What If Former Michigan And Ohio State Players Joined Forces To Make Their Own NFL Team?

What has 19 national championships, ten Heisman trophy winners, 80 Big Ten titles, bitter hatred yet mutual respect, and 1,841 total wins? That, my friend, is the Ohio State-Michigan college football rivalry, which has produced a ton of NFL talent. In fact, as of the 2017-2018 season, 33 former Michigan Wolverines players and 42 former Ohio State players were on NFL rosters. Well, what would happen if all 75 of those players joined forces and created their own NFL team? Let’s find out, shall we? Without further ado, below I have constructed the best two-deep roster possible for former participants in ‘The Game’

Quarterback: Tom Brady, Cardale Jones

The Game features Tom Brady, arguably the greatest quarterback of all time under center. Brady is widely recognized as being one of the most clutch quarterbacks of all time and has a ton of accolades to back that up, being a five-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Super Bowl MVP, three-time NFL Most Valuable Player, and thirteen-time Pro Bowler etc.

Behind him is Cardale Jones who has proven throughout his career that he is a reliable backup.

Running back: Ezekiel Elliott, Carlos Hyde

At running back, The Game features two former Ohio State stars in Ezekiel Elliott and Carlos Hyde. Despite the fact that Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was suspended for the first six games of the year, he and Hyde rushed for a combined 157.1 rushing yards per game in 2017. To put that in perspective, the Jacksonville Jaguarsled the NFL in 2017 with 140.2 rushing yards per game as an entire TEAM!

Wide Receiver: Michael Thomas, Devin Funchess, Ted Ginn Jr, Jalin Marshall, and Braxton Miller

In Michael Thomas, The Game has arguably the NFL’s best possession receiver who was sixth in the league with 1,245 receiving yards. It also has big-bodied Devin Funchess (840 receiving yards) and speedster Tedd Ginn Jr. (787 receiving yards) – both of which present big problems for secondaries.

Tight EndNick Vannett, Jeff Heuerman

Although Nick Vannett and Jeff Heuerman provide solid blocking and are legit receiving threats, their 21 combined receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns last season weren’t all that impressive. However, you better believe that those numbers would increase with Tom Brady under center. 

Offensive Tackle: Taylor Lewan, Taylor Decker, Darryl Baldwin, Chase Farris, Erik Magnuson

Led by rookie Pro-Bowl Selection Taylor Lewan, The Game has a respectable set of offensive tackles. Taylor Decker started in all 16 games as a rookie in 2016, but due to him undergoing shoulder surgery had to sit out for 2017. Nevertheless, the talent’s still there.

Offensive Guard: Andrew Norwell, Kyle Kalis, Patrick Omameh, Ben Braden

Anchored by All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell and an ultra-reliable Patrick Omameh, who started in all 13 games he saw action in last year, The Games guards aren’t so shabby. Kyle Kalis would make a solid option, too.

CenterPat Elflein, Corey Linsley,  

Pat Elflein started in every game of his rookie season for the Vikings, making the 2017 PFWA All-Rookie Team. Ironically, three years earlier, Corey Linsley made the PFWA All-Rookie Team as well and is the proven leader for the Packers up front. 

Defensive EndJoey Bosa, Cameron Heyward, Brandon Graham, Frank Clark 

I don’t know if there’s a rivalry in all of college football that has produced a better collection of defensive ends than ‘The Game’. Highlighted by pro-bowlers Joey Bosa and Cameron Heyward, the combination of those two and Michigan alumn Brandon Graham and Frank Clark recorded a combined total of 194 tackles and 44 sacks last year. 

To put that in perspective, only four out of the 32 NFL TEAMS AS A WHOLE produced more sacks in the 2017-2018 season!

Defensive TackleAdolphus Washington, Michael Bennett, Ryan Glasgow, Willie Henry 

Defensive tackle is by far the weakest of all positions for The Game. Adolphus Washington, Michael Bennett, Ryan Glasgow, and Willie Henry started in just 15 games combined in the 2017-2018 season.

But you better believe that with four stud defensive ends, the two that weren’t starting at their normal position could fill that void. 

