Ohio State or Michigan?
TQ: Over the next 5 years, who'll win
more titles, Ohio State or Michigan?
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Michigan will be every bit as strong as Ohio State, but
the Buckeyes are in the easier of the two divisions and will have the easier path to the Big Ten title over the life of the Urban Meyer era.
Penn State is now a non-factor, and Illinois, Indiana and Purdue will need all the planets to align correctly to be in the hunt for the Leaders title. That means the Buckeyes will likely have to only get by Wisconsin to play for the championship. Michigan State, Nebraska, and Iowa makes the Legends stronger and tougher for Michigan to get through cleanly. Going forward, Ohio State can probably lose to Michigan and still play in the Big Ten championship, but Michigan probably won't be able to afford a loss to Ohio State.
Talent-wise, it should be a dead-even draw with the two going light years ahead of the other ten programs. As this recruiting season showed, the speedy athletes are all going to be in Ann Arbor and Columbus. Brady Hoke is doing a terrific job building on what Rich Rodriguez started to put together, while Urban Meyer kept the Ohio State recruiting machine rolling while also expanding a bit down south.
Both teams will win their share of Big Ten titles over the next decade, and yeah, it won't be a shocker if Brady and Urban turn out to be the new Woody and Bo, except with a few national titles.
And that's absolutely no knock on Michigan or second-year head coach Brady Hoke, who's off to a terrific start, and is building something special in Ann Arbor. I just happen to feel, based on precedent, that Urban Meyer is as close to a sure-thing as there is in the college coaching ranks. He's recharged for now, and that five-year window is a perfect timeframe for him to really maximize all of the potential inherent to a top-shelf program, such as Ohio State.
History shows that everything Meyer touches, from Bowling Green to Utah to Florida, turns to gold practically overnight. Why would anyone think that the Buckeyes, with all of their resources and tradition, would be any different for the coach?
Now, the Wolverines have an obvious mathematical edge since the Buckeyes are ineligible for the Big Ten crown in 2012. However, Ohio State holds the long-term edge at the most important position on the field, quarterback. Sure, Denard Robinson will be a senior this fall, but budding Buckeyes star Braxton Miller is only in the embryonic stages of his college career. By the time he's a junior, Ohio State will be done with its NCAA bowl ban, and the program will be flourishing under Meyer's system.
Five years from now, Ohio State will have won two Big Ten championships to Michigan's one. Both schools, though, will be fixtures in the final Top 25, the Buckeyes in the top 10, and the Wolverines in the top 20.
By Russ Mitchell
Follow me on Twitter @russmitchellcfb
The safe bet here is Ohio State, and no, it's closer than you think.
Certainly, I like what Brady Hoke is building at Michigan, and like many believe he's the right coach for the job. But the operative word in that sentence is "building"; the Michigan program must still fundamentally adjust to a new scheme. While the 2011 season was a leap in the right direction, Hoke also benefited from some circumstances that are unlikely to exist every season, like a struggling Buckeye offense and only one tough road contest (at #23 Michigan State)…a game the Wolverines lost.
Conversely, you're not paying attention if you think Ohio State isn't in a better position. First, the program has stockpiled more top talent these past four years, which will impact the field going forward. Moreover, with a new coach and the Sandusky fallout, Penn State is likely in for several years of distraction. And Wisconsin must find a new quarterback, whereas tOSU has one for the next three years – unless he improves even faster than anticipated and bolts for the NFL early…which would be a great sign for the next two years.
Finally, Urban Meyer has done it already. Granted not at OSU, but he has all the right experience, connections, etc. to keep the train rolling right along in Columbus. Look at this year's recruiting class if you had any doubts…so much for any hangover from the penalties/infractions.
By Matt Zemek
Ohio State 3, Michigan 2.
Michigan will win the 2012 Big Ten championship, and the Wolverines – headed back to a place of sustained prominence under Brady Hoke – will win another league title in a year when they host Ohio State. However, over a five-year period, the players recruited and coached by Urban Meyer are likely to be just a little bit better. This rivalry appears ready to enter a new era of excellence, and while there's a chance that Meyer might not be the same coach he was before his fatigue-filled 2010 season at Florida, the abundance of talent he's bringing to Columbus suggests that the Buckeyes will once again set the pace in the Midwest.
By: Barrett Sallee
Follow me on Twitter: @BarrettSallee
For the next five years, there's no question...Ohio State will have more Big Ten titles than Michigan. What...or should I say "who's" the reason? Urban Meyer.
I've been very critical at times of Urban Meyer, and I question his loyalty to Ohio State just as I did when he decided to un-retire and coach Florida in 2010. But there's no shortage of athletes in Columbus, and his roster at Ohio State is set up perfectly for his system - which will lead to immediate success in the Big Ten.
Braxton Miller emerged as a star late last season, and that was without the benefit of Meyer's spread option system - a system that suits Miller's skills perfectly. When you have the right trigger man, Meyer's offense clicks. Don't believe me? Ask Tim Tebow.
Plus, it's not like Ohio State took four steps back. The Buckeyes sputtered through the 2011 season, but that was with a roster that was without five of its stars for some - and, in some cases all - of the season.
Brady Hoke is building something special at Michigan, but Urban Meyer at Ohio State has way more upside, even in the immediate future. Meyer's presence in Columbus will make last season's loss to Big Blue a speed bump, rather than the start of a trend.
Michigan will consistently perform at a very high level in the coming decade, and Hoke might be less susceptible to long-term burnout than Meyer, but in a comparatively narrow five-year sprint, it's easier to think that Ohio State will win a majority of Big Ten championships. The most intriguing question in the league over the next five years might be, "Can Mark Dantonio or Bret Bielema do anything about the old-school resurgence that's headed their way?"
