For much of the Cold War -- and the entire Ten-Year War -- I seem to recall my middle school history book noting there were four superpowers: the United States, Soviet Union, Ohio State and Michigan. The Big Ten was mocked as the Big Two and the Little Eight. In Woody Hayes' final 11 seasons in Columbus (1968-78), the Buckeyes lost more than one league game just twice. Up North, meanwhile, Bo Schembechler was a regular conference bully, winning 85 percent of his league games in 21 seasons at Michigan.
Those days are gone, but for how long? Urban Meyer and Brady Hoke appear to have little interest in the concept of parity. After OSU and UM both landed top-five recruiting classes this year, the rivals are cleaning up with the Class of 2013. Scout.com's first rankings of the nation's 2013 classes put Michigan atop the field and Ohio State at No. 4. The Buckeyes have secured commitments from eight of Scout.com's top 125 players, including five-star defensive end Joey Bosa from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Michigan has signed a staggering 15 four- or five-star recruits.
Yes, these projections mean little. And schools like Wisconsin, Nebraska and Penn State have the resources and tradition to play with the big boys. But it is little wonder why many believe we are on the verge of the next great chapter in the rivalry's history. Not a bad time to be a football fan in Northwest Ohio.
Here's the full list of Scout.com's 2013 recruiting rankings:
3. Texas A&M
4. Ohio State
5. Notre Dame
9. Florida State
12. Penn State
20. Michigan State