Michigan’s back, while OSU seeks quick turnaround
Like thousands of people on the Michigan Stadium turf, Mike
Martin and Taylor Lewan wanted to savor every last second of the
scene that broke out after the Wolverines finally beat Ohio
The defensive and offensive tackle walked backward into the
tunnel – looking toward the field filled with maize-and-blue clad
fans – and soaked up the atmosphere one last time before turning to
run up the incline toward the locker room.
”This is a big game for us and this program,” Martin said
after Saturday’s win. ”For us to take this step as a team is huge
and we’re never going to forget it and these fans and this fan base
is never going to forget it.”
Denard Robinson matched a career high with five touchdowns to
help Michigan beat the Buckeyes 40-34 – in a game filled with lead
changes and dramatic moments – and end a record seven-game losing
streak against its archrival.
The Wolverines (10-2, 6-2 Big Ten) have reached double digits in
victories for the first time since 2006 and may play in a BCS bowl
for the first time since that same season.
Is Michigan back?
”We hope so,” junior safety Jordan Kovacs said. ”We are
excited with the 10-win season and beating Ohio, but there’s still
work left to do. We strive to win Big Ten championships. We didn’t
get that done, but we’re going to enjoy this win and we’re going to
enjoy the bowl game.”
The Wolverines won’t play for the Big Ten title on Saturday
night in Indianapolis – rival Michigan State and Wisconsin earned
spots in the inaugural conference title game – and will find out
the next day where they’re headed this postseason.
College football’s winningest team, though, seemed to validate
the improvements made this season under first-year coach Brady Hoke
by winning four of five games after losing Oct. 15 to the
”I want to say Michigan probably needed this win (over Ohio
State) to solidify what we did this season as a program,” senior
defensive end Ryan Van Bergen said. ”I didn’t want to say it
before the game because I didn’t want to put the pressure on my
teammates, but it solidifies what we did this year as a team.”
The Buckeyes, meanwhile, ended the regular season with a .500
record for the first time since 1999.
Ohio State has said it won’t pass up the chance to go to a bowl
game – if the NCAA allows the Buckeyes to play in the
The NCAA may make a bowl ban part of its penalty for a
cash-for-Buckeyes memorabilia scandal that forced Jim Tressel to
resign nearly six months ago and quarterback Terrelle Pryor to bolt
for the NFL.
Ohioan Urban Meyer, who won two national championships at
Florida, is widely expected to take over the storied program and
return to the campus where he started his coaching career as a
Former Ohio State running back and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner
Eddie George said he expects speculation to become fact as soon as
Monday because hiring Meyer is a move school officials believe they
have to make.
”He certainly is the biggest name out there and his resume
speaks for itself,” George told The Associated Press on Saturday
morning in Ann Arbor, where he was working as an analyst. ”If
you’re going to go after somebody, you want to go after the biggest
fish in the pond and he’s that guy.”
As of Sunday afternoon, at least, interim coach Luke Fickell was
still in charge of the team.
Fickell tried his best to deflect questions about his future in
his postgame news conference at the Big House.
”Out of respect for the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, I wasn’t
going to think about it and wasn’t going to talk about it,”