Ohio State Football Still Head-and-Shoulders Better than Michigan

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJanuary 24, 2013

Ohio State is head-and-shoulders better than Michigan.
Ohio State is head-and-shoulders better than Michigan.Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

A top recruiting class, a great head coach and a known identity all make Ohio State head-and-shoulders better than Michigan.

When it comes to rivalries in college football, not many are ahead of the Wolverines and Buckeyes.

Just like Auburn-Alabama and Army-Navy, participants in "The Game" live for the final game of the regular season. For the victors, bragging rights last for a year as the losers have no response.

Lately, this rivalry has gone the way of the Buckeyes. Ohio State has officially won nine of the last 10 meetings as the 2010 game doesn't count in the rivalry record due to sanctions on Ohio State.

Still, the dominance is there for the Buckeyes and it doesn't look like it's going to end anytime soon.

When Rich Rodriguez was let go, a new era was ushered in with Brady Hoke. The Wolverines won an offensive shootout in 2011, 40-34.

Then 2012 came and things returned to normal as the Urban Meyer-led Buckeyes capped off an undefeated season with a 26-21 win.

So, what makes Ohio State still head-and-shoulders better than Michigan?


Top Recruiting Classes

Year-in and year-out the Buckeyes are getting better recruits than the Wolverines. While Hoke has helped boost Michigan further up the leaderboard, the fact is more top recruits are considering Ohio State.

This year, Rivals has the two schools within two places of one another, but when looking at the commitments for each school, it's really no contest.

Mike Mitchell is ranked No. 26 in Rivals' rankings and should make an immediate contribution at linebacker. Throw in No. 35 Jalin Marshall (athlete), No. 39 Cameron Burrows (defensive back) and No. 47 Joey Bosa (defensive end), and you have four players in the top 50.

The Buckeyes are also in on No. 32 Vonn Bell (defensive back) and No. 37 Marquez North (wide receiver).

Michigan's top recruit thus far is No. 70 Henry Poggi (defensive tackle) with No. 8 Derrick Green (running back) listing Michigan as one of his three finalists.

Last year, it was much of the same as the Buckeyes ranked No. 4, while Michigan ranked No. 7.

While still strong, Michigan still has some improvements to make if it ever wants to overtake Ohio State.



When it comes to coaching, there is simply no competition when it comes to Meyer and Hoke.

Meyer has two national championships from his days at Florida and likely would have been in the national title game again this year if not for the sanctions.

He's won 116 of the 139 games he has coached in and simply puts top teams on the field every year.

Hoke on the other hand is still getting his feet wet as a head coach in big-time football.

Prior to coming to Michigan, Hoke led San Diego State and Ball State. Other than a 12-1 season in 2008 at Ball State, Hoke hasn't put together any impressive seasons.

His first year at Michigan finished with a Sugar-Bowl win, an 11-2 record and a win over Ohio State. His team regressed this year after such high expectations.


Known Identity on Offense

Part of Michigan's problem last year was the roller coaster that accompanied Denard Robinson. After coming back from injury, Robinson was placed at running back where he had success.

But, the Wolverines didn't have a real identity from the time Robinson was injured, through his return and until the end of the season.

This year may bring something different with Robinson gone and Devin Gardner firmly set as the starter.

For Ohio State, it begins and ends with Braxton Miller. He can do it with both his arm and his legs.

The Buckeyes put the ball in his hands with the full confidence he'll make the right decision.

Can Michigan honestly say the same thing about its quarterback?



Michigan can continue to put up a top-10 recruiting class. Hoke can get better as a coach and the identity on offense will eventually settle in.

However, the Wolverines will constantly be comparing themselves to the Buckeyes.

And, until Michigan can string together a few wins over its biggest rival, they will never be in the same class as the Buckeyes.