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Opinion: Ohio State wins against Michigan on football field, loses in reality

OSU fans celebrate on the field after a game against Michigan on Nov. 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28. Credit: Jon McAllister / Asst. photo editor

OSU fans celebrate on the field after a game against Michigan on Nov. 29 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-28.
Credit: Jon McAllister / Asst. photo editor

Michigan lost Nov. 29, but they really won.

Nevertheless, Ohio State fans and students left the Horseshoe on Nov. 29 with a sense of accomplishment one can only get from standing idly and watching a group of men sweat and break themselves. These spectators — these tenacious pictures of martyrdom — carried a seat cushion in one hand, and in the other, a victorious sensation that they will likely use to gloat on Facebook and Twitter for the next 364 days. 

“We did it!” a group of OSU students probably chanted/thought while patting each other on the back and getting their postgame drink on at Chumley’s. “We beat Michigan!”

Now, if these students were named J.T. Barrett, Jeff Heuerman, Joey Bosa, Cardale Jones, Ezekiel Elliott or anyone else on the Buckeyes’ 2014 football roster, this would be an accurate statement, and such a triumphant high would be warranted.

Anyone else — student, faculty, alumni or fan: You, in fact, did not beat Michigan. 

You actually have an active part in losing to Michigan in a number of academic categories in which a college can be ranked.

Now, Michigan did lose in a matchup against OSU’s football team, 42-28, a little more than a week ago. In other words, about 0.2 percent (the proportion of football players) of the student body of University of Michigan were defeated by about 0.2 percent of the student body at Ohio State. 

OSU’s win was probably felt through the Columbus campus and beyond the entire weekend, and it will likely maintain its climax until next year’s game.

Michigan’s athletic defeat was probably felt by the Wolverines and Ann Arbor’s football fans, at minimum, for the three-or-so hours of the game’s duration, or, at maximum, until Sunday evening. 

What is constant between the two schools, though, is the rate at which the outcome of the game will realistically affect the potential profitability, future opportunities and overall well-being of any student not on the respective football team. 

Although there are no numbers or stats to back this up, I feel most people would agree Saturday’s win or loss has little to no effect on the future achievement of non-varsity-football-playing students at either school. (I’m open to compelling arguments, though.) 

In the realm of student achievement and national recognition, though — something that affects all students and alumni all 365 days of the year — Michigan is winning over OSU by more than the point value of a couple of touchdowns.

Let’s start with the “U.S. News and World Report” rankings — annual lists that rate national universities on different criteria.

In 2014, the website ranked Michigan at No. 29, while OSU was left out of the top 50 at No. 54. In this list, colleges are ranked based upon factors including reviews by administrators at peer institutions, student retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, alumni giving and graduation rate performance. 

But we can also get a little more specific about how much better Michigan is academically than OSU. Other “U.S. News and World Report” categories in which the Wolverines beat the Buckeyes include undergraduate business program (No. 4 to No. 20), undergraduate engineering program (No. 7 to No. 26), top public schools (No. 4 to No. 18), freshmen retention rate (97 percent to 93 percent) and graduate programs in education (No. 8 to No. 16), law (No. 10 to No. 31), public affairs (No. 12 to No. 29) and medical schools for research (No. 12 to No. 34).

Forbes ranked Michigan higher than OSU in its 2014 list of top colleges (No. 45 to No. 155) and business schools (No. 10 to No. 36). Also, Michigan graduates have a higher starting salary than OSU grads ($54,000 to $46,200), according to PayScale. 

And for those who argue that college rankings are meaningless, biased and should be ignored, let’s agree to disagree, then. Sure. College rankings don’t matter — just like football rankings. 

This is not to say that sports are not important to colleges, universities and life in general. Sports are an outlet for camaraderie and a sense of belonging that fulfill a basic need of human interaction. Beyond that, these sports are essential to the amount of revenue many academic institutions depend on to fund the means of its earned ranking.

And when it comes to money from sports, OSU and Michigan are on a pretty even playing field — in 2013, Michigan brought in more than $143 million from NCAA sports while OSU brought in more than $139 million, according to USA Today

However, I acknowledge that, ultimately, it’s not about who can pump more money into academics and who has the higher ranking in the “U.S. News and World” report’s annual list. 

