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MnB B1G Preview: Know Your Foe - The Ohio State Version

And so it has come to this. It's no easy task to willingly and calmly discuss one's most-despised rival. Nothing I say here could be classified as new or long-lost information. Ohio State has been -- and always will be -- Michigan's most-storied rival. Let us know them thusly:


And now for something completely different.

Columbus does two things well: food and football. However, that doesn't excuse it from being The Den of Cheaters (as it was briefly known to all who searched for The Horeshoe on Google Maps once). I have never visited Columbus, but I know members of our MnB community have. In the comments, do share any C-bus horror stories, or, if on the off chance you were treated well, share that too. I'll update this post to include any hilarious anecdotes.

I do know one thing about Columbus, however. It appears to be so toxic, not even Kirk Herbstreit wanted to live there anymore, and moved his family to Tennessee.

The Food

Any upstanding Columbus native will tell you that there are a few must-visit restaurants around the city, and they're right. Schmidt's Sausage Haus and Thurman Cafe get it right. Columbus has an entire German district within its borders, dating back to the 1800's when many German immigrants settled in Ohio. All the food knowledge of that country followed them, and Schmidt's became a cult hit.

Half-pound vanilla and peanut butter fudge cream puffs? Is that Columbus, or Heaven? Schmidt's is a fixture at Ohio Stadium tailgates during football season as well, and it may be the greatest concentration of meatheads in one place, besides the OSU locker room.

The Thurman Cafe, also located in Columbus's German Village, serve their famous Thurman Burger stacked so high with fixings, meat and bun that it's as long as a Carlos Hyde run against Michigan. The building is so tiny the restaurant website has a live feed of the line out the door, to assist patrons with when to head over. Perhaps 3/4-pound burgers aren't your forte? They've got Coney dogs with secret family sauce or fresh jumbo chicken wings claiming to be as hot as 183,000 BTU's, which, is probably enough heat energy to light the Horseshoe and then some.

The Football

The beauty of Michigan-Ohio State is that it carries with it such weight and such name recognition, there never needs to be any sub-headlines or injection of manufactured excitement. The fervor on both sides of the Michigan-Ohio border takes care of that. The rivalry didn't start out that way of course. Fielding H. Yost set the foundation. Bo and Woody made it personal. Carr and Cooper made it one-sided, fueling the anger further. Then Tressel reversed all of that bad fortune. We don't yet know what Meyer and Hoke will do with the rivalry.

It's the lasting images of the football games themselves that got this rivalry to its current state. Two bands, one wearing block M uniforms, the other wearing black berets. Two helmets, one with bright wings, one covered in small buckeye stickers, often completely covering the sparkling gray paint. Two squads of the most gifted athletes in the country, most of them from either Michigan or Ohio -- some crossing the border to play for the hated rival. Archie Griffin running rampant over two consecutive Michigan defenses. John Kolesar crushing the dreams of Buckeyes everywhere with clutch catch after clutch catch to claim victories. Tim Biakabatuka doing the same crushing but on the ground. Troy Smith being lifted off the field in victory after what is still the greatest game in the series. Charles Woodson and Brian Griese putting the stake in the Scarlet and Gray menace to preserve a perfect season.

The rivalry endures because the people involved have made it what it is today.