Charles Woodson's emphasis on OSU game statement revisited

Submitted by Wolverine Devotee on December 11th, 2018 at 4:26 PM

"You know what, to be quite honest, I really feel like in recent years there hasn't been the emphasis I'm used to being put on that game," Woodson said Saturday at The ChadTough Foundation's gala in Ann Arbor. "Every game has been put on the same level as that game. That's not the way we were brought up. Not the way we were raised around here. 

"We had no shame in saying (we were going to beat Ohio State). And every time I watch our teams in recent years, it's 'oh, it's another game.' It's not." 

"They got it. But now it's time to go finish," he said. "The time is now. We ain't waiting anymore. ... That's it. That's the game. With us, we talked about it all the time. We could go 0-10 but if we won that game, it was a good season. We wanted to win every game, but we all knew that was the big fish. 

"And we didn't mind saying it (to the media). When's the last time you guys have heard that? So you get the picture." 

Anyone else wondering if anything has changed?

I don't see the same amount of obsession and focus on that game on our end that I see from them all year. They do all those dumb things that we mock them for like crossing out letters and not saying "Michigan". But it keeps the game on their minds so it works.

What do we do? What do we do for the rivalry?

What game week traditions does Michigan Football have for this game and this game only?

If anything--and it kills me to say this because I hate it--it seems like the guys take the MSU rivalry more seriously. Devin Bush said he hates MSU more than OSU and others have echoed similar things. The trash talk between the programs is goes on all year it seems between players and coaches.

This was the year to do it. There are no excuses we can use for that. Something has to change because whatever has been going on for years in regards to our intensity and focus on this game isn't cutting it.


L'Carpetron Do…

December 11th, 2018 at 4:40 PM ^

I disagree, I would say that maybe its the coaching approaches to the the game that are the difference. I don't follow recruiting all that closely but I don't think at this level, and for this game, the total number of stars for recruits is the difference. There are a lot more factors that go into but for the most part I think its: Ohio State gets up for this game and Michigan doesn't. 


December 11th, 2018 at 6:24 PM ^

Nope, dead wrong.  The coaches and players that were good enough to beat Nebraska by 46, when OSU only beat them by 5, and beat PSU by 35, when OSU only beat them by 1, and beat Maryland by 21 when OSU only beat them in OT were significantly better than OSU all season long, such that Michigan was favored by 4 at OSU.

Michigan has better coaches, and this year, had better talent.

It's possible that game was just a "mirage" to quote Winovich and that they just had a bad game.  OSU had a similarly bad game against Purdue that no one would deny was just a bad game and that OSU would probably beat Purdue if they played again.  But it's not a coincidence that M played badly against OSU and OSU played badly in a game that didn't mean much in the conference race.

M put too much emphasis and focus on making sure they won all those other games to the detriment of OSU preparation and focus.  All you had to do was listen to Don Brown and Devin Bush and others to know they didn't treat the OSU game with enough focus.  Don Brown talked about having nightmares and thinking about the 2017 PSU game every day. And then proceeded to try to shut them out.  Devin Bush said he hates MSU more than OSU and proceeded to fire up himself and his whole team for that game.

When this program starts to know they'll beat MSU and PSU and simply take care of business in those games with an eye on the OSU game all season long, then it will have taken the last step. 

OSU, on the other hand, lived with doing just enough to make it to The Game with a chance to win the division, because they're already there.  They know what game matters the most.


December 11th, 2018 at 9:17 PM ^

You can say that about MSU and OSU, and MSU has beaten Urban a couple of times. Good coaches fine a way to win rivalry games even when they are outmanned. Bo did it to OSU year 1 when OSU has the best team in the country. He did it by focusing on the game above all else.

Harbaugh has failed in that game, plain and simple. Let’s stop excusing every failure. He has been here 4 years and what exactly has he got to show for it?


December 11th, 2018 at 9:55 PM ^

I don't necessarily disagree with this, but both approaches cost both teams.

OSU overlooks some opponents, possibly due to the season long focus on Michigan. It cost them the Purdue game and should have cost them Maryland too.

Michigan focused on the Revenge Tourand has devalued the OSU game. We all know how that has worked out in recent years.

Two opposite approaches, both cost each team. It cost Michigan more, IMO

You Only Live Twice

December 11th, 2018 at 10:50 PM ^

I don't think the "overlooking" explains all of it.  OSU was a different team at home this year, and their players looked vastly different even at home against us.  Given Meyer's history I wouldn't be surprised if the enhanced performance was indeed, enhanced.  Then again they have an NFL talent at QB and there was clearly an effort to mask some of his ability, Gerd took up the refrain, Michigan fans noted and hoped it was true,  It wasn't.

