Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Game of the year: Ohio-Michigan

The fate of the winner of this weekend's Ohio State-Michigan game is well known. The team will be the unanimous No.1 team in the country and will be going to the Sun Devil Stadium in Arizona for the National Championship Game.

But what happens to the loser? With three of the top six teams losing this past weekend, it is possible that the loser could be joining the winner in Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl.

Boise State and Rutgers are the only other undefeated teams in the country and Boise State don't appear to have the strength of schedule to be able to break into the top five and Rutgers still has to play No. 8 West Virginia on the road.


Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel was unwilling to look past the game at hand.

"It's so hard to even think about those things," Tressel said. "There's nothing like the Ohio State Michigan game. It is at the end of the season with the conference championship on the line. … It's hard to say because the game means so much to both parties."

On the other hand, Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr brought up the BCS system and how seemingly no one understands it.

"We have a system, the BCS, and I personally don't understand all of the things that go into the computer rankings … how that all fits together I'm not perfectly clear, but we do have a system and that system will take care of that question," Carr said "Whatever the system dictates is what it is."

A different kind of rivalry

The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best, rivalries in college football.

But in the other great college football rivalries like Auburn-Alabama and Texas-Oklahoma, the two schools, at least their fans, seem to genuinely not like each other.

But this doesn't appear to be the case with the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry.

"I don't think there's ever been any kind of an issue on the field and I think that's part of what makes it a special rivalry," Carr said.

The two schools don't seem to have any genuine dislike for one another and their rivalry seems to be based on the teams' perennial powerhouse status more than anything else.

"The kids play their best and their hardest in that game, and I think looking back on my experiences in the game, it's one of those games that, because of the tradition, you understand," Carr said.

That tradition helps the rivalry build every year, as upperclassmen begin to understand the significance of the contest.

"You become a junior and senior you learn that the game is special, and you want, as a player and a member of your team, to bring great credit to the game and to the rivalry."

Indiana Civil War

While the Ohio State-Michigan game gets all the attention, Purdue and Indiana meet in a game that could have strong bowl-game implications for both teams. The two teams are also bitter in-state rivals, adding some extra meaning to the game as the battle for the Old Oaken Bucket will commence for the 82nd time.

The teams have had surprising seasons, with Purdue at 7-4 and Indiana at 5-6 and while both teams have exceeded expectations, they would like to cap off their seasons with a bowl game victory.

"I know it's important to both schools and it's important to our former players and alumni," said Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner, whose team needs a victory over the rival Boilermakers to become bowl eligible for the first time since 1993. "This is a game, a rivalry game that is a season unto itself. … We've got enough motivation with Purdue that I don't think we need to add anything, but it's obvious. I don't have to talk about it — the players know, especially the seniors know, so they'll make sure the young guys know."

According to their head coach, the Boilermakers are just looking to finish their conference season off with a win.

"From our perspective, it's important that we win our eighth game of the year," Purdue coach Joe Tiller said "We think more about ourselves and what we want to get accomplished than [about] our opponents."

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