It's a seven-day stretch that Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes look forward to all year, but they're required to show restraint and focus on the week-to-week grind that comprises a college football season.
The moment the clock struck zero on Ohio State's 42-14 victory over Indiana last Saturday, Michigan week officially kicked off. And with that, the Buckeyes could finally give their full attention to their most hated rival.
Meyer, who grew up in Ashtabula, Ohio, was raised in a time when Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler were forming the backbone of college football's greatest rivalry. According to Jeff Svoboda of Buckeye Sports Bulletin, that upbringing formed his perspective of "The Game":
I grew up in the Ten-Year War. I learned to dislike Michigan at a very young age, but you never truly appreciate (the rivalry) until you're behind the walls here and see how serious it really is.
This year's edition of the rivalry game is producing one of the more slanted betting lines from oddsmakers. According to Vegas Insider, the Buckeyes will be favored by two touchdowns this Saturday.
Carlos Hyde, the bruising running back from Naples, Fla., has been in Columbus long enough to know how special the Michigan game is, and more importantly, that the Wolverines will be ready to play.
“I’m expecting That Team Up North to bring their ‘A’ game,” Hyde said, according to Kyle Rowland of Eleven Warriors. “We are certainly going to bring ours. It’s going to be an exciting game, my last against them."
Some Buckeyes, such as freshman playmaker Dontre Wilson, will be getting their first taste of the rivalry.
“I heard it was the best rivalry in all of sports. Not just in college or the NFL, but all of sports,” Wilson said, via Rowland's article. “To be honest, I don’t really know that much about it. I’m sure going to find out soon though.”
It's not just the football team preparing for the Michigan game. Across Ohio State's campus, the letter "M" is being treated like an unseemly blemish that needs covered up.
Michigan week isn't just a seven-day period for the Ohio State football team to prepare for the Wolverines. Michigan week is a celebration that all of Buckeye Nation participates in.
It's easy to see that the festivities are underway in Columbus.
David Regimbal is the Ohio State Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.
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