COLUMBUS — Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan said he couldn’t do it, he just couldn’t do it.
Even though a Michigan win over Iowa last Saturday night would have helped OSU get to the Big Ten championship game, McMillan said he couldn’t root for the Wolverines to beat the Hawkeyes.
“I don’t root for them. As a player and our rival, I really don’t root for them at all,” McMillan said. “It’s not a thing I do and I don’t feel anybody at our university should do it.”
Ohio State’s best hope to get to the Big Ten championship before Iowa upset Michigan 14-13 was to have the Wolverines come into Ohio Stadium undefeated on Nov. 26 and beat them. Now the only way for the Buckeyes to play for the conference championship is for Penn State to lose to Rutgers or Michigan State.
While many OSU fans were hoping for a Michigan win, finding an Ohio State player who would say that was a futile search at interviews on Monday.
When the question of possibly rooting for Michigan was put to offensive guard Billy Price, he said, “No. No. No. Not at all.”
The question drew a similar reaction from center Pat Elflein, who said, “Uh, no. You don’t really ever want to root for those guys.”
• Quiet leader: Junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis led Ohio State in sacks with eight last year and is leading again with six of them this season.
But Urban Meyer said he wasn’t impressed by him right away.
“He’s a great leader. I didn’t know that when we recruited him. He was kind of an under recruited guy,” Meyer said.
“He came to our camp. I didn’t think much of him, to be honest with you. I thought he was okay, kind of a quiet kid, but he’s a man’s man. I love that guy. He raises the level of play of those around him. He’s actually a very good player now. I thought he was just a ham and egg guy, kind of a worker, but Larry (defensive line coach Larry Johnson) has done a very good job with him,” he said.
• Alabama passes OSU: Alabama has gone around Ohio State for the No. 1 recruiting class in 2017, according to 247sports.com, which creates a composite ranking by averaging several of the top recruiting analysts’ rankings.
The Crimson Tide dropped Ohio State to No. 2 by getting a verbal commitment from 4-star offensive lineman Jedrick Wills, of Lexington, Ky., on Tuesday.
Ohio State and Alabama both have commitments from five 5-star players. Georgia is ranked third, LSU fourth and Oklahoma fifth by 247sports.com.
• Dantonio and Woody: Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio remembered meeting Ohio State’s legendary coach Woody Hayes “two or three times” during his press conference on Tuesday.
“One time he started talking about Zanesville (Dantonio’s hometown), how, you know, they made pottery back in Zanesville, because he’s a history guy.
Dantonio, a graduate assistant at Ohio State from 1983-84, said, “But I distinctly remember when we won the championship in ‘84, and they rushed the field and all that kind of stuff, so I was one of the last ones walking back up into the locker room and everybody was gone pretty much, and there was just Coach Hayes sitting there on the bench.
“It was just him and me, and I think I had a program in my hand, and just being a GA, I said, ‘Do you mind signing this?’ I think I still have that program,” Dantonio said.
Reach Jim Naveau at 567-242-0414 or on Twitter at @Lima_Naveau.