Michigan–Ohio State football rivalry

Michigan–Ohio State football rivalry
Michigan–Ohio State rivalry
  MichiganWolverinesBlockM.png  Ohio State Buckeyes logo.svg
First meeting October 17, 1897[1]
Michigan 34, Ohio State 0
Last meeting November 27, 2010[2]
Ohio State 37, Michigan 7
(Win vacated by Ohio State)[3]
Next meeting November 26, 2011
Total meetings 107
Series record Michigan: 57–44–6
Ohio State: 43*–57–6
*2010 vacated win not included
Largest victory Michigan, 86–0 (1902)
Longest streak Michigan, 9 (1901–1909)
Current streak Michigan: 7 losses (2004–2010)
Ohio State: 6 wins, (2004–2009)
Trophy: None

The Michigan–Ohio State football rivalry (also known as The Game by some followers)[4][5][6][7][8] is an intense college football rivalry between the Wolverines of the University of Michigan and the Buckeyes of The Ohio State University. It has attracted particular national interest over the last four decades as most of the games have determined the Big Ten Conference title and the resulting Rose Bowl match ups, and many have influenced the outcome of the national collegiate football championship. The game was ranked by ESPN in 2000 as the greatest North American sports rivalry.[9]

The annual match up between the two Midwest state schools has been held at the end of the regular season since 1935 (with exceptions in 1942, 1986, and 1998). Since 1918, the game's site has alternated between Columbus, Ohio, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has been played in Ohio Stadium since 1922 and Michigan Stadium since 1927. Through 2009, Ohio State and Michigan have decided the Big Ten Conference championship between themselves on 22 different occasions, and have affected the determination of the conference title an additional 26 times.[10]

During 1835 and 1836, the State of Ohio and the Michigan Territory engaged in a brief and nearly bloodless border dispute known as the Toledo War. Some have proposed that the football rivalry is a modern manifestation of this historical tension.[11]

Following the Big Ten's addition of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, effective beginning in the 2011 football season, the conference has been split into two six-team divisions. Big Ten officials placed Ohio State and Michigan in separate divisions, but the Michigan–Ohio State rivalry continues to take place at the end of the regular season every year. Conceivably, the teams could thereafter meet again the following week in the Big Ten Football Championship Game.



Early years (1897–1949)

The inaugural meeting between Ohio State and Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1897 resulted in a lopsided victory for Michigan, with the Wolverines posting a 34–0 win over Ohio State's Buckeyes. The first game foretold a long Michigan winning streak, with Michigan winning or tying every match from 1897 to 1912 and thereby compiling a 12–0–2 record before the contest was postponed for several years. The Ohio State Alma Mater "Carmen Ohio" was written on the train ride home to Columbus following the 1902 contest, which saw Ohio State losing to Michigan, 86–0. The lyrics and melody (Spanish Chant) have remained largely unchanged since its conception.

Ohio State became a member of the Big Ten Conference in 1912. In 1917, Michigan rejoined the conference after a ten year absence. In 1918, the teams played their first conference matchup, with Michigan prevailing 14–0 and lodging its eleventh shutout over the Buckeyes. In 1919, the Buckeyes (led by legendary halfback Chic Harley) won their first game in the series, defeating the Wolverines 13–3. The Buckeyes won the following two contests as well, to bring the series record to 13–3–2.

Ohio State was the opponent in the dedication game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

Harley's prowess spurred the university to campaign to build a stadium for Ohio State football. The stadium was completed in 1922, and the first of many historic games in Ohio Stadium took place on October 21, 1922, the day the stadium was dedicated in Columbus. In front of a record 71,000 fans, the Wolverines posted another shutout of the home team Buckeyes, 19–0. According to lore, there was a wager on the outcome of this game, and yellow flowers on a blue background still exist today in the upper part of the stadium's rotunda.[12] Michigan won the next five games before OSU picked up the final two victories of the decade. At the end of the 1920s, the series stood at 19–5–2 in favor of Michigan.

Michigan won three of four contests between 1930 and 1933, claiming the national championship twice. In 1934, Francis Schmidt came on as the head coach for Ohio State. The team had lost nine of the previous 12 Michigan-OSU contests, and when a reporter asked Schmidt if Ohio State could beat Michigan that year, he replied, "Of course we can win, Michigan puts their pants on one leg at a time just like we do". The Buckeyes thereupon ran off four straight shutout victories against Michigan, outscoring the Wolverines 112–0 from 1934 to 1937. Schmidt's quote spawned an OSU tradition—since 1934, every Ohio State player receives a gold pants pendant after a victory against Michigan.

