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When Lloyd Carr went against John Cooper the rivalry was dominated by the Wolverines. Since Jim Tressel has been at Ohio State, The Game has been dominated by the Buckeyes.
The rivalry, however, extends beyond the field. The Wolverines and Buckeyes go head-to-head for many of the same recruits. Carr did a very good job of recruiting the state of Ohio, particularly against Cooper.
It starts all over again with Rich Rodriguez at the helm in Ann Arbor.
|Terrelle Pryor's decision to attend Ohio State was a major recruiting victory for Jim Tressel.|
As soon as Rodriguez was hired at Michigan the first major battle between the new Wolverine coach and Tressel was on. Terrelle Pryor, the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the prep class of 2008, immediately announced he was considering the Maize and Blue.
Pryor narrowed things down to Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Oregon before going with the Buckeyes. Round 1 went to Tressel.
Subsequent battles have been dominated by Tressel as well.
Eight Class of 2009 prospects who held scholarship offers from both Ohio State and Michigan have selected one of the two schools. Seven have committed to Ohio State. Running back Jordan Hall (Jeannette, Pa.), wide receiver James Jackson (Grand Ledge, Mich.), offensive lineman Corey Linsley (Youngstown, Ohio/Boardman), defensive end Melvin Fellows (Garfield Heights, Ohio), defensive tackle Adam Bellamy (Aurora, Ohio), linebacker Dorian Bell and defensive back Corey Brown (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) all decided to play their college football in Columbus. Only defensive back Justin Turner (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) decided to play for the Maize and Blue rather than the Buckeyes.
|Dorian Bell selected Ohio State over the Wolverines.|
Like Berry, tight end Dion Sims (Orchard Lake, Mich./St. Mary's) has scholarship offers on the table from Michigan and Ohio State. Sims is considering official visits to both schools.
So far a big edge goes to Tressel in head-to-head recruiting battles with Rodriguez. But Rodriguez had a late start in those battles. The real test begins with the prep Class of 2010. The two coaching foes will be on even ground for that class and subsequent classes. Those battles will be worth watching.