Why Ohio State and Michigan Will Soon Dominate the Big Ten Conference
Though neither Ohio State or Michigan has won the Big Ten championship in football over the past two seasons, look for that to change very soon. In the Big Ten Conference's 115-year history, a team other than Ohio State and Michigan has won the conference title just 34 times.
This goes to show how much these two programs have dominated Big Ten foes over the years, and how successful they have been overall. More times than not the winner of the annual Ohio State-Michigan matchup went on the win the conference.
Here are five reasons why these two teams will soon dominate the conference once more.
5. History Repeats Itself
In the rich history of the two juggernaut football programs, one thing has been consistent: They know how to win conference crowns. If one of the two teams has a down year, more times than not they can count on their archrival to pick up the slack. It's very rare for both teams to have a less than impressive season.
Even though other Big Ten squads like Wisconsin, Michigan State and even Nebraska have shown the potential to cause havoc in recent years, Ohio State and Michigan will always be the teams to beat. You just watch.
4. The Downfall of the Big Ten
While teams from the Big Ten Conference have looked less than impressive in bowl games in recent years, they haven't looked too hot in the regular season versus nonconference opponents either. In fact, only three teams from the Big Ten (Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio State) entered conference play without a loss this season.
With the Big Ten Conference appearing to get worse and worse every year, powerhouse programs like Ohio State and Michigan will find more and more success.
3. Tougher Nonconference Schedules
While the majority of the teams in the Big Ten have had fairly reasonable nonconference schedules in recent years, both Ohio State and Michigan have made an effort to schedule matchups versus top-tier teams.
This has been evident in the past decade or so as Michigan has played teams like Alabama, Notre Dame and Oregon, and Ohio State has played teams like Texas, Miami (Fla.) and USC. This trend will continue.
Over the many years of college football, both Ohio State and Michigan have been excellent at getting top-notch recruits to come play for their programs. This is one thing that hasn't changed in this rivalry, and both Meyer and Hoke are recruiting better than any other coach in the conference.
Perhaps recruiting is the recipe for these two teams' success over the years. After all, both teams are in the Top Five in the country in terms of total wins, and there are a combined 18 national championships between the two of them. That's pretty impressive.
And people wonder why the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is considered to be one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports.
1. Successful Head Coaches
In Brady Hoke's first year as the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines (2011), he led them to an 11-2 record, their first-ever victory in a BCS bowl game in over a decade, and their first victory over archrival Ohio State in eight years. That's pretty impressive for a first-year coach.
Even though his team is only 5-3 this season, you can bet he still has the "winningest program in all of college football" on the right track going forward.
On the flip side, Ohio State happens to have a two-time national champion as their head coach. Wherever Urban Meyer has been, he has been nothing but spectacular in his coaching career. That hasn't changed as Ohio State is off to their first 9-0 record since the 2007 season.
When you consider how the Buckeyes only went 6-7 last year, it's very evident that Meyer has the potential to flat-out dominate in the Big Ten Conference.
Did I mention how these two head coaches are excellent in the recruiting department? I am very optimistic about the future of these two programs.
As I close out all of my Ohio State articles, God bless and GO BUCKS!