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  • 27 Jun
    导出博客文章John Davis still owns a physical piece of the Big Tens Game of the Century. It
    sits in a plastic baggie in his mothers closet.Davis was a high school senior in
    Columbus, Ohio, in 2006, when he worked all summer in a TV repair shop to afford
    tickets to the Michigan-Ohio State game that season. After the No. 1 Buckeyes
    held off the No. 2 Wolverines 42-39, Davis and thousands of other fans ran onto
    the Ohio Stadium field and dug up their own souvenir patches of grass.Davis
    grabbed a hunk of turf near the 50-yard line. Ten years later, that
    once-pristine soil has degraded to become a few clumps of dirt, but the memories
    remain fresh. Hands down the best game Ive ever seen and the best game Ive ever
    been to, said Davis, now 28.No. 3 Michigan and No. 2 Ohio State look headed for
    another potential classic in the Horseshoe on Saturday (noon ET, ABC/ESPN App),
    and it naturally conjures up thoughts from a decade earlier. This will be the
    first top-five matchup between the two schools since Nov. 18, 2006, which
    featured the only showdown of Nos. 1 vs. 2 in 112 versions of the series.Even if
    Saturdays game turns into an instant classic, it would have a hard time matching
    its 2006 predecessor in hype, drama and circumstance. That game came before the
    College Football Playoff and Big Ten division era, meaning the winner would head
    straight to the national title game. It carried the tinge of tragedy, as
    Michigan legend Bo Schembechler died a little more than 24 hours before kickoff.
    The outcome decided the most recent Big Ten Heisman Trophy winner. And the game
    itself so thoroughly lived up to expectations that some called for a rematch in
    the BCS championship.It was one of those moments when you knew and you could
    feel that everybody in the entire country was watching you, said Doug Datish,
    the starting center for Ohio State in 2006. You could feel the enormity of it.It
    was a moment when two old archrivals stood atop the college football world.Ive
    never seen anything as big as this gameThe collision course between Ohio State
    and Michigan became apparent early on in 2006.The Buckeyes entered the season
    ranked No. 1 in both major polls and dispatched No. 2 Texas 24-7 in Austin in
    Week 2. The Wolverines, who were 14th in the preseason, beat the new No. 2 team,
    Notre Dame, 47-21 in South Bend in Week 3. From there on, each ripped through
    the Big Ten schedule.Maybe four or five weeks into the season, guys in our
    locker room started talking, said David Patterson,?who played defensive tackle
    for the Buckeyes. Hey, Michigan might be undefeated. We might both be
    undefeated.The Wolverines climbed to No. 2 in the second week of the BCS
    standings on Oct. 22, and the two teams would stay 1-2 until their season-ending
    clash the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It was the first time since 1973 that
    the two teams entered The Game undefeated. ESPNs College GameDay headed to
    Columbus, along with an HBO documentary crew. Ohio State issued a record number
    of media credentials, and the traditional noon kickoff time was moved to 3:30
    p.m. ET to increase exposure.Ohio State fan Austin Capell, who was in sixth
    grade at the time, remembers his elementary school outside of Dayton playing
    Buckeye Battle Cry over the loudspeakers the Friday before the game and O-H-I-O
    chants breaking out all during recess.Ive never seen anything as big as this
    game, said Bruce Madej, who served as Michigans sports information director from
    1982 to 2010. It was wild.Michigan-Ohio State week is always intense on both
    sides. Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel had former coach Earle Bruce deliver a
    fiery address to the team on Sunday night, and former star linebacker Jack Tatum
    gave a speech on Thursday night. The Wolverines had their own motivational
    speaker lined up for a Thursday talk: Bo Schembechler.The legendary coach was in
    poor health, and he skipped an appointment with a cardiologist to speak to the
    team, said his son, Shemy Schembechler. As late as Thursday afternoon, Shemy
    Schembechler said, Michigan coach Lloyd Carr tried to talk Bo out of the speech
    and to visit his doctor instead.But Bo said, Im speaking to the team if its the
    last thing I do, Shemy recalled.Tom Slade, a Michigan quarterback from the early
    1970s, had just died of leukemia a few days earlier. Schembechler told the
    Wolverines about the bond he still had with Slade and stressed how loyalty and
    brotherhood defined a Michigan man.It was a heartfelt speech, a pretty amazing
    speech, said Leon Hall, former Michigan cornerback now with the NFLs New York
    Giants. A lot of the reasons we are who we are at Michigan is because of him.
