A big hug for John Simon
Dave Thurman (5:54 pm) @DThurman7

"The Game" rarely lacks drama although RichRod tried his best to spoil it when he brought some pathetic teams into the greatest rivalry in college sports.  But that is past history, and the first edition of the Urban Legend vs. Hoke the Joke promised to be a terrific game.  In spite of some big plays and a close final score it wasn't terrific, as neither team played crisp football.  But it certainly didn't lack for drama, as Ohio State went for a perfect season and Meyer aimed for his first victory against that team from up north.

So what stood out on a cold early afternoon in Columbus?

A Fired Up Coach and an Amped Up Team

Urban was not lacking in passion, as evidenced the day before when he shed a few tears while closing with his memorable quote, "Let's beat the s#&* out of Michigan."  While I love his emotion and the fact that Meyer "gets" this rivalry, he may have been a little too amped up.  Emotion is a funny thing, because too little of it will kill a team, but too much can cause a squad to make mistakes.  I thought some of the early penalties and missed assignments indicated a team that was sky high and playing with almost too much passion.  Still, I will take that over the opposite, any day of the week.

Some Ultra Cool Uniforms

In past years the Nike Combat Uniforms have brought mixed reviews, but what wasn't to like about this year's version?  The helmets featured a wide stripe and large, green Buckeye leaves that had a retro feel about them.  I also loved the colors and the large numbers, and felt that these uniforms were enough like what the team normally wears that it was still recognizably Ohio State on the field.  In fact I wouldn't mind seeing these unis used again in the future.

Drew Thurman (8:21 am) @osusilverbullet


On the last weekend in November, under snow flurries and gray skies, the Buckeyes completed the sixth perfect season in the school's history (previous: 1916, 1944, 1954, 1968, 2002). While the result meant a spotless record for the 2012 season, the game definitely was marred with blemishes.

If you were like me, you cringed a lot throughout the game. Penalties, turnovers and poor execution plagued the Buckeyes in Urban Meyer's first Michigan-Ohio State game, and one had to wonder if it some point the culmination of so many missed opportunities would come back to spoil the afternoon.

I mean let's be honest, there seemed to be plenty of frustrating moments. There was Philly Brown's muffed punt. There was the roughing the kicker penalty. There was Denard Robinson's 67 yard touchdown scamper. There was the sack and missed field goal after getting to Michigan's 4 yard line. There was Braxton's fumble deep inside Michigan's territory. That's just the tip of the iceberg too. It was a would have, could have kind of game, and teams just don't win those. At some point all those shortcomings are supposed to come back to haunt you.

Unbelievably they didn't.

Dave and Drew Thurman (8:41 pm)

Family Feud is a feature where Dave and Drew throw their opinions in on various Buckeye football subjects, which like most father and sons, are quite opposite. This edition takes a look at the Michigan-Alabama game and who Buckeye fans should root for. 

September 1st is a big day. Not only will the Buckeyes take the field for the first time under their new field general, Urban Meyer, but one of the biggest non-conference showdowns of the year also takes place. The defending National Champion Crimson Tide will be taking on Brady Hoke's Wolverines in Cowboys Stadium. Oh, if the stadium could only implode. 

Anyway, this matchup definitely leaves Buckeye fans in a precarious position. If we root for Alabama, we are pulling for the SEC to claim another victory over the B1G. The SEC chants will ring out around another stadium, and the ego of every fan throughout the Confederate States only gets bigger. On the other hand, pulling for Michigan goes against everything we have been taught about rooting for Ohio State. Their pain is our gain, and besides, if anyone is going to carry the torch in the B1G it should be Ohio State. Right? 

So, what is a Buckeye fan to do? Well, we'll make a case for each side and let you decide which is the lesser of the two evils. Let's go...

The Case for B1G Allegiance (Drew):

Let me start with what everyone agrees on - WE HATE THAT SCHOOL UP NORTH! We hate the helmets, the uniforms, the stadium, the fight song, the mascot, their fat coach, their fans and about everything else that is associated with their sorry school (and state for that matter). In fact, we hate them so much we enjoy watching them lose almost as much as watching Ohio State win. Yes, we are a sick bunch.

