Five of the last six.

Zach Timmons: Buckeyes rule rivalry

It feels good – unless you’re Lloyd Carr, of course.

Before I head up to Ann Arbor for Saturday’s big game, I figured I’d share some of my thoughts on the rivalry, and just why we’re so much better.

Buckeye fans are far and away better than maize-and-blue backers. Some like to touch on the number of Michigan fans that reside in the greater Columbus area, but many fail to realize the fact that most wearing the shirts are simply impoverished to the point where they can’t afford to wear anything but the complimentary shirts they found behind the Kohl’s on Olentangy River Road.

Nobody here actually enjoys Michigan. Hell, half the people that show up at The Big House don’t give a damn, evidenced by the lack of noise inside it. I guess it doesn’t help when your stadium is built to let noise out instead of keeping it in.

Michigan fans have the intimidation factor of Shari Lewis – they both enjoy shoving their hands up the asses of things named Lamb Chop or Hush Puppy, but that’s irrelevant to the discussion.

Two years ago, Michigan came into Ohio Stadium ranked seventh, only to crash and burn like a Hogan family sports car against the unranked Buckeyes. For such a highly ranked team in the biggest game of the season, you would expect a better turnout of Michigan faithful.

But that’s like asking Mike Hart to stay healthy for four quarters.

Buckeye fans show up in groves no matter the record or the distance. Arizona has become Columbus West, yet it’s hard enough getting Michigan fans to travel across town.

We stand by our players no matter what the consequence (Maurice Clarett aside).

Not only are our fans better, so are our players.

Some of our best pros – Cris Carter, Eddie George, et. al. – were given the green light in college to take the reigns as soon as possible. Your best pro – Tom Brady – broke school records like they were paper mache, only to have to continually prove himself thanks to the man-crush coach Carr had on Drew Henson.

Everyone called Hensen’s name when it came time to take sides, but, thankfully for you, reason won out. Not only did Henson suck at football, he sucked at baseball too.

He’s like the bizarro Bo Jackson.

Only idiots like 1994 Michigan captain Walter Smith could beat John Cooper year after year like a 6th-and-High hooker, and then make it a goal to get him fired (funny how things worked out once he did).

Michigan is like the kid in class who tells the teacher she forgot to assign homework. Everything is fine and dandy for everyone else. Then the kid lacking all social skills steps in, asking for assignments because the textbook is his only friend.

I guess Michigan’s academics are of a high standard, considering only bright minds like Ann Coulter and Steve Phillips – worst general manager in baseball history – get admitted.

For every Joey Galloway, Terry Glenn or Carter we send to the NFL, there’s a Tai Streets, David Terrell or Desmond Howard trading in the maize and blue for whatever scout team jersey is up for grabs in the gutter of the NFL.

The war even carries over to ESPN’s First Take. Ohio State hears praise from fan boy and Bowling Green grad Mr. Jay Crawford whereas Michigan is continually glorified by Mrs. Dana Jacobsen.

Many Wolverines harken back to Tim Biakabutka’s 300-yard performance in 1995, which is fine and dandy.

But take that domination, have it the last three years and call it Troy Smith, then we’ll see who’s talking.

We’ve all had our eras. Michigan had the first 30 or so years, we’ve had most of the rest.

No big deal.

With Hart’s injury and the mangled shoulder of Chad Henn-ington, a Michigan win looks as likely as a Biakabutuka comeback tour.

But you know how fickle The Game can be.

Zack Timmons is wondering how warm Pasadena is in January. He can be reached at timmons.60@osu.edu.

Kevin Wright: This is the year for ‘M’

I know a lot of you can’t wait to tell me about it, so I’m going to go ahead and get this out of the way.

Michigan lost to Appalachian State in its season opener. Don’t worry, I watched from the sideline as kicker Jason Gingell got his game-winning attempt blocked at the end of regulation.

I remember it, and, clearly, most of your campus does, too. You bought enough T-shirts to supply the entire Appalachian State student body.

Maybe you were still making fun of the “school up north” when your basketball team lost at home to Findlay, a Division-II school.

Thad Matta must have missed the memo Jim Tressel left for him. As a coach at Ohio State, you’re supposed to schedule the bad Ohio area teams to pad your record.

I shouldn’t be too hard on you. If scheduling smaller Mid-American Conference schools in Ohio is what you need to go 10-1 with a home loss to Illinois, then keep up the good work.

Still, I’m going to bet most of you won’t trade in your Mountaineer shirts (that’s Appalachian State’s nickname in case you didn’t bother to dig that deep when looking to humiliate Michigan fans) for their Findlay equivalent.

It’s OK, really. I’ve come to terms with the historic loss, but I don’t think you have. I guess I can see why you get caught up on the subject, since Appalachian State has higher academic standards than Ohio State.

Which brings me to a crossroads in this column.

I can delve into the academic excellence of Michigan compared to Ohio State. We could have a lovely conversation about where I’d end up working compared to you, but then the awkward topic of salary would probably come up, and I’d feel bad because I’ll make more than you.

So, we’ll skip that part, because between you and me, I don’t want to be the bad guy, just the one with a better education when he leaves his university.

So, then, where does the other road lead?

Michigan’s dominance over Ohio State on the football field.

Oh wait, that really hasn’t panned out since you guys hired Jim Tressel, a real class act. I always picture him as the used-car salesman who presents a beautiful car for such a cheap price. Unfortunately, the engine is missing pieces and the interior isn’t as spotless as advertised. Still, Tressel is pretty close to owning Lloyd Carr over the past six years.

So, I’m not going to waste your or, in particular, my time – which is by far more valuable – with jokes about what Tressel likes to drink and wear (wine coolers and sweater vests, respectively). Those burns are unoriginal, and I’d rather not stoop to your level of repetitiveness and stupidity.

Which brings me to a quick sidenote. I’m begging you to please retire the “Chad Henne is gay” chant you throw at anyone wearing a Michigan jersey.

How is shouting that across a street going to hurt my feelings or leave me fighting to hold back my tears at such an overused taunt?

Anyway, back to the game. I’m not going to sugarcoat how the last three years have felt for someone who goes to a school that doesn’t sacrifice academics for athletic success. Well, at least not as much as Ohio State University.

I’ve never personally witnessed a Wolverine win in The Game. That especially hurts for someone who grew up in the glorious John Cooper era of Buckeye football. The current 0-3 streak doesn’t help prove that being a Wolverine is better, but like the Michigan football team, I’m not afraid to address the negativity.

I could pull out the overall lead Michigan holds in the all-time series, but I’ve always been more of a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of guy. So that argument’s out.

Or I could mention how much better Wolverine players like Tom Brady and Charles Woodson have fared in the NFL compared to Buckeyes like Joe Germaine and Troy Smith, but that’s not really relevant.

So it looks like I’ll just wait until after the game on Saturday to explain to you exactly how you go about breaking a losing streak.

Don’t worry, I won’t be hard to find. I’ll be just one of 110,000 congratulating you on a second-place finish in the Big Ten and wishing you an enjoyable trip to Orlando for the Capital One Bowl.

Kevin Wright never really understood why the “the” is such a big deal in Ohio State’s official name. You can send explanations to kpwr@umich.edu.

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