News flash: Ohio State players don’t like Wisconsin, and the feeling is probably mutual.
Wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown would seem to have a political career in his future with this kind of quote: “I don’t want to go on record saying that I hate Wisconsin more than Michigan, but I hate Wisconsin just as much as Michigan.”
Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins was even more to the point: “I really don’t like them, to tell you the truth. I’m sure they probably hate us too, but I really don’t care what they think.”
When did relations between the Buckeyes and Badgers become so strained that officiating crews have often had to set up pregame DMZs at midfield? You can thank the personable Barry Alvarez for that.
I’ve told this story before but it bears repeating. My first visit to Camp Randall Stadium was in 1990, one of the early years during the John Cooper era. That was back when it always seemed Ohio State got within a whisker of going to the Rose Bowl only to lose to Michigan and wind up playing at 11 o’clock in the morning on New Year’s Day in some nondescript central Florida bowl game.
Anyway, I don’t remember too much about the trip other a 35-10 win by the Buckeyes and sitting beside a nice lady on the flight back from Madison. She was a relative of Wisconsin defensive tackle Don Davey, and I told her that Ohio State needed only to beat Michigan the following week to achieve its first Rose Bowl trip in six years. I remember her eyes widening as she said something like, “The Rose Bowl? Really? Heck, we’d settle for any bowl.”
The Buckeyes – as they often did in that era – went on to lose a particularly heart-wrenching 16-13 decision to Michigan, and then they lost to Air Force in the Liberty Bowl in one of the most heartless performances I have ever seen from a football team. But at least Ohio State made the postseason. In 1990, Davey was one of the very few stars Wisconsin had on its way to an 0-8 finish in the Big Ten and a 1-10 overall record.
That marked the sixth consecutive losing season for the Badgers and they eventually ran that string to eight in a row. Then they hired Alvarez and the rest is history.
Read the rest by clicking on this link: Rea's Say Blog: Nov. 16.