Michigan commits Taco Charlton and Shane Morris.
Drew Thurman (9:26 am)

Like the Buckeyes, the B1G is off to a hot start on the 2013 recruiting front. We thought it would be smart to spend some time catching up with where the rest of the conference stands, starting with the school atop the rankings - Michigan. Zach Travis of Maize n Brew was nice enough to answer a few questions to give a much more in depth look at what is going on with Hoke and the Wolverines.

What should Buckeye fans know about Michigan's 2013 class? What are your feelings about the class thus far? 

If there is one thing that Ohio State fans should learn from the 2013 class that Michigan has thus far put together, I would say it is that Michigan is once again a major recruiting threat both in the Midwest and nationally.  That isn't to say Michigan is taking over in recruiting, Ohio State recruits very well and with Meyer on board I don't expect that to stop.  I simply mean that it looks like Michigan has reestablished itself as a solid top-10 recruiting program with some of the other national powerhouses.  If Hoke and his staff can continue to coach these kids up, the sky is the limit for Michigan in the coming years.

As for the class itself, I am very happy with it, but it would take a lot of nit-picking to feel otherwise.  To have a blue-chip quarterback, arguably the best collection of offensive lineman of any 2013 class, and a rapidly filling list of defensive playmakers, leaves little doubt that this class will end up in the top-5 nationally.  If Michigan can reel in a few of its remaining high priority targets it is hard to see this class not being in strong contention for the number one spot on most scouting services.  So yeah, I'm pretty stoked.

Which position groups do you think are the most important to fill in this class? How has the staff addressed those needs?

There are plenty of roster holes that are still being addressed after the Rich Rodriguez years (something I'm not touching with a ten-foot pole).  First and foremost is quarterback, and Michigan seems to have hit a home run with the commitment of Shane Morris.  Morris is not only the highest regarded player in the class, but he has been an active recruiter as well.  Hoke and his staff have done a marvelous job with this class, but Morris deserves a great deal of praise as well for the way he has networked with other recruits and consistently sold the school on numerous unofficial visits.

Dave Thurman (7:24 pm)

One more time in 2010 Ohio State came out flat on offense, and for a quarter "The Game" wasn't pretty.  But then Terrelle Pryor took over, and Ohio State dominated what turned into a yawner in the end.  Here are some things that stood out to me:

1) Special teams domination - 2010 will be remembered as the worst special teams in Tressel's tenure, but on this day Ohio State flat dominated.  Michigan's kicking has been suspect all year, but their punting had been solid.  However, punter Will Hagerup didn't make the trip due to a violation of team policy and the job fell to kicker Seth Broekhuizen who was awful.  Meanwhile OSU kicker Devin Barclay was steady as usual, and punter Ben Buchanan had his best game to date.  However, the real special teams supremacy came courtesy of Jordan Hall's kick return touchdown.

2) Jordan Hall showed why he was the unsung hero of this year's team - Before the season began I predicted that either Jaamal Berry or Jordan Hall would take one to the house but I was beginning to think I struck out on that forecast.  However, Hall picked a perfect time to break one, right after UM scored to cut the Buckeye lead to 10-7.  What a year for number seven.  Consider all he did in 2010. On punt returns he averaged 10.1 per return, taking one back 70 yards. He averaged 30.0 on kick returns, with today's 85 yarder good for six.  Jordan rushed for 161 yards and 2 touchdows, and caught 8 passes for 83 yards and 1 td.  In addition Hall threw a touchdown on a halfback option pass, and made 4 tackles on special teams, including forcing one fumble.  Not bad for a guy some thought only received an offer because he was Pryor's high school teammate.

Thanks again RichRod for pushing the Boren family our way!
Drew Thurman (2:13 pm)

1) OSU to land the Boren brother trifecta? Yes, it appears so. Ken Gordon announced via Twitter today that offensive lineman Jacoby Boren (Class of 2012) could commit as early as next week. Boren, the younger brother of Justin and Zach, apparently possesses the same attitude as the rest of the family. Despite only being 6-2 270 pounds, he's tough and destroys people. Would you expect any less? The best part is that we can celebrate this on Michigan week. Thanks Rich for turning a Wolverine family legacy to the Buckeyes!

2) Well Gordon Gee just put a bullseye on the back of the Buckeyes. In an interview with the Associated Press he decided to say that TCU and Boise State haven't played a tough enough schedule and don't deserve to play in the national championship game.

