Ohio State whips Michigan . . . again!

The greatest rivalry in college football produced another fun game (for Ohio State fans) while the overall rivalry is suffering a bit. Michigan isn’t holding up its end of the bargain.

The isn’t The Ten Year War. Urban Meyer is 7-0 versus Michigan. Jim Harbaugh is 0-4 against the Buckeyes.

Michigan was favored on the road against a Buckeye team that had all sorts of drama, not to mentioned a defense that has been royally screwed up by Greg Schiano. There was plenty of smack talk coming from Michigan players and fans, but that ended badly for them yesterday.

This article from Bob Wojnowski gives a good overview of the problems with Jim Harbaugh’s program. Harbaugh’s basic offense that relies on power running works well against lesser opponents but just doesn’t cut it against a talented team like the Buckeyes.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Jim Harbaugh whines like a baby

After one of the greatest games in the history of the Ohio State/Michigan rivalry, all Jim Harbaugh could do was whine about the officials. Sure, he’s probably crushed by this loss. His Wolverines were playing a great game until they blew it in the fourth quarter and in overtime. But this classless display of whining after the game will stick with Harbaugh for a while. He comes across as a baby.

Ohio State beats Michigan . . . again

We expected this incredible rivalry to heat up again after Jim Harbaugh arrived in Columbus, and today’s game lived up to the hype with #2 Ohio State defeating #3 Michigan in double overtime.

This has to be a crushing loss for Michigan, as their defense stuffed the Buckeyes for most of the day. But Ohio State made the big plays when needed and JT Barrett shook off a miserable first half to come up with clutch plays down the stretch. The Buckeyes have now won 12 of the last 13 games, and Harbaugh is now 0-2 versus Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes. The rivalry is back in the spotlight with this instant classic, but the Buckeyes still have bragging rights.

Jim Harbaugh whined like a baby about the officiating after the game. Perhaps he realized this was his best shot with a senior-heavy lineup, while the young Buckeyes have been playing many freshmen and sophomores. Ohio State will be even tougher to beat next year!

Michigan gets the monkey off its back, beats Ohio State

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson (C) celebrates with teammates after his diving touchdown into the end zone against Ohio State during the first half of their NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Michigan November 26, 2011. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES) – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

The streak is over. It had been 2,926 days since Michigan had last beat Ohio State, but today, the Wolverines ended that, picking up a 40-34 win against the Buckeyes in a thrilling game at the Big House.

Courtney Avery picked off a Braxton Miller pass in the final minute of the game to seal the win for Michigan, which is now 10-2 with a legitimate chance to be selected to a BCS bowl. In fact, at this point, I’d be surprised if the Wolverines were passed up by the Sugar Bowl, which is very likely going to have two at-large choices thanks to the SEC likely putting two teams in the national title game.

It was an improved defense that had Michigan in that position heading into today, but it was Denard Robinson that finished the job. The junior quarterback had the best game of his career in what was really a must-win situation for the Wolverines (more on that in a second). He was 14-of-17 for 166 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 170 yards and two scores. He’s had statistically better games, but this is the one that Denard will be remembered for in Michigan.

As to the must-win declaration: With Ohio State in the state it was in this season, and with Urban Meyer coming on board, if Michigan didn’t win this year, it might have been a while before the Wolverines found a way to win against the Buckeyes. Brady Hoke has done a great job in Year 1, but he’s led a bit of a charmed existence thanks to a very weak Big Ten, an 8-game home schedule, and his chief rival — both on the field and in recruiting — being hampered by a rough season on and off the field. He’s taken advantage and deserves credit for doing so — he should make no apologies for dragging a fading program back to 10-2 — but had he lost this game, a lot of the goodwill he has built up might have been gone.

It nearly was, had it not been for the erratic arm of Braxton Miller. The Ohio State freshman looked brilliant in spots, especially running the football, but he missed a lot of open receivers and cost the Buckeyes at least two sure touchdowns with overthrows. The second came on the final drive, as DeVier Posey had double-moved J.T. Floyd into oblivion and was running free down the sidelines.

The thought of Miller with some more seasoning and in Urban Meyer’s offense should scare not only Michigan fans and the rest of the Big Ten, but the rest of the country. Those two will win a lot of games together.

But not today. No, today belonged to Michigan, which isn’t thinking about all of that other stuff while celebrating the only thing that matters in Ann Arbor, beating Ohio State.

Big Ten to reveal alignment – Michigan, Ohio State split

While the conference has yet to make an official announcement, ESPN.com is reporting that the Big Ten will be split this way for the 2011-12 season:

Division #1
Michigan
Nebraska
Iowa
Michigan State
Northwestern
Minnesota

Division #2
Ohio State
Penn State
Wisconsin
Purdue
Indiana
Illinois

There are always crossover games every year in conferences with two divisions and the Big Ten won’t be any different. Michigan and Ohio State will still play each other every season and with the way the divisions are set up, they have the opportunity to square off in the conference championship game too, if the Wolverines ever become relevant again, that is.

The same goes for Wisconsin and Minnesota when they battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe every year.

Some of the rivalries had to stay intact (i.e. Michigan and Michigan State for one example), and I think the conference decision makers did well with this realignment. There’s no question that there’s a sense of balance between the two divisions.

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