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Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer returned to Ann Arbor with the rest of Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff crew ahead of Saturday’s game between Michigan and Maryland. Though his relationship with the “that team up North” has been rocky over the years, Meyer opted to switch up his usual tune and compliment the Wolverines’ fanbase. 

“It’s great to be here and great to be with you. And you know what? In all seriousness, this is one of the great fanbases in college football,” Meyer said Saturday of Michigan’s fans. “[They’re] part of one of the great rivalries in college football. Much respect.”

The gracious message from Meyer came as a shock to many who have seen him trade barbs with Wolverines fans in the past. Among those who was surprised to see his comments on Saturday was former Ohio State star Michael Thomas. 

The former Buckeyes receiver took to social media to jokingly call out his old coach’s attitude toward the school’s biggest rival.

“You’re getting soft coach @CoachUrbanMeyer,” Thomas wrote.

Thomas, now a two-time All-Pro with the Saints, starred in Meyer’s system while in Columbus. He made 110 catches for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns during his final two seasons with the Buckeyes and was a part of the team that won a national championship in 2015. 

Perhaps most importantly, Ohio State won its rivalry game against Michigan in each of the four years that Thomas was with the program from 2012–15.

Meyer may have been kind to the Wolverines on Saturday, but it remains abundantly clear where his true loyalty lies. When Ohio State and Michigan play in the 2022 edition of “The Game,” the former coach will surely be pulling for his Buckeyes. 

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