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College football: Ohio State, Michigan go different ways after 2011 game

Published November 28, 2013 6:38 pm

Buckeyes flying since that loss while Wolverines have been up-and-down.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Columbus, Ohio • A lot has happened in the two years since players from Ohio State and Michigan — the Buckeyes with their heads down, the Wolverines wildly celebrating — left the field at Michigan Stadium.

After beating their rivals seven years in a row, the Buckeyes lost that 2011 game 40-34. At the time, it seemed as if the game might mark a tectonic shift for the two teams.

Those were dark days for Ohio State, which had seven losses that season, its most since 1897. And the NCAA was about to levy sanctions that would rock the program.

Michigan, under first-year coach Brady Hoke, captured its 10th win and appeared to have recaptured its national prominence after the woeful era of Rich Rodriguez.

That one game appeared to have marked a sea change for both of the storied programs. Or did it?

The third-ranked Buckeyes have won almost every game since and are in the thick of the national championship chase under coach Urban Meyer, who has not lost on their sideline.

"It is completely different. We were reeling my freshman year," defensive tackle Michael Bennett said. "Then you have where we are — a really strong team that is getting better every week. The confidence is through the roof."

Meanwhile, Hoke is dealing with yet another late-season swoon and the maize and blue have more doubters than believers.

Will Saturday's 110th edition of The Game flip things yet again?

It was a nadir for Ohio State back in 2011.

A season of innuendo, defections and investigations had resulted in the forced departure of coach Jim Tressel earlier that season.

He was dismissed for failing to disclose that several of his players had most likely received improper benefits from the subject of a federal drug probe. —

Top 25 schedule

Friday

• No. 12 Oregon vs. Oregon State, 5 p.m.

• No. 15 LSU vs. Arkansas, 12:30 p.m.

No. 16 Fresno State at San Jose State, 1:30 p.m.

No. 17 UCF vs. South Florida, 5 p.m.

Saturday

• No. 1 Alabama at No. 4 Auburn, 1:30 p.m.

• No. 2 Florida State at Florida, 10 a.m.

• No. 3 Ohio State at Michigan, 10 a.m.

• No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 19 Texas A&M, 5:45 p.m.

• No. 6 Clemson at No. 10 South Carolina, 5 p.m.

• No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 25 Notre Dame, 5 p.m.

• No. 9 Baylor at TCU,1:30 p.m.

• No. 11 Michigan State vs. Minnesota, 10 a.m.

• No. 13 Arizona State vs. Arizona, 7:30 p.m.

• No. 14 Wisconsin vs. Penn State, 1:30 p.m.

• No. 22 UCLA at No. 23 Southern Cal, 6 p.m.

• No. 24 Duke at North Carolina, 10 a.m.