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Better ‘development’ is why Michigan football has owned Ohio State

According to college football analyst Josh Pate, development is why Michigan football has been a better program than Ohio State.



Michigan football, Mason Graham, Alabama, Rose Bowl, injury
Junfu Han-USA TODAY Sports

At some point, the results on the field have to matter right? Michigan football has dominated the Big Ten conference and Ohio State for three straight seasons.

Buckeye fans can point to “cheating” all they want. It’s a coping mechanism because their program folded against Michigan football in three straight games. The Wolverines won them by an average of 14 points. It had nothing to do with signs, especially because Ohio State stole Michigan’s signs too.

We can go on and on. The reality is that both sides probably bent the rules, just like every other major college football program. But that wasn’t the reason Michigan beat Ohio State in 2023, 2022, or 2021.

The reason Michigan football has had a better program the past three seasons, according to Josh Pate of 247 Sports, is simply “development.”

Michigan is better at developing players than Ohio State

“Ohio State recruits better than Michigan,” Pate said. “Have they developed as good as Michigan the past three years? I don’t think so. Have they beaten Michigan on the field in the past three years? No, I don’t think so. We have to value that.”

Ohio State fans are quick to point to recruiting wins this offseason and Michigan’s current recruiting ranking as signs that the Wolverines are down really big. Only, Michigan’s class was ranked similar at this stage in the 2023 class. U-M still found a way to beat the Buckeyes in “The Game” that fall.

It’s almost as if recruiting rankings don’t directly correlate to on-field results. If they did, Ryan Day wouldn’t be enduring a three-game losing streak to the Wovlerines and Ohio State fans wouldn’t have lost their fragile grip on reality.

Like, it’s cool that Ohio State signed another 5-star receiver. No team will ever have more passing talent than the 2021 Ohio State Buckeyes and they still got dominated.

Sherrone Moore has to prove himself

Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant were both three-star recruits when they committed to Michigan. Now, every single college football team wants them and is trying to pay millions to steal them. Scouting and development matters. Ryan Day isn’t as good at it as Urban Meyer — definitely not the development part.

Sherrone Moore still has to prove himself. Make no mistake. Jim Harbaugh was the best head coach in college football for a reason. Replacing him won’t be easy. But if Ohio State fans haven’t learned that success is about more than recruiting rankings over the past three seasons, as Pate has finally grasped, then it won’t happen.

Let Ohio State fans celebrate their recruiting wins and “offseason championships”. I’ll take wins in “The Game” and actual championships, which they haven’t won since 2020.

But hey, when Ryan Day is asked about going 0-3, he can at least say he signed higher-ranked recruiting classes.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided where he has covered the Michigan Wolverines since 2016. With family ties to Detroit, Chris has been a Wolverines diehard since the day he was born and attacks every blog with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. Chris is also a Heisman Trophy voter.