M-B Devil Dog

December 15th, 2018 at 6:13 PM ^

sorry but your statement about Michigan having better coaches and players this year is both comical and delusional. Urban Meyer is third all time in Win % only behind two of the most legendary coaches ever, how on earth do we say we have better coaches when we haven't beaten them in 7 fucking years. better talent? did you see Haskins in the pocket? he is still there!!! He went literally UNTOUCHED. Olave their freshman wide receiver who hadn't done diddly squat all year smoked out DB's. SMOKED. We are seriously at rock bottom when it comes to The Game and saying it was a Mirage or saying we have better coaching and talent is just our inability to say the words they are better than us. plain and simple. Until we let that fester and become hate it wont' get any better. The more we strut into The Game thinking oh we are so much better than them or They have a new coach so we will win this game will only lead to more heartache. I'm sorry but that is the truth right now 


December 11th, 2018 at 4:34 PM ^

Something has changed. OSU got a HOF-level coach and increasingly recruited like Alabama.

RichRod was 2-1 against ND. Harbaugh is 0-1. Did RichRod put more emphasis on that rivalry than Jim?


December 11th, 2018 at 4:34 PM ^

I didn't want to create a snowflake thread for this post so apologies for doing some thread hijacking.


Someone with the ability needs to create a counter video... 

Video should be entitled "Ohio's Reality"

Scene one shows Woody Hayes punching the Clemson athlete, Charlie Bauman, and then refusing to resign.

Scene two should show a picture of a hand exchanging memorabilia for cash and then followed by Jim Tressel denying any wrong doing

Scene three should fade to black with a woman screaming "No Zach, Stop it" (Presumably Shelley) with a scene following with Urban Meyer denying he knew anything.

Final scene "Celebrated men in Columbus, an Ohio reality!"

YES I AM ANGRY. Someone produce this please and let's circulate it. Let's make that the focus instead of the 62 points.


December 11th, 2018 at 5:06 PM ^

Fair enough. We don't live in the 20th century anymore; fans and media organizations are reporting on what I think is a dumb tweet from OSU. What do you think people will see? You may think my idea is dumb but it is time to expose the narrative of Ohio State football. They are clinically obsessed with us to the point that certain ethics fly out the window in pursuit of a victory over our football program.

Easy to respond to the sour grapes argument by claiming that it is indefensible for a coach to protect a staffer who beats his spouse.

Indy Pete - Go Blue

December 11th, 2018 at 5:29 PM ^

I am on board too.  In some ways I can acknowledge that I am jealous of OSU's recent success against us (as they remain of our all time 50-58).   However, given the fact that they have cut corners and lied from the top down to maintain a lying coach, I have to say that I would not want to win at that cost at Michigan.  I still would rather lose with integrity than win by cheating.  However, we all want to WIN in this game, and do it the right way.  It is going to happen, and soon.  Jim Harbaugh is the man to do this, and it will be very sweet indeed when he achieves it.  


December 11th, 2018 at 4:36 PM ^

Michigan has a lot of goals under Harbaugh. My issue with the goals is that we want to accomplish them all in the same season, and I just don't know if that's the way to go about it at this point.

I would take 9-3 with a win over a good OSU team at this point to get the monkey off the back. I think we are so set on beating OSU, winning the B1G, and making a playoff run and I just don't know if that should be the emphasis. Just because doing all three of those things are so hard. 


December 11th, 2018 at 4:39 PM ^

At what point do people realize intensity and focus isn't the issue, but talent, execution and gameplan?

They were focused in 2016, but a two killer INTs were the difference.  They were focused in 2017 but our QB play was piss poor.  They were focused in 2018, but the coaches decided it was better to get burned playing man.  Also, the only reason the OSU games were close during Hoke's era was because those dudes were intense and focused.

L'Carpetron Do…

December 11th, 2018 at 5:09 PM ^

Talent, execution and game plan are important of course but intensity and focus are absolutely major factors.  

Do you think two INTs in 2016 are the result of being focused? One of them was an awful decision. At critical moments, Michigan had opportunities to make plays that could have put the game out of reach but they didn't. Michigan played well in that game, well enough to win, but Ohio State wanted it more and came back and took it.

