Joe Podelco / Lantern Photo Editor
It was an unprecedented 37-7 win Saturday as the Buckeyes added another notch to the longest win streak in the Ohio State–Michigan rivalry.
Between 2004-2010 the Buckeyes have won seven consecutive matchups against the Wolverines.
“We just had the advantage in this rivalry in the past six years,” tight end Jake Stoneburner said. “I feel like we come in with good game plans and we execute pretty well, and I think they’re emphasizing what a big game this is, and we’re not taking it lightly.”
The 2010 team doesn’t know what it feels like to lose to Michigan.
“It’s obviously a goal you have coming in, and you never want to be on the losing side of this rivalry,” Dane Sanzenbacher said. “I’m proud to say I’m leaving here never losing to them.”
Tressel earns his ninth victory over Michigan
In his 10th season at OSU, coach Jim Tressel is 9-1 against Michigan. A 35-21 loss in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2003 is Tressel’s sole loss to Michigan.
“If we were sitting here eight out of 10, we would have been unhappy. I promise you that,” Tressel said.
Michigan still leads the series 57-44-6.
Buckeyes clinch a share of the Big Ten Championship
Winning the Big Ten title has been OSU’s goal all season.
The Buckeyes now share the conference crown with Wisconsin and Michigan State, all finishing conference play at 7-1.
“We’re not good enough to be the outright Big Ten champions and automatic bid to the Rose Bowl and all those things you shoot for,” Tressel said. “But we’re pretty fair, and I believe we’re a top-10 football team.”
Had the Buckeyes beaten Wisconsin, they would have been outright Big Ten champions.
“We wanted to win it outright, but still winning it, you can’t complain about that,” Stoneburner said.
Captains Ross Homan and Bryant Browning are among 17 of the 24 seniors who have earned five Big Ten championship rings and five pairs of gold pants (earned after beating Michigan).
“First and foremost, it’s important to never lose to Michigan as a Buckeye, which is unbelievable, and to end up with five rings from championships is another accolade,” Homan said.
Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez faces uncertain future
With his job security already in limbo, the OSU blowout might have put the nail in the coffin for Rodriguez.
In his three-year tenure at Michigan, Rodriguez has accrued a 15-21 record. In his 0-3 mark against OSU, the Wolverines have been outscored 100-24.
“I worry about my future every day,” Rodriguez said. “It’s been a lot slower (coming) than I wanted, a lot slower than our fans wanted. I don’t blame them for that. But I’m not deterred by it.”
This year, however, is the first time the Wolverines are bowl-eligible under Rodriguez.
Can the rivalry exist if Michigan isn’t competitive?
The Buckeyes held Michigan on Saturday to its lowest offensive output all season: seven points.
But to the Buckeyes, it was all about preparing for “The Game” and the rivalry. The consensus was that the importance of “The Game” outweighs Michigan’s ability to compete, or lack thereof.
“Michigan is among the elite programs, and will be, and you know their record will reflect that,” Tressel said. “Michigan will be back. “It’s highly competitive and it’s going to become more competitive because we’re adding Nebraska.