    The next morning, Schembechler died of a heart attack while preparing to tape
    his weekly TV show. Carr called a team meeting to break the news to the
    players.He told us that it doesnt change anything, said Garrett Rivas, the
    place-kicker for the 2006 Wolverines. We werent going to go Win for Bo, because
    thats not the way he would have wanted it. He wouldnt have wanted to take
    anything away from the rivalry. Suddenly, the immensely hyped game took on new
    meaning for the Wolverines.There was a pall over the game, just because he was
    such a significant part of not just Michigan but the Big Ten and nationally, Big
    Ten commissioner Jim Delany said. I remember there was kind of a depressed feel
    about it, a sadness.Youve got to win that last game of the yearThe bus ride from
    Ann Arbor to Columbus for a Michigan-Ohio State game is always interesting.
    Madej remembers rocks being thrown at the team bus, and one year a stone
    shattered a window. On a later trip, Madej and offensive lineman Jeff Backus
    decided to count how many middle fingers they saw aimed at them from Ohio State
    fans.We stopped counting when it got over triple digits, Madej said.The 2006
    trip, though, brought a different feel. For one, former Michigan quarterback
    Chad Henne recalls, there was a TV news helicopter following the bus all the way
    down U.S. 23. Fans lined the sides of the highway and overpasses with banners
    cheering the team on. Even Buckeyes fans held signs of support for Schembechler,
    who after all was from Barbeton, Ohio, and got his coaching start at Ohio State.
    With Michigans help, the Buckeyes put together a pregame tribute to
    Schembechler, followed by a moment of silence.The reception we got was amazing,
    Hall said.A spot in the BCS title game was on the line, but Tressel didnt talk
    about that all week with his team. He remembered the 2003 Michigan game, when
    the defending national champion Buckeyes, ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings,
    lost their chance to repeat when they fell to the Wolverines. Tressel thought
    they had focused too much on the bigger picture before that loss.We didnt make
    that mistake the rest of the time we were there, he said. So really in 2006, we
    didnt talk about the championship game at all. We talked about the Ohio
    State-Michigan game.The Wolverines and the Buckeyes had two of the best defenses
    in the country that season, and their games over the years were known for being
    low-scoring, physical affairs. The first signs that things would be different
    this time came early, as both teams marched for touchdowns on their opening
    possessions.The Buckeyes took a 14-point lead in the second quarter on a trick
    play. Wideout Ted Ginn Jr. lined up as a tight end on second-and-inches and
    streaked free for a touchdown pass after a fake handoff.We had worked on that
    play all year and we had never run it, Datish said. I remember when that play
    call came in, I thought, I guess thats why we put that thing in.Michigan
    answered every big Ohio State play and cut the lead to four points twice in the
    third quarter. The Buckeyes, though, had Troy Smith.Smith had been nursing a
    sore thumb for a few weeks and didnt play well the previous week against
    Illinois. Against Michigan, he threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns, wrapping
    up the Heisman in the process. Tressel recalled Smiths performance as one for
    the ages.I was able to channel some of my teammates energy and their vigor in
    wanting to get the game going, Smith said. I used that to block out whatever I
    was going to think about my thumb.Michigan looked to have gotten a crucial
    third-down stop in the fourth quarter, but Shawn Crable was called for a
    helmet-to-helmet hit on Smith as the quarterback ran out of bounds. The penalty
    gave Ohio State a first down, and theyd go on to score for a 42-31 lead.The
    Wolverines would score again, but the onside kick failed and Ohio State ran out
    the clock.We all had a sick feeling in our stomach, knowing we had let an
    opportunity slip away, Rivas said. I had a sour, disgusted taste in my
    mouth.Ohio State fans jubilantly rushed onto the field, many of them like Davis
    taking chunks of grass home as mementos. The school switched to synthetic Field
    Turf before the 2007 season.It was an amazing sight, said Malcolm Jenkins, an
    Ohio State DB now with the?Philadelphia Eagles. Fans literally tore up square
    footage of grass, threw them over their shoulders and walked out of the stadium.
    It was a magical day.How magical? The numbers 4-2-3-9 -- the same as the final
    score -- were drawn in the Ohio Lotterys Pick 4 game that evening. The Buckeyes
    were going to the national title game. Even more important, to them, they had
    beaten their rival.Whenever you get a chance to play in a national championship,
    its always cool and fine and dandy, Smith said. But Im from Ohio. If you want to
    feel safe around these parts, youd better pull out all of your tricks for that
    game, because its pretty important. Youve got to win that last game of the
    year.But should that have been the last Ohio State-Michigan game that
    season?Ohio State and Michigan were thisclose to a rematchTalk of a potential
    rematch began soon after the final horn. Recent precedent existed. Florida State
    beat Florida in its 1996 regular-season finale, and then the Gators got a
    rematch and downed the Seminoles 52-20 in the Sugar Bowl for the national title.
    Five years after the 2006 game, LSU and Alabama would stage a second meeting in
    the BCS championship game.Michigan had an argument, having lost to the No. 1
    team on the road by three points. But neither Carr nor the Big Ten publicly
    lobbied for the Wolverines.There was a system in place, Delany said. That would
    have been a mindless waste of energy, I would think.Urban Meyer had no such
    qualms. The day after the Michigan-Ohio State game, the then-Florida coach
    called the idea of a rematch unfair and said, If they do that, we should go to a
    playoff next year.Urban Meyer, he campaigned pretty much, Henne said. Coach
    Carrs a traditionalist and he did it his way. Thats the only thing that kind of
    bugged me, that we kind of sat back and let it go on and we got pushed out.Back
    in 2006, the Big Ten still finished its schedule before Thanksgiving week and
    did not have a championship game. Michigans season was over a full two weeks
    before Florida bolstered its case by beating Arkansas in the SEC title game.
    That lag was one of the reasons the Big Ten eventually extended its season past
    Thanksgiving and expanded to form divisions and a title game, said Ohio State
    athletic director Gene Smith.It was hard to break away from that tradition, but
    I think its better for our league, Smith said. We needed to have a presence in
    that same window of time.In the end, the Gators edged out Michigan for the No. 2
    spot by 0.0101 points in the BCS formula.Florida was a good team but it was kind
    of like, well, we probably deserved it, Henne said. But we had our one
    opportunity and we lost.Ohio State players had no interest in playing Michigan
    again.That game went down to the wire, Jenkins said. It was emotionally
    draining, and it would be hard to get another game to replicate that.I dont
    think the fans or anyone wanted to see that, Patterson said. But looking back,
    maybe that would have worked out better for us.The BCS system was vindicated
    when Florida clobbered Ohio State 41-14 in the title game and Michigan lost by
    two touchdowns to USC in the Rose Bowl. That also would begin the decline of the
    Big Ten as a whole and signal the ascendance of SEC dominance. The Buckeyes
    would lose again in the 2007 BCS title game, to LSU, and the Big Ten went
    through a national championship drought until Ohio State won it all in the 2014
    season.Michigan, meanwhile, took nearly a decade to fully recover. The Ohio
    State game was the first of four straight losses, as the Wolverines were
    stunningly upset by Appalachian State to open 2007 and then fell to Oregon. Carr
    resigned after that season, and the program then wandered the wilderness under
    Rich Rodriguez and Brady Hoke until favorite son Jim Harbaugh came home.Can any
    game ever top The Game from 2006?There are significant differences between this
    years game and 2006 because of the playoff and Big Ten divisional system. Both
    teams have a loss this time around, and its highly unlikely anyone will call for
    a rematch.Still, the echoes are there.You have two iconic head coaches and
    unbelievable talent on both teams, Gene Smith said. The fandom will probably be
    the same, at the highest level, and the demand for tickets will be the same. As
    far as the game itself, the magnitude will be very similar.You cant get more
    electric than The Game, Tressel said. This week will probably be 2 against 3.
    You cant get much bigger than that. It will be a special day.John Davis will be
    there again. While he wont be taking any of the playing surface home this time,
    Davis is hoping The Game he witnesses in 2016 lives up to the one in 2006. We
    all are.Without a doubt, looking back now, that game was in line with the hype,
    Rivas said of the 2006 classic. It was all that and then some.Michael DiRocco,
    Tim McManus,?Jordan Raanan and?Adam Rittenberg contributed to this story.
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    . Pence singled in the winning run with no outs in
    the ninth inning to give the Giants a 7-6 victory over the San Diego Padres on
    Sunday. ATLANTA -- The Braves placed ace Julio Teheran on the 15-day disabled
    list Tuesday because of a strained right lat muscle.He was injured during a
    four-inning start July 22 at Colorado. The 25-year-old waited eight days before
    his next start, then allowed five hits, three runs and one walk in five innings
    in a 9-5 loss to Philadelphia.After the game, Teheran said he felt fine, but his
    soreness got worse Sunday and Monday.The two-time All-Star is on the DL for the
    first time in his six-year career.I feel kind of weird about it, Teheran said
    before Tuesdays game against Pittsburgh. Im trying to get the good part of it
    and come back and finish the rest of the season.ddddddddddddInterim manager
    Brian Snitker said after the game that Teheran looked unusually fatigued. His
    fastball velocity dropped to the high 80s.On Tuesday, Snitker said Teheran has
    been prescribed rest. Barring a setback, the right-hander will likely make a
    rehab start before returning in a couple weeks.Teheran ranks sixth in the NL
    with a .205 opponents batting average. His 2.81 ERA ranks 10th. He is winless in
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