It’s about the lifestyle of students on campus, smart hires in faculty, jumping on research opportunities, aiding in job searches before and after graduation, supporting already-successful departments and helping those that could use it.

And, according to various statisticians, educators and data, Michigan wins.

So, if we are going to beat Michigan, let’s do it in that. 

121 comments

  1. Dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

  2. If there’s a way in which Michigan is beating Ohio State in anything, it’s because OSU continues to accept half wits like this author into their school.

  3. Danielle, you probably drive a Prius and enjoy the smell of your own farts.

  4. She doesn’t even go here!!!

  5. What a disheartening, unfortunate article. Congrats on having an opinion, but if you look so poorly on this school, go somewhere else. We don’t want you here.

    Hope you enjoy your little 15 minutes of controversy.

  6. 1. I appreciate your article. It shows many feelings I have felt while at Ohio State. Academics should be greater than sports, but that isn’t often the case here (one brings in significant money, the other doesn’t). The fact that you can recognize this shows an exceptional amount of maturity and intelligence, and Ohio State is lucky to have you. Your lack of ignorance is exactly what we need. I applaud you.

    2. I am extremely proud of the Lantern for publishing this article. It takes a big risk to publish something that may not be received well, which demonstrates your maturity as a newspaper. You are doing a wonderful job at doing your job!

    3. I do have to argue that I think the band won on the field that Saturday as well, though I do have a lot of respect for the Michigan Marching Band.

  7. Im graduating this semester (3.5 years) from The Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University and will be making 80,000 a year to start out. Please just place yourself in the group “losing to Michigan”. Myself and the rest of these fine Americans will keep on singing Carmen and laughing at how easy it is to get Ann Arbor in the sheets.

  8. Someone please fire this editor.

  9. I don’t think this is truly an appropriate article. The football team did win the game on Saturday, yes, but as students of this university it shouldn’t be looked down upon for supporting the team of our own school and feeling some sense of unity within the win. Michigan may have a better educational program in different facets, but there are multiple reasons contributing to this and considering The Lantern is a student newspaper, it’s not necessarily up to and easy for the student body to raise our academics and ratings to that of Michigan’s, and especially not in a football season time span. Having a significant jump in ratings takes time, and it’s ignorant to think that students of the Ohio State University aren’t trying their best in classes. Honestly, as a fellow student it’s flat out insulting.
    I understand your attempt in this article but if anything it promotes disunity within the campus and says that OSU students aren’t working as hard academically as UM students (which is false). The items that you’re critiquing OSU students on in this article (business school rankings, etc) are largely out of the hands of an everyday student.
    This university is continuously working at improving itself, and your critique on the progress is unnecessary and offensive.
    This is one of the first times I’ve looked at something posted on the lantern and I’m severely disappointed. I don’t plan on using this news source with the knowledge that things of this nature are going to be posted.
    With that being said, go bucks!

  10. Actually the rankings are wrong. TSUN is 29 and tOSU is 55. So Forbes is not always correct in what they say.

    colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities/

  11. Az an OSU grud with 4 pt gpa i can says dat dis artikle is ful of liez.

  12. Look at all these angry Buckeyes…

  13. I’m a Michigan kid, born and raised just outside of Detroit. I had my choice of attending either Michigan OR Ohio State. My decision was a no-brainer. I sent my acceptance letter to Ohio State without a doubt in my mind that I was going to the institution that was better for my academic career and my growth as a person. I visited Michigan with high hopes, and came away feeling like they held their institution above their students, giving off an aura that the students were lucky to even be there. The collective arrogance was appalling and it rubs off on a lot of its graduates, many of whom believe they are automatically superior to everyone else because of their school, not their individual intelligence. All I heard in Ann Arbor was why Michigan was great, not what the school would do for me. Ohio State called me once a week, asking how I was and often times not talking about my college decision at all. During each visit, OSU showed what they could do for ME. I can’t even begin to describe how much more Ohio State has invested in me in my four years than Michigan could ever dream of.


  14. Danielle is simply saying she thinks there should be improved lifestyle of OSU students on campus, smarter hires in faculty, aggressive seeking out of research opportunities, more aid in job searches before and after graduation, and more support for already successful departments and improvement for those departments that need it. Makes sense to me. ”

    But Danielle did not say that. Danielle only looked at the negative aspects and did not make suggestions. Really this was just an insulting article to the progress of this institution and that is why this is an incredibly poorly written article. It saddens me that the school newspaper chooses such poor writers who lack critical thought and analytical skills.

