Michigan vs Ohio State: Why Urban Meyer Is Poised to Dominate 'The Game' Rivalry

Randy ChambersAnalyst INovember 21, 2012

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 29:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts on the sideline while playing the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 29, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 17-16. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The rivalry between the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes has a chance really take off under the new head coaches that are running the programs. Brady Hoke has already given Michigan a sample size of success last season, while Urban Meyer is showing that there are bright days ahead for Ohio State.

When the two schools meet up for the big game this weekend at noon ET on ABC, it should be one of the rivalry games that you spend your Saturday afternoon watching.

But with both teams heading in the right direction under new coaching staffs, this rivalry will be more about what happens in the future. We have already seen the Buckeyes dominate this rivalry in the past, winning nine of the last 11 games and seven in a row before last year’s Wolverines victory.

Michigan better enjoy the success while it can because Meyer will look to control "The Game" moving forward.



There aren't many coaches in the country that can keep up with Meyer when it comes to recruiting. Every top recruit in the country is at least interested in the school that the coach is at, and many of them end up picking that side by the time it is time to sign that letter of intent. 

Last season, according to Scout.com, Ohio State had the third-best recruiting class in the country. A large part of that is because many top players left the current program they had given their verbals to and decided they wanted to team up with Meyer at Ohio State. Keep in mind a few of these players actually were planning on attending other Big Ten schools.

Michigan has the top recruiting class for 2013 so far, but Ohio State is not that far at No. 8, according to Scout.com. His coaching staff gets absolutely no days off, as they visited a total of 16 different states during this season's bye week to try and land as many top recruits as the seven days would allow.

To break things down for you even further, his staff is already focused on the 2014 class to get a head start on all of the competition.

All of that hard work has certainly paid off, as there are currently seven recruits from the state of Ohio that have given the Buckeyes their verbal for the 2013 class. What makes things even sweeter is that five of them are at least 4-star players.

Meyer has always been able to recruit loads of talented players everywhere he has coached, but it also has to do with the type of players he is able to convince to play for him that equals to his success.


The Players He Recruits

Brady Hoke has done a tremendous job of recruiting players during his couple of years at Michigan, but we have yet to really see how his classes will translate to his game. We have seen what Meyer is able to do, and the success rate is off the charts.

The Ohio State coach doesn't just try to convince every top player to play for his school. Instead, he carefully picks the players that will fit his system the best, and it really makes for an easy transition once more experienced players end up leaving the program.

Meyer always makes sure that he has a dual-threat quarterback that is more athletic than everyone else on the field, and he picks up speedsters at the skill positions to really make his spread offense work.

But this is a coach that was able to win two national championships in the SEC and knows that it is going to take a team built similar to those teams down south to beat them. This is why he has already snagged quality defensive players such as Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington and Joey Bosa of the 2013 class. It is those types of guys up front are going to make Ohio State an elite team for years to come.

He knows that it is going to take a remarkable defense to beat the SEC, and he is quickly building a dominant unit in the Big Ten by loading up on that side of the ball. The offense is always going to succeed with Meyer calling the shots; it is the defense that needs to be dominant, and the Buckeyes coach gets that.

Meanwhile, Hoke still has to recruit consistently on the defensive side of the ball, and his ability to land freakish athletes that can make a difference immediately has yet to be shown.


Track Record

If you had to pick one head coach right now to run your team, who do you have, Hoke or Meyer?

Even in you were born in Ann Arbor, consider yourself the biggest Michigan fan in the world and you are related to the Michigan head coach, you would be foolish to pick against Meyer.

This is taking nothing away from Hoke of course, but Meyer has a track record that every coach should strive to achieve.

He has won two national championships, never had a losing record in his coaching career, has won over 80 percent of his games and he has won four conference titles. That doesn't include the undefeated season he has this year, which could have resulted in another championship appearance if the Buckeyes weren't banned from the postseason. The success and the top-notch recruiting kind of go hand and hand.

As for Hoke, he had a nice little run with schools such as Ball State and San Diego State. He also surprised everybody last season with 11 wins during his first year at Michigan. However, he hasn't quite built the resume of Meyer or given you the feeling yet that he will become the next elite coach in college football.

As long as Meyer is the head coach and doesn't forget how to put his players in the best position to succeed, I'm going to pick Ohio State to dominate the Big Ten and this historic rivalry against the Michigan Wolverines.