A lot can be judged upon 10 years of performance. Since 2002, Ohio State has owned Michigan 8-2, or 7-2 if you count the vacated loss. There is no way to sugar-coat the truth or make this fact hurt less; Jim Tressel and the Buckeyes have owned Michigan, there’s no denying it.
A lot of outside factors could attribute to the previous eight dismal seasons worth of performances. But, the truth is, Michigan was outworked, out coached and lost their toughness when needed the most. Times are changing around the campus of Ann Arbor, and so is the rivalry. Cue Brady Hoke.
Brady Hoke has changed the landscape of Michigan football. It doesn’t take the inquisitive eye to notice the changes. He oozes toughness and preaches the gospel of Michigan football, the way it should’ve always been. Onward rolled November 27th, 2011, a 40-34 Wolverine victory catapulted Michigan to relevancy and a BCS birth. Which also helped change the way the Michigan and Ohio State rivalry will be looked at for years to come. Cue Urban Meyer.
Though it was already in the works, a Wolverine victory cemented the idea of Urban Meyer coming to Columbus. It was inevitable. With the hiring of Meyer, it’s the first time Michigan and Ohio State has had former MAC head coaches take over the head coaching positions of these schools since the days of Woody and Bo. Fans, it’s time to get excited about manball again. Because that is exactly what is going to be displayed the last Saturday of every November.
Quite simply, it’s old school football making a reappearance. The rivalry has finally had a fire lit up underneath it, and we are seeing passion and competition unseen in many years. Michigan and Ohio State are in the top 10 of recruiting in every national recruiting website in the country. It’s competition, it’s fierce and it’s the rivalry reborn.
A whole new Ten Year War has begun. Long gone are the days of embarrassing streaks and poor displays of football. Both teams are going to bring the best product out on the field that they possibly can. For the next 10 years, both teams may win five games. One team way win six or seven. It’s going to be tough competition, it’ll be heated and blood will be shed (so says Kyle Kalis). These wins will be earned, some may be consecutive, but rotating wins will be a norm.
As Bo once said, “When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing.” Believe in this rivalry, believe in your Wolverines. Our day to be champions is coming fast. Blink, and you might miss it.