Friday, December 21, 2007

Watch out Buckeyes, Rich Rodriguez Cleans House

I lived in Ohio for a number of years and know firsthand what a big deal the Ohio State Michigan rivalry is. Michigan just hired Rich Rodriguez, formerly the coach at West Virginia, to replace coach Lloyd Carr. Rodriguez is taking over in a big way, he just fired all of Carr's assistant coaches. Here's a snippet from the AP story.
Rich Rodriguez fired Michigan's assistant coaches Thursday, his second day as an employee of the school.

Rodriguez met with the coaches one by one at Schembechler Hall, as retiring coach Lloyd Carr packed up his belongings in boxes, clearing space for his successor.

"I can understand that he wants to bring in the people that have been with him for years," defensive coordinator Ron English told The Associated Press after having dinner with the coaching staff. "But when you lose your job, it's hard."

Merry Christmas, eh?

Actually, I don't blame him. If you're not from the area, here's a little snippet from the wikipedia article about the rivalry.

The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry is the intense rivalry between the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University football teams. It has attracted particular national interest over the last four decades as most of the games have determined the Big Ten Conference title and the resulting Rose Bowl match ups, and many have influenced the outcome of the national collegiate football championship. The game was ranked by ESPN in 2000 as the greatest North American sports rivalry.

The annual matchup between the two Midwest state schools has been held at the end of the regular season since 1935. In 1942 both schools played one more regular season game the week after their matchup in Columbus. Michigan played Iowa at home and Ohio State hosted Iowa Navy Pre-Flight. In 1986 and 1998 Michigan concluded their regular season with trips to Honolulu to play Hawaii. Since 1918, the game's site has alternated between Columbus, Ohio, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has been played in Ohio Stadium since 1922 and Michigan Stadium since 1927.

During 1835-36, the State of Ohio and the Michigan Territory engaged in a brief and bloodless border dispute known as the Toledo War. Some have proposed that the football rivalry is a modern manifestation of this historical tension.

Michigan leads the series all time 57-41-6.

Want to get an idea how big these programs are?
Here's a list of Ohio State football players currently playing professional football;
Ohio State
Will Allen (26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers FS
Tim Anderson (93) Atlanta Falcons DT
Rodney Bailey (91) Arizona Cardinals DE
LeCharles Bentley (57) Cleveland Browns C
Bobby Carpenter (54) Dallas Cowboys LB
Drew Carter (18) Carolina Panthers WR
Brandon Childress New England Patriots WR
Adrien Clarke (61) New York Jets G
Nate Clements (22) San Francisco 49ers CB
Doug Datish Atlanta Falcons C
Na'il Diggs (53) Carolina Panthers OLB
Mike Doss (21) Minnesota Vikings DB
Tyler Everett Minnesota Vikings DB
Dustin Fox (35) Buffalo Bills DB
Simon Fraser (75) Cleveland Browns DE
Joey Galloway (84) Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR
Chris Gamble (20) Carolina Panthers CB
Ted Ginn Jr. (19) Miami Dolphins WR
Terry Glenn (83) Dallas Cowboys WR
Anthony Gonzalez (11) Indianapolis Colts WR
Marcus Green New Orleans Saints DT
Roy Hall (83) Indianapolis Colts WR
Ben Hartsock (88) Tennessee Titans TE
A.J. Hawk (50) Green Bay Packers OLB
Santonio Holmes (10) Pittsburgh Steelers WR
Kevin Houser (47) New Orleans Saints LS
Michael Jenkins (12) Atlanta Falcons WR
Nick Mangold (74) New York Jets C
Brandon Mitchell Houston Texans DB
Donnie Nickey (23) Tennessee Titans DB
Mike Nugent (1) New York Jets K
Shane Olivea (70) San Diego Chargers T
Orlando Pace (76) St. Louis Rams T
David Patterson (66) Atlanta Falcons DL
Kenny Peterson (97) Denver Broncos DE
Ryan Pickett (79) Green Bay Packers DT
Quinn Pitcock (97) Indianapolis Colts DT
Antonio Pittman (30) St. Louis Rams RB
Rob Reynolds Tennessee Titans LB
Jay Richardson (98) Oakland Raiders DE
Nate Salley (33) Carolina Panthers DB
Anthony Schlegel (56) Cincinnati Bengals MLB
Darrion Scott (98) Minnesota Vikings DE
Rob Sims (67) Seattle Seahawks G
Antonio Smith Indianapolis Colts DB
Troy Smith (10) Baltimore Ravens QB
Will Smith (91) New Orleans Saints DE
Shawn Springs (24) Washington Redskins CB
Alex Stepanovich (69) Cincinnati Bengals C
Mike Vrabel (50) New England Patriots OLB
Tyson Walter (70) Green Bay Packers T
Donte Whitner (20) Buffalo Bills SS
Matt Wilhelm (57) San Diego Chargers ILB
Antoine Winfield (26) Minnesota Vikings CB
Ashton Youboty (26) Buffalo Bills CB

