Thursday, November 23, 2006
Love those rivalries
Ask any number of football fans and you would probably get a pat answer: The game between Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday would be “The Game.”
There is no discounting the season rankings of these two schools, or their storied pasts. Ohio State is numero uno and Michigan is numero dos.
Anytime there is a head-to-head battle of the 1 and 2, there is going to be a ton of interest – heightened even more because this is the very first time that the two have met with those ranks in their 100 years history.
And then you have to look at the historical rivalry, one could write a few books on that alone. Then there is the conference in which both of these teams live and play – the Big Ten.
Both the Buckeyes and Wolverines have national title aspirations. A hundred thousand fans saw the Buckeyes claim victory and bragging rights for another year in the 42-39 shootout. What happens next will have to be sorted out by the BCS.
Was this really “The Game?” You could find disagreement from the participants in the Iron Bowl. Alabama and Auburn played as if their game was “The One.”
Like the Big Ten, the SEC has gloried credentials, and a dedicated fan base to boot. For the third time the SEC has logged over six million attendees across the conference.
Does that not denote rivalry at the highest order?
All SEC games are “rivalry” contests. Arkansas and MSU, Tennessee and Vanderbilt, etc. Within the SEC ranks, games won or lost seemingly have little impact on the caliber of play. It is all about beating each other.
The Big Ten games perhaps, at times, have shown a bitterness unmatched by the SEC. Some of the most bitterly fought were during the era of legendary coach Woody Hayes (Ohio) and Bo Schembechler (Michigan), who passed away on Friday. Coach Schembechler remained close to the Wolverine program even after he became inactive.
Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your favorite rivalry.
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