Michigan won the three games from 1938 to 1940. The 1940 game, won by Michigan, 40–0, was the benchmark performance of what some consider to be the greatest Michigan team in history, and was the final collegiate game of the legendary tailback tandem of Tom Harmon and Paul Kromer.

In 1941, Michigan and Ohio State met for the first time with each team ranked in the AP Poll, which had started in 1936. The 14th-ranked Buckeyes played the 5th-ranked Wolverines to a 20–20 tie in Ann Arbor. Five more times during the 1940s, the teams were both ranked for their annual matchup. Michigan won five of the next seven games before playing to their second tie of the decade in 1949. The series record stood at 30–12–4 at the mid-century mark.

"Snow Bowl" and Woody Hayes (1950–1968)

The 1950 contest, colloquially known as the Snow Bowl, is perhaps the most famous game in the rivalry. Eighth-ranked Ohio State, coached by Wes Fesler, was scheduled to host the game on November 25 in Columbus amidst one of the worst blizzards on Ohio record. The Buckeyes, who led the Big Ten, were granted the option to cancel the game against Michigan, which would have, by default, given the Buckeyes the Big Ten title outright and won them a trip to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. Ohio State refused, and the game was set to be played. Amid howling snow and wind, in what was probably the most literal example of a "field position" game, the teams exchanged 45 punts, often on first down, in hopes that the other team would fumble the ball near or into their own end zone. Ohio State's Vic Janowicz, who would claim the Heisman Trophy that year, punted 21 times for 685 yards and also kicked a field goal in the first quarter for the Buckeyes' only points. Michigan capitalized on two blocked punts, booting one out of the back of the end zone for a safety and recovering another one in the end zone for a touchdown just before halftime. Despite failing to gain a single first down or complete a single forward pass, Michigan gained a 9–3 victory, securing the Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl berth. Heavy criticism of Fesler's play calling led to his resignation and the hiring of Woody Hayes as his successor.

Between 1951 and 1968 under Hayes, the Buckeyes won 12 of 18 contests, including a 1957 victory in Michigan Stadium, the first game in the series attended by over 100,000 fans. In 1958, Ohio State had a 20–14 lead towards the end of the game. On the final play, Michigan fullback Gene Sisinyak ran the ball from the one-yard line for what might have been a game winning touchdown, but Ohio State defensive tackle Dick Schafrath hit Sisinyak, forcing a fumble. In the 1968 game, Ohio State won 50–14, outscoring its foe 29–0 in the second half and attempting an unsuccessful two-point conversion attempt on its final touchdown. When asked why he went for two points with an already insurmountable 50–14 lead, Woody Hayes is rumored to have said, "Because I couldn't go for three." The victory gave top-ranked Ohio State the Big Ten title for the first time in seven years en route to an AP national championship. The Buckeyes had also narrowed the series margin to 37–24–4.

"Ten-Year War": Hayes vs. Bo Schembechler (1969–1978)

Wolverines coach Bump Elliott resigned after the 1968 loss and Michigan hired Miami (Ohio) head coach Bo Schembechler, who had previously been an assistant at Ohio State under Hayes, to revitalize its football program. On November 22, 1969, Hayes led his top-ranked Buckeyes into Michigan Stadium to face Schembechler's Wolverines in the first matchup between two coaches who would come to define the rivalry between the two programs. The Buckeyes brought a 22-game winning streak into Ann Arbor, but behind an inspiring 60-yard punt return by Barry Pierson that set up a Wolverine touchdown in the second quarter, and a defense that intercepted Ohio State six times (three by Pierson), the Wolverines won a defensive battle (both teams were scoreless in the second half) for a 24–12 upset.

The contest was the first in the famous "Ten-Year War" between Hayes and Schembechler, which pitted some of OSU's and UM's strongest teams against one another. Four times between 1970 and 1975, Ohio State and Michigan were both ranked in the top five of the AP Poll before their matchup. The Wolverines entered every game during those years undefeated and won only once, a 10-7 [13] victory in Ann Arbor on November 20, 1971. The Michigan graduating class of 1975 shared or won the Big Ten championship every season, yet went to the Rose Bowl only once, in 1972. They only lost or tied with Ohio State during the regular season in that period.

