Impressions from the front lines

Submitted by 1464 on November 20th, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Like an entrenched field reporter, I have been dilligently standing by for 7 years in war-torn Columbus, Ohio in order to give you first hand reports of what the Buckeye fans think of this year's Game.  Any other Columbus area fans care to expand on these points?

- Hoke "gets it," and so does Meyer.  They name drop RR as a guy who didn't get it, and even lump in Lloyd and Tressel for being too politically correct in the media about the game.

- They are more scared of Devin than they are of Denard.  They think Devin has a better shot at stretching the defense and opening up the field.  Little do they know that they will probably see both.

- They see 11-0 and 8-3 as black and white.  They don't take into consideration the fact that we've lost to the two teams likely in the NCG and the third with our backup backup QB.  I think they see this as a coronation, not as a contest.  Hopefully the team is thinking the same way.

- They love Braxton, but harbor some nervousness about the fact that if he has a bad game, they will lose.


Now... win or lose, anyone making the trip down should stop by the Hollywood Casino.  I bartend there, but I will not elaborate as to where.  If you should figure out who I am, just give a Go Blue and a tip of the hat.  I'll be too busy to chat much anyway.  It's a fun place to be, and with all the security, likely the safest after hours spot.



November 20th, 2012 at 9:09 AM ^

While I agree with most of what you said. Everything I have heard is that Ohio is basically going to destroy Michigan. I am very scared of this game. Away game against a good Ohio team? Yuck

Although it looks like ill be leaving columbus for good soon :)

Go Blue


November 20th, 2012 at 11:57 AM ^


Lines aren't meant to be a prediction of the difference in the final score; they're meant to get equal betting action on either side.

A line of 4.5 says that the general feeling is that ohio should probably win, though it's far from a sure thing. It's not consistent with the original statement of "Everything I have heard is that Ohio is basically going to destroy Michigan." That's all I"m saying.


November 20th, 2012 at 9:19 AM ^

My co-worker (who is an OSU alum and fan) had this to say:

An OSU’s watcher guide would include the following:

1) Enjoy watching OSU’s secondary bite on every double move, because they are dumb.

2) Enjoy LBs filling the wrong gap and giving up huge runs

3) Enjoy watching Braxton Miller make terrible decisions on the zone read.

4) Enjoy watching Braxton Miller do something amazing and then 3 incredibly stupid things

5) In fact, just enjoy watching Braxton Miller.  One way or another, he’s probably going to decide the game.

I think he's right, it is going to come down to Braxton Miller avoiding mistakes. I don't think OSU's defense is going to be able to stop us much, so it will fall to Braxton to keep OSU in the game. My gut feeling is that we could see another shootout like last year's game.

TMS-Mr. Ace

November 20th, 2012 at 9:22 AM ^

- Actually a lot more respect for the rivalry talk than the usual hate.  Mostly because of the two coaches.

- Most seem convinced that Devin can't beat them, saying the only way Michigan wins is if Ohio beats themselves.

- Several of the radio folk don't even believe that Ohio is a Top 5 team.  I couldn't believe it when I heard it.  I'm certain somebody found their home and pooped in their cooler.

-Braxton Miller=Jesus


Hollywood Casino...I have been there once and liked what I saw.  Tell them to feel free to lower the Blackjack to $15 mimimum bets.  $25 wrecked my quickly.  I also had a couple beers at the sports bar.  Pretty solid beer selection and reasonable prices.

Raback Omaba

November 20th, 2012 at 9:27 AM ^

I have recently been flabbergasted at everyone's insinuation that OSU will kill Michigan...and that has been mostly from MSU fans here in  the Detroit area.

Look at who we've played, and look at who they've played. Yes, you get points for winning every game on your schedule, because you can only beat who you play.....But does anyone think that OSU would've beat Alabama or ND in South Bend?

Should be a great game, and hopefully the start of another 10 Year War.

Raback Omaba

November 20th, 2012 at 10:34 AM ^

Good teams win games. Saying that they could've beaten Notre Dame, or we should have, completely ignores the fact that we could have also lost to NW & MSU.

That's not the way it works - the team with the most points at the end of the game wins, bottom line.


November 20th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^

To answer your questions near the end of your post, no and yes. I don't think this Ohio team would beat Alabama on a neutral field. I do think they could beat ND at ND. Just like I believe we should have, but credit to ND for doing what they needed to win that game. I suspect if you look at the season so far for us, Ohio, and ND, and match that up with preseason expectations based on roster/schedule/coaching predictions, the only outlier in the bunch is ND sitting there with no losses.

I think this is about as even a matchup between us and Ohio since the 2006 game and I don't see wither team getting worse in the near future. If anything, both schools are going to keep incrementally moving up in the rankings and this matchup is going to have serios national implications again.

I think we are at the very beginnings of the next great arms race between the schools and I look forward to the ride.


November 20th, 2012 at 9:39 AM ^

I live in the Cleveland area and I can report that around here at least there is a nervous apprehension about the game from the OSU fanbase.  I sense none of the arrogance prevelant in the latter days of RR (we are going to big...and there is nothing you can do about it) as they too wonder how good they really are.  

I also agree that there is a sense of grudging respect for Hoke and his staff that didnt exist under Rich.  They may think they have better overall talent but I dont think they believe that Borges + Mattision < Herman +Fickell.  Also FWIW they mock Hoke for his appearance but you never hear them make fun of his coaching like they did with RR.