  15. Oh, to the person who compared us to a lesser Michigan State? That’s absolutely absurd, MSU is one of the biggest party schools in the country who’s farrrrr below Ohio State in every major ranked category.

  16. I agree with the person above who said that while the author probably intended to inspire an increasing excellence in Ohio State academics, she went about it the entirely wrong way.

    Danielle, even if you are not a football fan of The Ohio State, you are still a student here, and should not belittle the school spirit of your peers. This, I think, is where you went wrong. While I am not the most avid of football fans here (there are many others who could name more players, stats, etc.), I still take pride in the tradition that the sport brings to the school. The sports here make me proud to be a Buckeye, but that does not diminish the fact that I am also proud for what I have accomplished personally at Ohio State academically. Attacking people for having school spirit does not prove your point that we don’t care about our academics, and for you to say such a thing is an insult to every student here.

    While the rankings on those lists that you mentioned ARE important, what’s also important is recognizing the improvement OSU has made over the years to become higher ranked on those lists that you so ardently argue are THE MOST important sign that Ohio State is “losing” to Michigan in every aspect except football. Be proud and grateful that YOU are a Buckeye, because I know there are many people who didn’t get in (because it IS academically competitive), and who would be glad to take your place.

  17. I’m incredibly disappointed with this article. I agree, the author has the right to her own opinion, and I am not disputing that. However, I am a firm believer that, if you want to argue your opinion on a public forum, it should at the very least be well-supported. As many who commented before me pointed out, there are reasons UM is ranked higher in many categories than our own university, so I won’t repeat them. However, those reasons in no way put anyone else in a position to disparage the progress our University has made over the past decades.

    I am a senior at Ohio State, and terrified of graduating, finding myself in the real world, and all of the stress and responsibility that comes with that. However, there is one thing that gives me comfort. In whatever city I end up in, there will be Ohio State graduates; people who have had the same experiences, jumped in the same lake, sat in the same classrooms, and yes, cheered on the same football team. Wherever I go, whether it be across the country, or across the ocean, when yelling “OH”, I firmly expect to hear a reaffirming “I0”. Not every experience at Ohio State is identical, but what IS identical is the overwhelming sense of pride that is woven through one’s time at Ohio State, and what that pride does for each student as they graduate and move into their lives beyond undergrad. To not recognize that in this article is, to me, a misrepresentation of everything this university stands for.

    I am truly sorry that your experience at Ohio State does not seem to have been what it could have been. But please don’t tear down the progress of an entire student body, and write so condescendingly of the incredible experiences we have access to simply by being students at a top ranked university. It is embarrassing for you, it is embarrassing to every faculty member and graduate who has worked incredibly hard to get Ohio State where it is today, and it is embarrassing to myself as a current student. I may be nervous to graduate and move to a new city, but I can’t wait for the day that I walk into my first Ohio State bar and am able to hand out high fives and hugs to total strangers, simply because those student athletes you seem to think so little of scored a touchdown.

  18. For anyone wondering, Danielle is one of the lead editors of the paper, thus giving her the only chance to publish such garbage. It’s always entertaining to me to listen to the opinions of people who dont like or “understand” sports, as if everybody is supposed to feel or like the things they only like, because otherwise you’re less of a person for not being as articulate or artistic as others.If you don’t get sports or like it, then that’s fine. Don’t try to belittle people who do and understand it. It makes you look petty and classless.

  19. To those who said that football adds to the quantity and quality of applicants, you are only half-right. While schools with athletic success do see an increase in applications in the year(s) following those feats, the actual quantity remains unchanged. The average scores remain unchanged and the number of acceptances remain unchanged. Basically, the people who are applying to schools that are successful athletically are not going to be the stronger students that enhance the applicant pool and therefore the student population. This shouldn’t come as a total surprise, as the students who enhance the universities academically are more interested in the research and teaching side than the athletics the school offers. That is why Ivy league schools continue to reign supreme despite having little to no investment or success athletically.

  20. As the responses indicate, you don’t mess with Emperor Football in the Buckeye Nation.