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#pounditSaturday, November 26, 2022

ESPN analyst: Ohio State is beyond the Michigan rivalry

Jim Harbaugh

The college football rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State remains one of the best in sports, but it has been incredibly one-sided in recent years. Because of that, one former Buckeye believes the luster may be fading, at least for the team that has been doing all the winning.

Former Ohio State star wide receiver Joey Galloway, who now works as an ESPN analyst, said this week that he doesn’t think the Buckeyes are all that concerned with their biggest rival anymore. He said Ohio State is barely paying any attention when Jim Harbaugh and his players try to stoke the flames.

“Had they had some success in recent history, those things would be important. At this point, it doesn’t make sense. Ohio State doesn’t care about that stuff at this point,” Galloway said, via Nick Kosko of 247Sports. “Ohio State’s looking ahead of things like what Jim Harbaugh is saying. They’re thinking, how do we climb the Clemson hurdle, how do we get over the Alabama hurdle, what do we do when we get in the playoffs? We’re gonna win the Big Ten, then what do we do next?”

Galloway said Michigan needs to close the recruiting gap between them and Ohio State before they can compete with the Buckeyes again.

“Michigan needs to do a better job of knocking off some of those recruits that have been going to Ohio State so they can close that gap. And it’s not even close in recent years, it’s actually getting worse,” Galloway added. “And so, it is very important to Michigan, Ohio State’s looking beyond that.”

Galloway’s opinion probably isn’t shared by everyone at his alma mater, but it may not be the greatest sign for Ohio State. Justin Fields said two years ago that Ohio State has dominated Michigan so much recently because they have been more focused on the rivalry. If Galloway is right that the Buckeyes are now looking past it, Michigan may be able to take advantage of that.

Ohio State has won its last eight games against Michigan and 15 of the last 16. Harbaugh is trying to do what he can again this year to build up the resentment toward the Buckeyes, but nothing has worked since he took over at Michigan. If Ohio State is less concerned with the rivalry this year, perhaps the Wolverines can finally break through.

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