Here's the list of Michigan Football players currently in the pros.
B.J. Askew (35) Tampa Bay Buccaneers FB
Jason Avant (81) Philadelphia Eagles WR
David Baas (64) San Francisco 49ers G
Jeff Backus (76) Detroit Lions T
Ronald Bellamy Detroit Lions WR
Tom Brady (12) New England Patriots QB
Alan Branch (78) Arizona Cardinals DT
Steve Breaston (15) Arizona Cardinals WR
Prescott Burgess (54) Baltimore Ravens LB
Mark Campbell (80) New Orleans Saints TE
Todd Collins (15) Washington Redskins QB
Markus Curry San Francisco 49ers DB
Kevin Dudley New Orleans Saints RB
Tyler Ecker (88) Washington Redskins TE
Braylon Edwards (17) Cleveland Browns WR
Jay Feely (3) Miami Dolphins K
Larry Foote (50) Pittsburgh Steelers ILB
Ian Gold (52) Denver Broncos OLB
Jonathan Goodwin (76) New Orleans Saints G
Brian Griese (14) Chicago Bears QB
James Hall (96) St. Louis Rams DE
Leon Hall (29) Cincinnati Bengals CB
David Harris (52) New York Jets ILB
Victor Hobson (54) New York Jets OLB
Steve Hutchinson (76) Minnesota Vikings G
Marlin Jackson (28) Indianapolis Colts CB
Jon Jansen (76) Washington Redskins T
Dhani Jones (57) Cincinnati Bengals OLB
Bennie Joppru (47) Seattle Seahawks TE
Cato June (59) Tampa Bay Buccaneers OLB
Ty Law (24) Kansas City Chiefs CB
Roy Manning (95) Cincinnati Bengals LB
Grant Mason (41) Pittsburgh Steelers DB
Tim Massaquoi (49) Buffalo Bills TE
Shantee Orr (53) Jacksonville Jaguars OLB
Tony Pape San Diego Chargers G
Chris Perry (23) Cincinnati Bengals RB
Rueben Riley Carolina Panthers T
Jon Runyan (69) Philadelphia Eagles T
Anthony Thomas (28) Buffalo Bills RB
Amani Toomer (81) New York Giants WR
Jerame Tuman (84) Pittsburgh Steelers TE
Gabe Watson (98) Arizona Cardinals NT
Brandon Williams Cincinnati Bengals CB
Maurice Williams (74) Jacksonville Jaguars G
LaMarr Woodley (56) Pittsburgh Steelers LB
Pierre Woods (58) New England Patriots LB
Charles Woodson (21) Green Bay Packers CB

The rivalry? I'll bet there are people out there who know how many Michigan players and how many Ohio State players are in the pros, and are celebrating that their program has more.

I think Rich Rodriguez will be great for the rivalry. I was sad to see him leave West Virginia because I think he's and alum of that school, and he built that program from obscurity to national power. He'll be missed there, but look out Buckeyes!

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