ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Awkward.
“I have a lot of respect (for Ohio State), I know a lot of those guys and it’s a great program,” Miller said Monday. “I have a lot of respect for what they do.
“My girlfriend goes to Ohio State so I try to; I’ll block it out all week and get ready for the game plan and it’s a fun rivalry, that’s what makes it fun for a couple of kids from Ohio.”
Asked which team Miller’s girlfriend will be rooting for Saturday, the Ohio native quickly replied with “Michigan,” also noting it would be a deal breaker if she didn’t.
Crisis avoided, but back to Michigan/Ohio State.
It seems feasible that Miller’s dislike for Ohio State stemmed from the Buckeyes constantly being thrown in his face, growing up in the state and not far from Columbus. That isn’t exactly the case though.
“My dad was the best man at Rob Chudzinski’s wedding, they were best friends growing up and he was the offensive coordinator of the Canes at that time so I grew up a Miami fan,” Miller said.
“I didn’t dislike Ohio State really until that game and then growing up in Cleveland I found a way to dislike them.”
That game Miller is referring to of course is the 2003 National Championship in which Miami appeared to earn the win as a Craig Krenzel pass fluttered out of the hands of Chris Gamble.
Pass interference was called moments later amidst the chaos and celebration, the Buckeyes going on to win the game and the title 31-24 in double overtime. Miller still doesn’t agree with the flag.
“No, absolutely not,” Miller said. “The Hurricanes were on the field. It was a late call.”
Asked to describe what his feelings are toward Ohio State now, Miller was very thorough in his evaluation.
“I think I’ll say it in the most diplomatic way I can, I’m not a big fan of Ohio State; I never have been,” Miller said. “Ever since they beat Miami in the 2003 national championship I always disliked them.
“I don’t like the horseshoe and I don’t like Carmen, Ohio. That’s kind of how I feel.”
An overwhelming underdog in this game Saturday, Ohio State actually opening as a 20-point favorite over Michigan, Miller knows he’ll have 365 days of relief if the Wolverines do the unthinkable.
“When I lived in Cleveland its complete Buckeye territory and winning means a lot, its bragging rights for sure,” he said. “When I go home to Toledo now where my family lives it’s kind of half and half.
“I get supported half the time and people don’t like me the other half of the time so it’s a nice bragging right to have for a year.”