And you think they were focused in 2018? Are you serious? Not a single player on the team had a good game (seriously, can you think of anyone?) and the coaching schemes were glaringly awful. This all goes back to focus and intensity, what Charles is talking about.

Ohio State plays like their lives depend on it. Michigan doesn't.


December 11th, 2018 at 4:40 PM ^

Anybody who has grown up in Michigan (like me) and now lives in Ohio (also me) knows there is NO comparison in how serious OSU takes the game compared to us.  To them this is life or death and they treat it as such.  Hell...Ryan Day was "warned" by literally everybody in the fan base, the alums and the media one thing when he took the job - "you had better beat Michigan".  Anybody remember hearing anyone telling Harbaugh he had better beat Ohio State?

I remember reading in the week before the game that when Shea was asked about special preparation/practices for the game he said something to the effect of "nothing really different was done."   Down here I can assure that was not the case.   Hell our game plan looked exactly like any other week - did OSU's?   Do you think it was just a coincidence their OLine blocked like they havent blocked before all season?   Another coincidence that they seemed to know our plays, both offensively and defensively and had counters built in for our counters?  They aim for this game like no other and the results show on the field.

Sir Charles was right IMO.  He took massive shit for saying it but he was right.

The Baughz

December 11th, 2018 at 4:52 PM ^

Charles is 1000% right. Look at the results. Urban always references the “TTUN” and how he has beaten us. There is no mention of OSU from Michigan. Certainly doesn’t help that the record is so poor, but even some of the players say they hate MSU more. 

I am in the camp that feel Michigan is a disadvantage because they have multiple rivals. OSU has 1. Not an excuse, but just stating a fact. OSU should be the most hated. You can tell Urban hates Michigan. You don’t see the same emotion and intensity when Jim talks about OSU.

Winning The Game will solve all of these issues...


December 11th, 2018 at 5:13 PM ^

It's not just "The Game". Urban Meyer beat everyone. He was 54 - 4 in the B1G, and 2 of those losses were to MSU, a blowout at Iowa and a blowout at Purdue. He never lost 2 B1G games in a season. Guys, they were just better than us, and a couple of those games we almost won, they were better than us. No emphasis, no cliches were gonna change that. 

Tom Bombadil

December 11th, 2018 at 4:52 PM ^

To be fair, when Harbaugh took over Michigan we had much deeper problems than not beating OSU. The worst coach they've ever had was Cooper whose only flaw was he couldn't beat us, so that's the only thing they can really ever foresee as going wrong. When we hired Harbaugh our standard was more like "don't play a visibly concussed player" and "try to be bowl eligible." 


He took over right before OSU won a national title and Michigan was coming off a 5-7 season. Day was hired coming off a 11-1 season. The circumstances were a bit different. I think definitely now he's reestablished the program in other ways, Harbaugh has gotten that sort of ultimatum. I do think we could emphasize it more and that starts with our fans not selling their tickets to our home games against them. 

1989 UM GRAD

December 11th, 2018 at 4:56 PM ^

Now that I've seen a game in person in Columbus, I completely agree.   I had no idea how much more The Game seems to mean to OSU and its fanbase than it does to Michigan (while of course acknowledging that it does mean quite a bit our team, coaches, alumni, fans, etc.).  There was an intensity I felt from the time we pulled off the highway exit in Columbus until we pulled out of town (during the 4th quarter).  I've never felt that type of intensity during any of the hundreds of Michigan home games I've attended.  


December 11th, 2018 at 5:10 PM ^

Second this. Raised in Saginaw County. I live in Columbus. It's on another level. They admit Michigan means more to them, as it should. That how the whole "Little brother" rivalry with State started. To us they were cute, and "good", but they were never Ohio State. Now it seems like we've gone agnostic about the rivalry.

I was walking out of the Shoe after the 3rd quarter when I knew we had no chance, and I looked at two Michigan fans who were behind me and I said to one, " This sucks, I am so sick of losing to this team." The one said, " It's okay, it's not that bad, is what it is." I thought to myself, it isn't okay and it isn't "is what it is". Prepare for OSU every Monday for all I care, but quit fucking losing to them. Find a way.


December 11th, 2018 at 5:10 PM ^

This ^.  I can only imagine the difference of being an osu fan living in michigan versus a michigan fan in ohio.  OSU fans in Ohio are sincerely bothered when they find out you are a Michigan fan.  Not to mention the obsession they have with that rivalry is on a different planet compared to UM fans on the rivalry.  Granted these are just fans, but kids grow up in this environment and attend OSU.