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Urban Meyer keeps Ohio State-Michigan rivalry heated

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 26: Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer during the game against the Michigan Wolverines on November 26, 2016, at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, OH. Ohio State Buckeyes Won 30-27 in double overtime. (Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire)
Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire

The best rivalry in college football is losing a bit of its luster. The hatred between Michigan and Ohio State traces back to the days of dinosaurs, though it’s been one-sided over the last decade-plus, which doesn’t exactly fit the criteria of a “rivalry.”

The Buckeyes have reeled off five straight under Urban Meyer since he took the post in 2012, as well as 12 of the last 13. What was once must-watch television on late November Saturdays has turned into full-on bragging rights for Meyer and Ohio State — yawn. What rivalry?

Wait.

How about some gasoline to pour on the flickered flames?

“There’s nothing funny when we talk about the Team Up North,” Meyer said at a coaches clinic. “I see people smile. I see people say, ‘That must be funny … I’m going to go wear blue to their practice.’

“I don’t smile about that. This is real. This is not a game … I’m putting my life into this thing. Are you kidding me? We don’t joke about that around here.”

Maybe a bit of a stretch to call a fall Saturday life or death, but whatever Meyer’s preaching as of late has worked in the Buckeyes’ favor. Michigan’s had absolutely no answer for Ohio State, whether it be Brady Hoke, Rich Rodriguez or Harbaugh at the helm; even Lloyd Carr’s tenure in Ann Arbor finished with a 1-6 record against their nemesis.

Alabama-LSU? Oklahoma-Texas? Florida-Florida State?

Thanks to the Wolverines’ kryptonite of scarlet and grey, the mainstays of college football are slowly being supplanted for the best feud in the sport. Ironic as it may be, Meyer may have done Michigan its best favor of staying relevant through the rough patch.

So while Meyer and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh may exchange small talk during their 50-yard line meet-and-greet prior the heated battles, the former is keeping the rivalry well intact.

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