Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Early Fuel For the Rivalry Fire: Why the Buckeyes Will Dominate Michigan in 2012

By Shane DarrowBlockONation.com Guest Contributor

There is no question that the Ohio State vs. University of Michigan matchup is one of the greatest rivalries in college sports.


Actually, let's just come right out and say it. OSU-UM is the BEST Rivalry in sports, period.

Whether it is basketball, hockey or baseball, these teams always give a little extra when it is against the other program. But the rivalry in football stands alone.

It's not simply known as "The Game" for nothing.

Here are some reasons why the Buckeyes will return to, and continue, their dominance this season.

Urban Meyer

Last year was the first year that the Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes since 2003, but with the addition of the legendary Urban Meyer, the momentum already feels like it is shifting to Ohio State.

Meyer brings in a history of success, and will implement the spread offense into a Buckeye system that is more than capable of being able to run it to a tee.

As a head coach, Meyer has a record of 104-23—that's a winning percentage of 81.8 percent. The Buckeyes have fallen a little over the last few years as the SEC has continued to run dominance on college football as a whole, but Meyer will be the one to turn that around.

He brings an SEC mentality to a historic Big Ten program. If the Buckeyes want to once again contend for a national title, Meyer is the perfect candidate to lead the cause.

Braxton Miller

Miller started nine games last season and had a very mediocre record of 4-5, but under Meyer's system he will undoubtedly shine. Even though his record may not show it, his statistics were actually very solid last year.

Miller finished the season with 18 combined touchdowns (11 through the air, seven on the ground), and had a QB rating of 133.6. He reminds me of a young Vince Young. Meyer is going to implement a system that will put Miller in a position to succeed.

Now that the reigns are officially with him, Miller will gain the confidence in camp that will lead to success on the field. When the Michigan game comes, he will be facing a more experienced Denard Robinson, but Miller has the skills to match him throw for throw, as well as run for run.

Home-Field Advantage

Over the past decade, the Buckeyes have found a way to win when playing at the Big House. Fortunately for Ohio State, the Wolverines haven't been able to win a game in Columbus since 2000. There is no denying that the Buckeyes are a different team on their home field, and that has shown over the last 11 seasons.

Urban Meyer is going to bring in a scouting class that will be awaiting the opportunity to compete against Michigan on their home field, and I can't even imagine the adrenaline rush that will overtake those players.

I don't only think the Buckeyes will just win the game...

I think they will absolutely control and bulldoze the Wolverines on both sides of the ball.

Final Score Prediction

Ohio State 42
Michigan 24




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