LinebackerRyan Shazier, Darron Lee, John Simon, Joshua Perry, Raekwon McMillan, Curtis Grant

Despite Ryan Shazier’s late-season injury, he is included on this list because he played throughout the entire regular season, having a solid, 89-tackle season, and putting up similar numbers to fellow Ohio State alumn Darren Lee. John Simon and Raekwon McMillan would also provide respectable skillsets at that position. 

SafetyMalcolm Jenkins, Malik Hooker, Vonn Bell, Kurt Coleman

With veterans, Malcolm Jenkins and Kurt Coleman coupled with younger rising stars like Malik Hooker and Vonn Bell, The Game has a pretty good group of safeties. Ohio State has become defensive back-U over the last decade or so. 

Cornerback: Marshon Lattimore, Bradley Roby, Doran Grant, Gareon Conley, Eli Apple, Channing Stribling, Jourdan Lewis, Jeremy Clark

Having two cornerbacks like Marshon Lattimore and Bradley Roby on your roster would be an NFL coach’s dream come true. Veteran Bradley Roby could teach a younger and arguably more talented Lattimore a lot, and Lattimore – who led all rookies in interceptions – could put some wide receivers in check.

The verdict: 

I imagine that with Tom Brady, Ezekiel Elliott and Carlos Hyde, the stable of wide receivers, the dominance on the defensive line, and all of the play-makers in the secondary, not only would The Game win in dominant fashion versus most teams in the NFL, it would produce a team that could easily win the Super Bowl.

The NFL talent produced by The Game is by far the best of any and every other rivalry, which further iterates the fact that there’s no better rivalry in college football.

BREAKING: Ohio State Lands the Country’s No. 1 Tight End

Ohio State Buckeyes’ head coach Urban Meyer has always been excellent at recruiting. A preliminary glance at the amount of his former players are on NFL rosters is evidence of that in itself. Well, add another diamond to his treasure trove of talent, as Meyer and the Buckeyes landed the country’s No. 1  tight end, Jeremy Ruckert, Monday afternoon.

The 6-5.5 238 lbs prospect out of Lindenhurst, NY was a star at ‘The Opening’, bolstering him from the country’s No. 52 ranked prospect to No. 11 in the 247sports composite rankings, and earning him a fifth star. Ruckert is the third five-star prospect to commit to Ohio State in the 2018 class, and he certainly won’t be the last.

He is a crucial pick up for the Buckeyes, as, although they have the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class at this particular moment, the one thing it lacks is people to throw the football to. In came Ruckert to help fill that void.

So, what exactly do we get in Ruckert? Well, you get a big-bodied tight end with the athleticism of a wide receiver, whose combination of route-running abilities, size, great hands, and his propensity to make secondaries look bad make him a five-star prospect.

“Updated rankings got me my 5th star.. #1 TE and #11 Overall player in the nation!! #blessed”, Ruckert said on a Twitter post last Monday. 

Yes, indeed Ruckert is blessed. However, he’s not nearly as blessed as Ohio State is after receiving a commitment from him. If the rankings remain the same (or even close to the same) come national signing day, Ruckert will be the highest ranked tight end recruit Ohio State has landed in 247sports.com history.

He is a big reason why Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class will end Alabama’s six-year streak of having the No. 1 class in the country.

Until next time, God bless and GO BUCKS!

Things That Have Happened Since Michigan Last Beat Ohio State In Football  

When you’re a fan of arguably the most successful program in the history of college football, the Ohio State Buckeyes, you have a lot to brag about. However, for every single success story that is published or brought up in conversation about the men who have essentially made the sport of college football a secular religion in Ohio over the course of 100+ years, you have a Michigan naysayer around to remind you that the Womanrines have more total wins, more conference titles, more national titles, and have more wins in the rivalry.

For their sake alone, I have written this article. First and foremost, I would like to mention that, as of today, it has been 2,057 days since Michigan has beaten Ohio State in football. Their last win versus the Buckeyes came in 2011 when Ohio State was in between head coaches and had a true freshman at quarterback.

