if it got some good news last week when College Football Playoff chairman Kirby Hocutt said that conference championships are one of four metrics used to separate two teams that are comparable.”
The Ohio State Buckeyes remained in their No. 2 ranking in the latest College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday, which was great news for the Buckeyes for a number of reasons. Chairman Kirby Hocutt’s comments were a large part of that. "Does the selection committee see a small margin of separation between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 7 Penn State? We do not," Hocutt said, via Wasserman. "At this point in time, Michigan at three, Clemson at four, Washington at five, there is a small separation between those teams there."
That’s great, because that means despite possibly having a better resume and a conference championship down the line, the committee still favors Ohio State. And that’s a considerable margin between Ohio State and Penn State. This has to lead us to believe that as long as Ohio State comes out on top over Michigan on Saturday, their spot is secure in the playoff, whether or not they make it to the Big Ten Championship game or not. At the very least, it’s good that the committee appears to have given Ohio State the benefit of the doubt after a close 17-16 game against Michigan State. Hocutt said, "We were obviously aware of the conditions in which that game was played in, but continue to be very impressed with Ohio State." That’s all the Buckeyes need.
“Ohio State is having another enormous recruiting showcase for its home game vs. Michigan on Saturday, and Urban Meyer is going to have a royal guest.”
The Game is the marquee game of the season, and this time around, it’s essentially a play-in game for the College Football Playoff. Games like these always bring the stars out, and Saturday won’t be any different. LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates are expected to be on hand, in a very similar fashion to what they did for the Cleveland Indians while they were on their World Series run. Hopefully for the Buckeyes, there’s a better end result.
The Buckeyes will reportedly be wearing special LeBron James cleats for the game. This would be an interesting rebuttal to Michigan’s recent partnership with Jordan Brand. But at the end of the day, all that matters is what goes on between the sidelines, and hopefully the Buckeyes will be able to persevere just as they did last season impressively.
“The stadium was so bad that government officials didn’t really want the stadium used.”
Ohio State and Michigan will be facing off in the ‘Shoe on Saturday for one of the biggest games in the rivalry’s history. Ohio Stadium is considered one of the best in college football, not just because of it’s seating capacity, but its prestige as well. It was built in 1922, and so there’s been work that’s needed to get done to keep it up to date. Gene Smith’s predecessor, Andy Geiger, told the Columbus Business Journal that he was “stunned” by the “really poor condition” of the stadium when he arrived in 1994.
“It was substandard,” Geiger said in 2005. “Paul Krebs, then associate athletic director, and others came to me and said, ‘We have a real problem getting the city and the county to let us use our own stadium each year because it’s so far below code requirements.'” Geiger noticed that major renovations had been put off in the past, and decided that it finally had to happen. “I said, ‘This is going to become truly a nightmare, when we have all these obligations to play these football games and it’s the economic center of the athletic program, and it’s awful,'” Geiger said. He was able to get a project funded, and renovations were completed in 2001.