By: Jeff Riger
There was a whole lot to like about Michigan’s 70-60 win at Ohio State on Tuesday night. Derrick Walton Jr. delivered another impressive performance, the Wolverines finally won on the road in Columbus and the team also rebounded impressively from the beat down they took in Iowa over the weekend. All in all, to thump the Buckeyes in their own building by double digits while regaining control of first place in the conference is a job well done on a frigid mid-February night.
But that is not what this blog is about; instead I chose to cover a much more important issue. You see, before the game ESPN showed John Beilein’s speech to his team. It’s actually pretty cool. Beilein seems like one of the few coaches that doesn’t have a problem with letting camera’s record his rituals before a game. I must admit that I’m always a little shocked that Beilein isn’t more fired up during these speeches, but getting to see it is still worth a view.
Of course, then things got ridiculous.
Beilein and his staff referred to Ohio State as “Ohio.”
This “Ohio” thing has to end. It makes Michigan look so bad and opens themselves up to be ridiculed by everyone else. Brady Hoke started it and why Beilein would continue it is beyond me? I understand school unity and all, but this has gone too far.
I remember the first time I heard Hoke say it, I just figured he forgot the “State” part of their name. But I was wrong; instead he wanted it to be his thing. I’m not even sure he knows why he does it, but that doesn’t seem to stop him. Forget the fact that Hoke is 1 and 2 against Ohio State; the term just doesn’t make sense. It’s not even insulting to the Buckeyes. Ohio is an actual school, the Bobcats which you already know, so why call the Buckeyes that? Is Hoke trying to say that Ohio State plays like a Mid-American Conference school, like Ohio? Is that the thought process? Because if it is, than Hoke should be happy that a “MAC” school has owned Michigan in what seems like forever now.
But I guess, what else do you expect from the guy that has turned Michigan football into the laughing stock that it currently is?
I expect more from Beilein!
Beilein should try to distance himself from Hoke instead of copying his terminology.
Beilein has done a fantastic job at Michigan. He goes to the tournament every year, he was in the National title game last season and most importantly, he has put the program back on the map. He doesn’t have to ride on the football teams coat tails. He doesn’t need to use Hoke’s term? Why would he want to?
Plus did Beilein also forget that “Ohio” actually beat him in the first round of the tournament two years ago? No, not the Buckeyes, it was the Bobcats that upset Michigan. You know the real Ohio team! You would think that experience alone would stop the “Ohio” chatter all together, but it didn’t.
Sure Ohio State calls Michigan “The School up North” but that at least makes sense. Michigan indeed is a school up north from Columbus. I’m not saying not to call the Buckeyes names. I love name calling and smack talking. Just call them a name that actually insults them.
The whole thing is actually very confusing to tell you the truth. Why call a school the name of another school?
Could you imagine if Ohio State started doing the same thing?
If they called Michigan State “Michigan?”
Now that would be confusing and insulting all at the same time. Maybe they should look into that.
Tuesdays game was the Wolverines and Buckeyes only meeting of the season however if they do play again, whether it be in the Big Ten tournament or the Big Dance, I beg Beilein to do the right thing. Call them by their real name; drop the whole “Ohio” thing.
If Hoke wants to continue it, let him, maybe he believes if he says “Ohio” enough than the Buckeyes will actually play like the Bobcats and Michigan will stand a better chance.
Michigan basketball seems to be everything that Michigan football isn’t these days; a winner. It’s time they start talking like one. Isn’t it?
Oh, one more thing.
Can we stop with this absurd belief that Ohio State is Michigan’s main rival?
We all know they’re not; Michigan State is even if nobody will ever admit it.
But I guess that’s a different blog for a different day.