Arch-Rivals Stealing Headlines from Michigan and Notre Dame

Ted Leroux Correspondent ISeptember 12, 2008

There are storylines oozing out of this weekend's matchup featuring No. 5 Ohio State and No. 1 USC.

Storyline No. 1: Jim Tressel decides to list RB Chris Wells as out.

Storyline No. 2: How will Ohio State's "running back by committee" work against the most talented linebacking corps in the country?

Storyline No. 3: How much will freshman phenom QB Terrelle Pryor be used against USC?

With all of this, what happened to the once prestigious rivalry between the winningest programs in college football history, Michigan and Notre Dame?

This rivalry once had names like Anthony Thomas, David Terrell, Julius Jones, Ryan Grant and Carlyle Holiday. Now it has names like Jimmy Clausen, Armando Allen and... Stephen Threet?

I think it is obvious that this rivalry has lost some luster, but I'm going give some reasons why it could be on the rise. First of all, both teams have entered new eras by hiring new head coaches who should resurrect the programs.

Also, Charlie Weis and Rich Rodriguez are very good recruiters and should reel in a lot of top talent within five years.

Now, the most intriguing thing about this rivalry will be the different styles of play. Michigan is installing the Rodriguez spread, which requires a lot of speed and not a lot of power, a concept that will be hard for the "grind it out" Michigan fans to grasp.

Going against them is the pro-style West Coast attack from Charlie Weis, which requires big beefy linemen, quick running backs who can find the whole quickly, and receivers who can stretch the field when they use the play-action.

So while you are making a decision to buy Tostitos and Cheese for the Ohio State/USC game or watch the Michigan/Notre Dame game in the mid-afternoon on NBC, keep in mind that these are the two winningest programs in college football and they are not giving up the title any time soon.