UW Health Sports Medicine 

The Voice: Badgers can deal with budding OSU rivalry

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The_Voice_Matt_Lepay_200.jpgIt is official. Folks in Buckeye Nation really dislike the Badgers.

Maybe not any more than they dislike anything associated with the University of Michigan, but from all appearances last Sunday in Columbus, there is very little difference these days.

As our radio crew arrived at Value City Arena, all was quiet for about 10 minutes. Then the doors opened, the students came streaming into the facility, and the catcalls were underway.  
"Hey Bruesewitz, you (bleep)! Hey Jordan Taylor, you (bleep) too!"

One of the OSU students came up to us and said "I just want to apologize for what we are going to be saying today. It's not about you guys--it's about THEM!!" as he pointed to the Badger players taking their warm up shots.  

Great. Thanks for the heads up. With our broadcast location right by the Wisconsin bench, we figured we were going to be in for a long day, with FCC violations just waiting to happen.

Thankfully, to the best of our knowledge, there were no such issues. The students were wound up, firing verbal volleys at Bo Ryan and his team all day long, but it seemed to be PG-rated stuff. In the end, the Buckeyes had their way with a lopsided victory and a Big Ten title party.

Congrats, but that win for the Badgers in Madison still counts. The season series is 1-1.

Beyond the crowd, the pregame indoor fireworks and all the other hoopla, the real story was Ohio State, and Jon Diebler in particular, going Jordan Taylor on the Badgers.

On Sunday afternoon, there was not a team in America that could have beaten the Buckeyes.

After Taylor dropped 39 on Indiana last Thursday, I asked him what it is like when it seems as though you can make shots blindfolded. He said "You can throw up 'doo-doo' at the basketball hoop and it will probably go in. It's great if you are on the winning team. If not, then it is not so much fun."

So in the span of a few days, the Badgers gave and received such a performance. In the Bo Ryan era, the Badgers certainly have dished out such efforts far more than they have had to take them. This year alone Taylor has had games -- or stretches of games -- when he simply would not miss. Just ask Ohio State. Everyone in the Big Ten knows it, which goes a long way in explaining why it is a big deal when the Badgers come to town.

It certainly was a big deal last Sunday. Ohio State had the outright title clinched before the game, but to their fans, the rematch with the Badgers had an all-or-nothing feel to it. In sports, if an opponent truly hates you, that is quite the compliment because you must be causing some problems.

It is obvious the Badgers' football and basketball teams have gotten under the skin of the Buckeyes. That is what makes rivalries fun.

This time Ohio State had its day in the sun, and for that the Badgers tip their caps and move onto the next one. With Ryan, that philosophy never changes.

My guess is the Badgers will deal with it just fine.

1 Comment

Well, it's not basketball, but today you can't talk about the jockocracy that is osu without deferring to the mess surrounding Tressel and the whole school.

They can have their athletic institution, complete with their raging lack of class, their academic wannabee dreams, their massive inferiority complex when it comes to academics, and their fear of being confused with some MAC school or other, so that they've taken to calling themselves "The" ...

I'll take the Badgers and be happy with our overall athletic success, our superior academics, and the solid people we have running our institution.

Is there anyone in Columbus with any integrity?