That was the year Luke Fickell was Ohio State’s interim head coach and the Buckeyes had their first losing record in 23 years. Of course that happened to be the year the Wolverines finally topped the Buckeyes (for the first time since 2003). Since then, however, be it due to controversial calls or utter dominance, the Wolverines have failed to beat their cross-state counterparts.

In the time since, a whole heck of a lot of things have happened. Thanks to Wikipedia and onthisday.com, I was able to concoct a small list of such things. Without further ado, here are some of the things that have happened since the Wolverines’ last victory over the Buckeyes on November 26, 2011:

  • December 18, 2011 – Withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq: The last United States troops withdrew from Iraq under the terms of the U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement.
  • September 11, 2012 – The Benghazi attack: An attack that was coordinated against two United States government facilities in Benghazi, Libya by members of the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia.
  • October 25–30, 2012: Hurricane Sandy: A devastating hurricane wreaks havoc for the Eastern United States coast.
  • November 6, 2012: United States presidential election, 2012: Barack Obama is reelected as president.
  • December 14, 2012: Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting: Occurs in Newtown, Connecticut killing 20 Children and 6 Staff Members
  • January 20, 2013: Barack Obama is inaugurated for his second term as president.
  • April 15, 2013: Boston Marathon bombings: Two pressure cooker bombs explode during the Boston Marathon
  • April 16, 2014: Malaysia Airlines Flight of Malaysian airlines went missing and hasn’t been seen since.
  • May 23, 2014: 2014 Isla Vista killings occurs, killing 6, and wounding 14 others, perpetrated by elliot rodger.
  • June 2014: President Obama orders the return of a small number of troops to Iraq to help bolster Iraqi and Kurdish military forces
  • August 9, 2014: Michael Brown was shot and killed, in what was ruled by a grand jury to be self-defense, by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, igniting protests and riots in the following months.
  • November 3, 2014: New building, 1 World Trade Center, opens in New York City.
  • December 17, 2014: President Obama announces a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time since 1961.
  • April 27, 2015: Baltimore protests: Protests and rioting occur in Baltimore, Maryland after the death of Freddie Gray in police custody.
  • June 17, 2015: Charleston church shooting: A gunman killed 9, including a state senator in a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • June 26, 2015: Gay marriage is fully legalized in all 50 states
  • July 20, 2015: Restoration of relations with Cuba.
  • December 22, 2015 San Bernardino attack: Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, a married radical Muslim couple, kills 14 people at a center for the developmentally disabled.
  • June 11, 2016: Orlando Nightclub Shooting: A self-proclaimed Islamic State fighter, Omar Mateen, kills 49 and injures 53 at a gay nightclub in Orlando, before being shot and killed by an officer.
  • July 7, 2016: Shooting of Dallas police officers: Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon a group of police officers in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and injuring nine others. Two civilians were also wounded.
  • August 12–22, 2016: Louisiana floods and prolonged rainfall in southern parts of the U.S. state of Louisiana resulted in catastrophic flooding that submerged thousands of houses and businesses.
  • August 13, 2016: Milwaukee riots: A riot began in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sparked by the fatal police shooting of 23-year-old Sylville Smith.
  • November 8, 2016: Donald Trump wins the 2016 presidential election
  • January 20, 2017: Donald Trump is inaugurated as the forty-fifth president of the United States
  • February 22, 2017: Discovery of 7 Earth-sized planets orbiting star Trappist-1 announced in Journal “Nature” – raises possibility of alien life
  • March 22, 2017: Terrorist attack on London’s Westminster Bridge and Houses of Parliament kills 4 including a police officer and injures 40
  • May 10, 2017: President Donald Trump shares classified information about ISIS plot with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office
  • June 2, 2017: Trump announces the US is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement
  • July 5, 2017: 101 people reported shot, 15 killed in Chicago, Illinois over 4th July weekend

It’s safe to say that for Wolverines fans, a win versus Ohio State is long overdo. This explains why so many of them were so upset about the double overtime fourth down spot in the 2016 edition of “The Game”.  Nevertheless, it has still been over 2,000 days since Michigan has beaten Ohio State in football.

This list could have literally been 100 pages long.