By Phil Harrison
Follow me on Twitter @PhilHarrisonCFN
News-flash--The Game is about to get real interesting. For those of you not familiar with the moniker simply stating that a feat of athletic endeavors is being played, that would be the annual Ohio State vs. Michigan (or is it Michigan vs. Ohio State) show down, better known by the participants and fans as--"The Game."
Both teams are headed in a new direction. Brady Hoke has already rallied the troops after Rich Rodriguez was kicked out of class, and now Urban Meyer has announced his arrival by rescuing this year's Buckeye version of a recruiting class--all while managing to ruffle a few Big Ten feathers along the way.
One thing seems clear: Both programs are ready to re-assume their rightful places among the upper crust of the Big Ten. But if we could look ahead five years through Jim Delany's crystal ball, who will be "the" class of the Big Ten? Will the scarlet and grey win more Big Ten titles, or will the advantage go to the winged helmets?
Okay, so both had great recruiting classes, and both seem to have made some great hires on the coaching staffs. So what will separate the two that are forever stitched together in the woven Big Ten blanket? How about Urban Meyer?
Hoke is fine and all in his own right, but Urban Meyer is another level good. He is a tireless recruiter, cutting edge schemer, and an "idea" and brand all in himself. Lest anyone forget, you have to have the players to win. Meyer's players will be a cut above those migrating to Ann Arbor now that everything is all set in Columbus. Big advantage Ohio State.
What it all boils down to, is that Michigan has always been Meeechigan when it can recruit the state of Ohio. That's not myth, that's true to the very core of Wolverine football. The recruits flocking to Michigan from Ohio will be ending under Meyer, just like under Tressel. He'll put a fence around Ohio, take advantage of the mess at Penn State, and cherry pick guys from Florida and elsewhere in the nation to install an upgrade to the recruiting machine that already is Ohio State--and win big.
Michigan will still be good and competitive, and sneak a championship away somewhere, but in five years, Ohio State will have more conference championships and be the flag bearer yet again for the Big Ten.
By Terry Johnson
Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball
Ohio State, and it will not be a contest.
Last year's game clearly demonstrates the gap between the two programs. Michigan had more experience on both sides of the ball, and had the advantage of playing within the friendly confines of the Big House. On the other hand, Ohio State started a true freshman at QB, and had to deal with the constant barrage of questions surrounding Luke Fickell's future.
With all of these factors working in Brady Hoke's favor, the game should have been a blowout. Instead, the Wolverines squeaked out a six-point win, in which Ohio State had a chance to win the game on the final series.
If Michigan narrowly defeated the Buckeyes with the deck heavily stacked in
its favor, it'll face an uphill climb to win conference championships going forward. The Wolverines have the misfortune in playing in the tougher of the two divisions in the B1G, facing Nebraska, Iowa, and Michigan State. Each of these teams had no trouble shutting down Big Blue's vaunted running game this season, and should continue to do so until Hoke gets the right players to run his system.
On the other hand, Ohio State's situation can only improve with time. Urban Meyer, arguably the greatest football coach in modern history, now roams the sidelines with star-studded staff of assistant coaches. The talent level will continue to improve over the next five years, as the Buckeyes once again signed the top recruiting class in the Big Ten. Given the decline of Penn State, and the recent struggles of Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana, all Meyer needs to do is beat Wisconsin, and
OSU will emerge as a permanent fixture in Indianapolis.
Once again the road to the Big Ten title will run through Columbus.
By Bart Doan
Follow me on Twitter @Bart_CFN
It seems saying anything other than Ohio State will win every game that Urban Meyer coaches is some sort of sports writing heresy right now, but some like their ribs like just like their OSU dominance articles: Spare it. Though for some, picking Michigan to win more titles in the next five years is as shocking as more bad Lifetime movies headlined by John Stamos, it does has some validity to it.
We get it, OSU fans. Urban is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but let's be honest
... modifications have been made to bread that have made it much better than when it was simply just sliced. Honey wheat, bagels, croissants, you name it. It's better than sliced bread. So consider Brady Hoke to be croissants. Hoke won at places like Ball State and San Diego State, and won big considering those schools' pasts. It's like walking into Alcatraz with a toothbrush and a vile of bleach and being told the place has to be spotless. Well, Hoke had people eating off the floor by the time he was done. Couple that with the fact that Greg Mattison stepped down from an NFL gig to make a lateral movement to Michigan and it appears he's in it for the long haul as well. Then there are the players.
Sure, Coach Meyer's first recruiting haul was impressive, but Michigan's was right there in the top 5 or 10 depending on who you look at along with them. Neither Ohio State or Michigan will really distance the other in recruiting, and as we speak, Hoke already has a leg up this next year. Denard Robinson is coming back, and Michigan figures to be the highest ranked B1G team to start the season.
On to the less objectionable reasons, shall we?
Michigan is set at the most important position in college football with game changers for the next five years. Devin Gardner lies in the wings--once dubbed the next Vince Young--as the heir apparent to Shoelace. So impressive was Gardner's work ethic and athleticism, the Michigan coaching staff had to find packages for him in spite of Denard being on the field. After him, 5-star prospect Shane Morris who declared on NSD that he will have his LOI turned in before any other Michigan recruit, and things are cooking with maize and blue gas. He supposedly is as game changing of a quarterback as exists in
high school football this upcoming season and reportedly is already doing some recruiting of other top prospects of his own. Scout has Morris rated the #1 overall prospect in 2013 currently.
Thus, from stability at coaching and recruiting to stability at the sport's most crucial position, OSU can make all the splashy hires they want. With the talent in Ann Arbor, it probably means back to the John Cooper era for them and for the rest of the B1G, where The Game will be the de-facto conference title game, no matter what happens a week later.