"Well, I don't know enough about the Xs and Os of college football," said Gee, formerly the president at West Virginia, Colorado, Brown and Vanderbilt universities. "I do know, having been both a Southeastern Conference president and a Big Ten president, that it's like murderer's row every week for these schools. We do not play the Little Sisters of the Poor. We play very fine schools on any given day."

Of course the media is eating this whole thing up, and Twitter has exploded with lots of harsh criticism. It's hard to blame them. While I do agree that Boise State and TCU would struggle making it through the Big Ten year in and year out, it's not exactly like OSU has played an overly tough schedule this year. Not only that but it just reflects poorly on the school, especially coming from someone who knows so little about college football (as he claimed himself). He later states in the interview that he favors the current BCS over a playoff system, which is completely contradictory. Gee, don't complain about Boise and TCU if you like the system, and please leave the football interviews to Tressel!

From the first drive on, turnovers plagued Forcier // Photo via espn.com
Drew Thurman (3:22 pm)

Sorry it has taken me a few days to get out the recap, it was one crazy weekend for us here at TSB. Anyways, here are the things that really stuck out from the Buckeyes sixth straight win over Michigan...

Tresselball pulls out another victory. Let's be honest, the game was pretty ugly. The offense really only had two solid drives, and besides that were conservative and boring. You will not find me complaining though. After the Purdue loss if you would have told me the Buckeyes would sweep Penn State, Iowa, and Michigan I would have said you were dreaming. So now that the Buckeyes have actually completed that feat, I am not going to gripe about how it was done. The fact is, it was! Yes, the game plan took the ball out of Pryor's hands. Yes, Tressel counted on the defense to come through with big plays. Yes, Tressel made us all wonder if we had a stomach ulcer. Regardless, he and the team got the job done. It wasn't my favorite style, but sometimes it is hard to argue with the results. 

Turnovers were the name of the game. While watching the game I really thought the defense looked pretty average at times, especially in the secondary. It was frustrating to watch Michigan neutralize the Buckeye rush with the hurry up offense, and push so many drives into redzone. Though the "D" could have helped themselves out with some three and outs, in their defense, Michigan won the field position battle all afternoon long. Michigan had six drives that started on their own 35 yard line or better. So the defense had their backs against the wall all afternoon. While they let the Wolverine offense get into a groove between the 20's, they did come up with an interception almost every time they needed to. Those turnovers would define the game, and honestly have been something that have defined the entire season. Ever since Rolle's pick on Navy's 2-point conversion in the first game, the defense has forced turnovers when things mattered most.   
Dave and Drew Thurman (11:45 am)

Mascot: Wolverine (AKA "Skunk Bear")
Stadium: Michigan Stadium (106,201)
Coach: Rich Rodriguez (2nd year at Michigan, 8-15; overall D-1, 68-41)
2008 Record: 3-9
2009 Record: 5-6
Base Offense: Spread
Base Defense: 3-4
Letterman: Returning - 50; Lost - 20
Returning Starters: Offense - 10, Defense - 5, Specialists - 1
Returning Stars: RB Brandon Minor, DE Brandon Graham (pictured)

Notable Alumni:

- Mike Wallace: Host of 60 Minutes
- Barry Larkin: former Cincinnati Red shortstop, 1995 NL MVP
- Branch Rickey: former owner of Dodgers who signed Jackie Robinson
- Larry Paige: co-founder of Google
- Tom Brady: former QB and two-time Superbowl MVP
- Edward Wright: Astronaut; first American to walk in space
- Michael Phelps: Olympic swimmer with 14 career gold medals
- Gerald Ford: 38th President of the United States
- Theodore Kaczynski: The Unabomber

Cheerleading Scouting Report:

For the sake of all parties involved we will skip this section this week, because the sight is too gruesome! 

Michigan Overview:

After a 4-0 start, including an upset of Notre Dame, everyone in Ann Arbor was drinking the Rich Rodriguez Kool-Aid. Things haven't been pretty since the early surge though, as the Wolverines have only one win against Delaware State (and no Big Ten victories since a win against IU 36-33 in week four). Their troubles haven't been because of a lack of offensive output though. They average 31.3 points per game to go along with 391 yards a game. When was the last you heard of a 5-6 team with those sorts of numbers?