Why OSU will lose to UM

OSU FootballAh! That time of year again, when we drink the Kool-Aid and list reasons why those pathetic children-of-siblings from that state up north might win this weekend’s matchup.

So sit back, relax, wrap your logic in a handkerchief and place it gently aside. Here are a few reasons why the criminally insane student-athletes from Ann Arbor might pull off the victory on Saturday:

  • OSU’s not running a true spread this year.** Michigan has actually played really well against teams that don’t have a mobile quarterback who uses the spread option.
  • Hart has been saving the last useful 10% of his gimpy leg for this game. I truly believe Hart would be willing to sacrifice his knee – and his future NFL career – for a victory against the Buckeyes.
  • Speaking of injuries, it’s clear that Carr has saved Henne and Hart for this game. Whether that translates into “healthy” or “slightly-less-unhealthy” remains to be seen. But Carr’s coaching decisions for the past month have been very OSU-centric; which is a departure from his behavior the past several years.
  • Henne/Hart/Long are 0-3 against their superiors from down south, and all have publicly stated that they returned this year specifically to beat Ohio State.
  • I realize that statistics do not necessarily predict a victory for UM this weekend, but an 0-4 stretch is pretty unlikely where the teams are 50/50 over a period of 60 years.
  • Folks like Mallet/Minor/Brown – who we should expect to get serious playing time – are not the same as their losery predecessors. They may actually be motivated to start a new tradition, one that involves not being spanked like red-haired stepchildren every year.
  • It’s probable that this is Carr’s final game at the Big House. At 6-6 against OSU, there’s no chance for a tie overall in the series. He either ends his career with a winning record against his rivals, or ends it with a losing one.
  • UM beat Illinois; Illinois beat OSU.
  • Big Ten officials are once again refusing to call any penalties against OSU opponents. They’ve even avoided following NCAA-stipulated rules that require review of plays resulting in change of possession, even when those plays affect the outcome of the game.
  • Speaking of penalties, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from UM football the past two seasons, it’s that Shawn Crable is allowed to do anything he wants and only get 15 yards for it, even if ejection is called for.
  • Hart’s leadership. He’s quite possibly the most cantankerous player in college football, but you’d be lying if you said you didn’t want someone like him on your team. The only reason UM isn’t 0-11 right now is because Hart has put the team on his back. If #20 played defense, kicked field goals, and called plays, Michigan would be a juggernaut.
  • No doubt you’ve noticed by now that this is a list of intangible reasons why UM will prevail. That’s because on paper, Michigan has no statistical advantage over the Buckeyes in any phase of the game (with the exception of the above UM > Illinois > OSU argument). However, this rivalry has always been more about the intangibles than anything else. Historically, the lower-ranked team usually wins the game. That favors the Wolverines this year.

Are there any other reasons that you can think of for why UM will win this game? (Later this week we’ll look at things from the Ohio State side, so keep your comments here limited to possible advantages for Big Blue.)

**Last year, Brian called me out for claiming that UM would fold under a spread offense, having not encountered one all season long. The past year of me being proven right aside, some think that a spread offense is a QB in shotgun with five WRs. It is not. A true spread offense is a run-first scheme, using multi-receiver sets, guards that pull and trap effectively, receivers that block, and a QB that uses a zone read option to either run himself or get the ball to someone who will. Florida runs a spread. Oregon runs a spread. Troy Smith and Vince Young ran spread offenses. This year, OSU does not (…although, you’d have to think Tressel – like the rest of us – noticed Boeckman’s 225 all-purpose yards from last week…).


  1. You indeed are a monkey


  1. […] already looked and why UM will beat OSU (with a straight face, even!) Next we’ll be looking at why OSU will beat UM […]

  2. […] this week, we listed reasons why Michigan would beat the Buckeyes. Because UM has no statistical advantage, most of the content of that post covered […]

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