Why OSU will beat UM

Earlier 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 “intangibles,” like the Hart/Henne/Long saga.

But it turns out that OSU has a few intangibles on its side, too:

  • As great of a motivator as Hart tries to be for his team, his mouth has motivated his rivals just as much or even more. OSU has been waiting a year to answer Hart’s 2006 challenge about the Buckeyes being “nothing special” and guaranteeing a victory the next time the two schools met.
  • Michigan has already been “beaten” psychologically. Even if the Wolverines pull the upset tomorrow, the seniors will forever be known as the team that only beat OSU once, and it took having the Buckeyes at home during a rebuilding year to do it. From a player’s legacy point-of-view, Michigan has way more to lose than the Buckeyes.
  • Hart and Henne are banged up, but Hart will start, he’s a warrior, his internal drive will make up for any gimpiness, yadda yadda. We’ve all heard this. But Hart was banged up in 2004 and 2005, too. And he only managed to earn 61 yards and 15 yards against the Bucks in those years – even though he wasn’t as hurt as he is now.
  • OSU beat Wisco. Wisco beat UM.
  • As much as the Big Ten officials have been trying to cause OSU’s downfall this year, they made such a stink last week that they might actually be afraid to continue sabotaging the Bucks. The media frenzy over last week’s atrocious officiating might prove beneficial to the Buckeyes in this game. For the first time this season, OSU might not have to play against both an opponent AND the officiating crew. Hopefully the crew assigned to this week’s game has already been given “the lecture.”
  • I’m sure that Michigan fans are hoping to see a lot of Evil Illinois Boeckman. However, it’s very unlikely that Boeckman’s aberrant performance will be repeated. Last week, he seemed lost, the Bucks seemed unprepared, and after the crushing frustration of the non-called fumble (sorry, Kaiser) – the team went totally flat. I cannot stress this enough – no team on either side in this rivalry has ever come out “flat” in the Big Game. Ergo, Evil Boeckman will not appear. My guess is that we’ll see a lot of Good Penn State Boeckman: well-prepared, circling the wagons in a hostile environment, focused. Whether that’s good enough to win remains to be seen. But expect to see Good Boeckman.
  • Tressel vs. Carr… alwaysalwaysalways, the edge goes to Tressel. Carr may have a team that beats OSU, but it’ll never happen because of innovative coaching.
  • Finally, there are a lot of people in the OSU program that feel that the humiliation earned under Cooper has not yet been avenged. The Michigan elitism and disrespect over the past 15 years is still used as a strong motivational tool for the crop of players taking the field. Most of the 2007 Ohio State starters were just kids in the 90s, watching UM win again and again and again, and endured the taunting of their friends who were Michigan fans. I’ve said it before… consider that Michigan has lost five of the past six years. You UM fans would still have to lose five of your next six before the universe is brought back into balance. Think of how humiliated you would feel if OSU won tomorrow, and then take that feeling and endure it until 2012. That’s what OSU fans endured through the 90’s. The only unsatisfying thing about the scenario is that Cooper stayed until he was fired, where Carr is smart enough to get out with his dignity still intact. Even when the Buckeyes are favored, the powers-that-be are still able to use Michigan’s recent historical dominance and convince the team of its underdog status. And underdog status is where Tressel is at his most dangerous.

That’s it for the intangibles. If you want tangible data, head over to this weeks Data post.

Enough talking! Time to play. Check back in tomorrow for analysis and review of the game.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: