Brandstatter: Ohio State "800-Pound Gorilla In The Room"

When it comes to beating Ohio State, Michigan fans will believe it when they see it

August 21, 2019 - 8:38 am
Jim Harbaugh Michigan

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Michigan has not won a Big Ten title since 2004, and it has endured endless failure against Ohio State.

While Jim Harbaugh is not on the hot seat, his shortcomings against the Buckeyes have to eat him alive.

“Oh, it does,” Michigan color analyst Jim Brandstatter said on Ferrall on the Bench. “He even admitted it. He said, ‘Look, we got to beat Ohio State. It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. If you’re Michigan, you got to beat Ohio State, you got to beat Michigan State and you got to beat Notre Dame. You got to win your rivalry games. They have not had success against Ohio State, and that’s cost them opportunities to go to Big Ten Championship games, and it’s cost them opportunities really to maybe go to a national championship final four. Those are those things they expect from Michigan when Jim was hired. A lot of people thought that was on the horizon. Until he gets that done, I think people are going to say, ‘Prove it.’ I think he’s out this year to prove it.”

Even if Harbaugh does beat Ohio State, though, can he beat Alabama and Clemson? Can he beat Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney, who have won the last four national titles?

“It comes with the territory, and he knows that,” Brandstatter said of the pressure to win at the highest level. “It’s Swinney and Saban that are running the show. Here’s the simple fact: you get in (that conversation) by getting into the final four and winning it. There’s no other explanation or way to do it. It’s about getting there, and it’s about winning. Period. That’s the only way.”

Michigan brings a loaded offense into 2019, along with new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis, who plans to implement an up-tempo offense. 

“That’s music to the ears of anybody at Michigan that saw a lot of 3rd-and-2 running plays off-tackle,” Brandstatter said. “Josh Gattis is going to get the ball to your playmakers in space and let them do their thing. They’re going to go up-tempo, no-huddle – it’s not going to be your dad’s Michigan. It’s going to be an up-tempo offense, and I think they’re going to put a lot of points on the board.”

Click below to listen to Brandstatter’s interview in its entirety.