In 1973, both teams entered undefeated, with the winner guaranteed a trip to the Rose Bowl. The rivals played to a 10–10 tie in Ann Arbor on November 24, and the athletic directors of the other Big Ten institutions were forced to vote on the Big Ten representative for the bowl game. In a secret ballot, Ohio State won the vote, to the outrage of Michigan athletic officials and fans. Schembechler argued that Michigan was robbed of its on-field achievements, and for months afterward, Ohio State newspapers were flooded with angry Wolverine letters and threats of lawsuits.

Woody coined the phrase "That state up north" and "That team up north", so he would not have to say the word "Michigan". He was famous for his intense hatred of all things Michigan and according to legend, once refused to get gas in an empty tank, saying: "No, goddammit! We do NOT pull in and fill up. And I'll tell you exactly why we don't. It's because I don't buy one goddam drop of gas in the state of Michigan! We'll coast and PUSH this goddam car to the Ohio line before I give this state a nickel of my money!"[14]

During the "Ten-Year War," Ohio State and Michigan shared the Big Ten title six times. Between 1976 and 1978, Michigan won the game each year, and Ohio State failed to score a touchdown in each of those contests. Woody Hayes was fired at the end of the 1978 season after punching an opposing player during the Gator Bowl, which ended the "War." The 1978 game was won by Michigan, 14–3, giving Schembechler a record of 5–4–1 against Hayes. At the end of the Hayes tenure, the series stood at 42–28–5.

The War's aftermath: Schembechler vs. Earle Bruce (1979–1987)

Earle Bruce took over for Hayes and led the Buckeyes to a 5–4 record against Schembechler's Wolverines between 1979 and 1987, perhaps the most balanced stretch of the storied rivalry, during which neither team won more than two consecutive games. In 1987, Bruce was fired in the week before the Michigan game due to a poor season record, but was allowed to coach anyway, and the inspired Buckeyes (each wearing a sweatband labeled "Earle") won an upset over the heavily favored Wolverines. After the game, Bo Schembechler told Bruce, "I always mind losing to Ohio State but I didn't mind so much today."[15] After 1987, the series stood at 46–33–5 in favor of UM.

John Cooper era (1988–2000)

The 13 games during John Cooper's tenure as Buckeye coach were dominated by Michigan, as the Wolverines went 10–2–1 during the stretch. Schembechler coached Michigan through the 1989 season and then turned over the reins to one of his assistants, Gary Moeller, who led the team for five seasons before another longtime Michigan assistant, Lloyd Carr, became the head coach in 1995.

The most notorious matchups of the era took place in 1993, 1995, and 1996, in which Ohio State entered the game each year undefeated. The Buckeyes had a 9–0–1 record heading into the 1993 game and were looking to claim an outright Big Ten title against a Michigan team that had already lost four times. Michigan receiver Mercury Hayes and running backs Jon Ritchie, Che Foster, and Ed Davis each scored a touchdown as the Wolverines shocked the Buckeyes, 28–0. After the game, Cooper said: "This is one of the most embarrassing games I've ever been involved with." "They outplayed us on offense, on defense, and in the kicking game. If you'd told me we would come up here and get beat 28-0, I'd have probably stayed home."[16]

In 1995, #2 Ohio State was led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George and future NFL stars Orlando Pace, Terry Glenn, Mike Vrabel, Shawn Springs, and Rickey Dudley. Glenn insisted there wasn't anything special about the Wolverines: "Michigan's nothing," he said.[17] Perhaps inspired by this remark, the Wolverines manhandled the Buckeyes at the line of scrimmage from the very first play. Michigan senior running back Tim Biakabutuka amassed 313 yards rushing in Michigan's 31–23 upset.

The Buckeyes had high expectations again entering the 1996 contest. They boasted an unblemished 10–0 record and were ranked #2 in the nation as they entered the finale with 8–3 Michigan. When Ohio State jumped to a 9–0 halftime lead, the OSU crowd sensed a special finish and perhaps a rise to #1. The Wolverines' defense shut the Buckeyes out in the second half while Brian Griese replaced the struggling Scott Dreisbach and led Michigan to 13 unanswered points and another victory over their rivals, 13–9. The game would turn out to be the Buckeyes' only loss of the season and ended up costing them a chance at a share of the national championship.

In 1997, Ohio State hoped to return the favor: the 10–0 Wolverines sat atop the AP Poll entering their matchup with the 10–1 Buckeyes, who were ranked #4. Spearheaded by the play of eventual Heisman winner Charles Woodson, who ran a punt back for a touchdown, intercepted a pass in the Ohio State end zone, and caught a 37 yard pass that set up freshman running back Anthony Thomas' touchdown run, the Wolverines prevailed, 20–14. The Wolverines then defeated Washington State in the Rose Bowl by a 21–16 score, winning their first national championship since 1948.

