Notebook: It’s Michigan Week

COLUMBUS, Ohio A — few notes from Urban Meyer’s Michigan week news conference …
**This rivalry is special to Meyer, an Ohio native and a graduate assistant at Ohio State in the 1980’s.
“This is all I knew growing up, all anybody knew,” he said. “There were like three channels on TV at the time. I watched every (Ohio State-Michigan) game. I remember the games. … I remember everybody talking about it.
“If you’re in the state of Ohio this is all you know growing up. The Bo-Woody Era is when it really started to explode on a national level. That’s what made it a visual rivalry for the country to see.”
Meyer said he picked assistant coaches with the Michigan rivalry in mind. Eight of the nine coaches on staff have direct ties to Ohio State or grew up in Ohio. The only one who doesn’t is co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers.
“He’s being educated,” Meyer said.
**On Ohio State teams being “defined by this game” and if it’s any different/extra special this season because Ohio State is unbeaten and facing a postseason ban, Meyer said there’s no time for hypotheticals.
“I don’t know. We just talk about winning this game,” he said. “We’re not talking about what everybody is going to think two or three weeks from now.”
**He said Ohio State’s normal traditions will continue this week including the senior tackle on Thursday morning and alumni forming the tunnel of pride prior to Saturday’s game.
**Meyer called fullback-turned-linebacker Zach Boren “one of the great stories in my mind in college football and certainly in Ohio State history. The selfless approach and what he’d do for this team is extraordinary.
“You could write a book on Zach Boren. He comes to practice … and 20 minutes later on the Tuesday before Indiana … he’s the starting middle linebacker at Ohio State.”
**Meyer had similiar praise for John Simon, calling Simon “the heart and soul of our program” and saying Simon is at the football facility at almost every waking hour. “He’s just the best.”
**Meyer said when he found out last year about the postseason ban, his first thought was that Ohio State players would be able to transfer without penalty and that “15 minutes later” he called a meeting with this year’s seniors.
“They didn’t know Urban Meyer or these coaches,” Meyer said. “Now that I know them, I know exactly why they stayed. For the love of Ohio State.”
Much more later and throughout the week.