November 20th, 2012 at 12:34 PM ^

I live in California now, but my whole family went to Michigan (parents met there) and my Mom grew up just outside of Columbus (in Herbie's old hood, 50 years later they still refer to her as a traitor) and that entire side of the family and all her old friends down there are rabid OSU fans. Rivalry chatter has been heating up over the last few weeks and I get an almost totally different vibe from them. 

All they talk about is how Saint Meyer is going to lay waste to the Big 10 (16?) in the coming years, given what he has done in just his first year, with one of my uncles continually joking that OSU should leave and join the ESS EE SEE to get better competition. They think Meyer will only continue to improve the program and field a modern scheme/team that will compete on a national basis and for BCS bowl games/national titles. 

Most of them were ecstatic when RR was let go and still laugh endlessly that Mattison or someone like him wasn't budgeted for and brought in earlier to shore up the defensive side of things. 

Their predicitons for this game are for a close OSU win, overcoming some Braxton Miller mistakes to win by 7 or 10, depending on which one you talk to, but they all talk as if we had better win this one or we won't be getting another one for a long time due to the Meyer Effect. We shall see.

Personally, I am praying that we drop 35 points on them with a Gardner/Robinson combo   bag of tricks and that Mattison can get to Miller enough to hold them to 10 points for a BIG win. All I keep saying right now is, 'We shall see', but if we win this one I am gpoing to give it to them good. 


November 20th, 2012 at 10:08 AM ^

Unfortunately, I have lived about 20 min away from Buckeye Ground Zero for the last 17 years.

There is kind of a weird vibe going on, the sanctions have hurt the hype machine that is usually going 100% during a week like this.  OSU fans are still as confident and obnoxious as ever, but it's kind of nice seeing how much the bowl ban has dampered things for certain individuals who would normally be going all-out.   I'm kind of glad it ended up this way, with them being undefeated.  We get a shot to ruin the ONLY "prize" to their season. 

It seems like our defense is the key to this particular game.  If we can defend Braxton similar to how Wiscy did the other night, we'll win.  The Buckeye defense has been suspect all season and the only reason they snuck away with a victory last weekend is the Badgers QB situation.  Devin will have chances to complete throws down the field, our defense just has to keep Braxton under control.

eamus_caeruli (not verified)

November 20th, 2012 at 9:50 AM ^


I have a quiet confidence about this game. They won't know what will hit them.

D will play stout. Devin and Denard show will frustrate the crap out of their D.


November 20th, 2012 at 10:09 AM ^

Despite living about 1.5 miles away from the Snake Pit, there has been a weird lack of hype about this year's version of The Game.

- typically obnoxious buckeye fans aren't really talking about their team

- they get that they nearly lost quite a few games agains weak opponents, but for some reason don't take that much stock in wins over tough opponents like Neb and Wisky

- people like Urban, but don't seem to care what he's done so far; however, I'm pretty sure they'll be more excited about him as soon as this bowl season is over and they can start thinking about the future and possible BCS games

- I'm glad they're undefeated because we'll be the ones spoiling it for them (unless Iowa pulls off the imposible)

- they're high on Braxton Miller, Simon, and Shazier, for good reason

- I'm a little uncomfortable by their seeming lack of interest in the game - feel like I'm not seeing something comming

- there has been a resurgance of Michigan fans in central Ohio showing their pride over the last year

- I just got an osu student ticket w/ID and am excited about going to the game


OSUMC Wolverine

November 20th, 2012 at 11:21 AM ^

I just keep telling my confident coworkers:  Top rated passer in the Big Ten; 11th ranked pass defense in the big ten; Rediculous RB DR now with room to run because of DG's arm; No punts last week; You gave up how many points to the Hosers?, NW mobile quarterback was helped off the field three times in the Big House; urban doesnt have Mattison to protect him; urban has to wear long sleeves now, and forever, to cover his 'I luv Mattison' tattoo; 2 of the last 3 times you've come into The Game've lost...badly.  And there is the 70% chance that urban will retire after the loss to spend more time with his family that he abandoned to take a job with ESPN, or have crushing chest pain from a burrito again, or take a job with ESPN to again get away from his family that he apparently did not want to spend time with, or something else even more amusing.  There is a reason an undefeated team at home against a three loss team is only favored by 4...


November 20th, 2012 at 11:39 AM ^

Echoing a lot of what some have already said:

- it is eerily quiet...especially for OSU fans

- most will acknowledge that is pretty much a tossup, but will give OSU the edge due to it being a home game.  Also, they realize they seemingly always play to whatever their competition, regardless of opponent quality

- as my one friend put it "I'm worried about the whole Denard QB thing...I feel the offense is more dynamic and unpredictable"


Keep in mind, these guys are the rarest of OSU fans that can speak in complete sentences and are stand-up guys.  They root for Michigan except for The Game, thought Pryor was "a good athlete, but not a QB" and were worried he was "going to do something stupid that got the university in trouble.  They also think Urban is a colossal dick...but also acknowledge that he is going to take them places.

That being said...BEAT Ohio.


November 20th, 2012 at 12:10 PM ^

I got a ticket to the game! I'm very excited and plan to wear Michigan gear. I will update the blog on how many "**** Michigan"s I hear over the course of the day.

As for the fans within the 270 outerbelt, the sanctions have put a damper on the infinite rejoicing one would normally see at this time of year. I look forward to ruining their season utterly.