Ohio State came back with a win in the 1998 contest, but Michigan went on to win in 1999 and 2000. Senior quarterback Tom Brady hit sophomore receiver Marquise Walker for the game-winning touchdown pass with five minutes to go to for a 24–17 victory in 1999. In the 2000 game, Michigan grabbed a 31–12 lead and held on to win, 38–26. Michigan junior quarterback Drew Henson went 14 for 25 passing for 303 yards and three scores and added a touchdown run. At the end of the 2000 season, Cooper was fired. While he consistently fielded strong teams, his 2–10–1 record against Michigan, including his failure to ever win in Ann Arbor, was, along with disciplinary problems and a losing record in bowl games, a major contributor to his dismissal. Michigan students held a "John Cooper Day" celebration in Ann Arbor on February 10, 2001 in mock celebration of Cooper's record in the rivalry.[citation needed]

Enter Jim Tressel (2001–2007)

James Laurinaitis attempts to tackle Brandon Minor.

In 2001, Youngstown State head football coach Jim Tressel took over as Buckeye head coach. Unlike his predecessor John Cooper, Tressel put a special emphasis on the rivalry. In his introductory speech at halftime of a January basketball game, against Michigan, he said "I can assure you that you will be proud of our young people, in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the football field." In his first year, Tressel registered the Buckeyes' first defeat of the Wolverines in Ann Arbor in 14 years, by a 26–20 score. Led by senior running back Jonathan Wells, the Buckeyes raced to a 23–0 halftime lead. With Wells out, Michigan mounted a second half comeback that fell just short. The next year, Tressel achieved what Cooper could not: Beating Michigan in consecutive years with a 14–9 victory. The game was decided on the last play when defensive back Will Allen intercepted a pass in the end zone as time expired to clinch the victory. The Buckeyes were led by freshman running back Maurice Clarett, who ran for 119 yards and one touchdown. He also had a key reception to set up Maurice Hall's game-winning score. The Buckeyes went on to win the national championship that season, as they defeated Miami in the Fiesta Bowl.

In 2003, Michigan struck back and won the 100th meeting between the historical rivals by a score of 35–21 in Ann Arbor. Senior running back Chris Perry, a Heisman finalist, had 154 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Wolverines to the victory. Braylon Edwards contributed seven catches for 130 yards and two big touchdowns. The game's attendance was 112,118, the largest crowd ever for an NCAA football game.[18] In 2004, the 6–4 Buckeyes defeated the heavily favored 9–1 Wolverines, 37–21, behind the leadership of quarterback Troy Smith and true freshmen receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. The Buckeyes added another win in the 2005 game by overcoming a 21–12 deficit with less than eight minutes in the game. In the closing minutes of the game, the Buckeye offense scored two touchdowns to claim a 25–21 victory. Smith threw for 300 yards and completed 73% of his passes. Ginn had a game high nine catches for 89 yards.

2006: #1 vs. #2

Game of the Century (2006 version)
1 2 3 4 Total
Michigan 7 7 10 15 39
Ohio State 7 21 7 7 42
Date November 18, 2006
Stadium Ohio Stadium
Location Columbus, Ohio

On November 18, 2006, Ohio State and Michigan met for their annual showdown, each carrying an 11–0 record. The day before the epic match up, legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler died. For the first time in the history of the rivalry, the two rivals faced off while holding the top two spots in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. Ohio State won the game by a score of 42–39 and became the outright Big Ten champion, earning the right to play for a national championship at the BCS National Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona. Michigan struck first blood with a touchdown run by junior running back Mike Hart, but the Buckeyes then scored 21 unanswered points, and at halftime, they were up 28–14. However, the Wolverines weren't ready to back down. Thanks to an interception and a fumble recovery by junior defensive tackle Alan Branch, Michigan made it 35–31 Ohio State with 14 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. But after appearing to have forced Ohio State into a fourth down situation with six minutes to go, junior outside linebacker Shawn Crable was called for roughing the QB, giving the Buckeyes a fresh set of downs. Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith then passed to Brian Robiskie for a touchdown, increasing the Buckeyes' lead to 42–31 with five minutes remaining in the game. The Wolverines still had fight in them, and after Ohio State was called for pass interference on a failed 4th down attempt, giving Michigan an automatic 1st down, junior quarterback Chad Henne found senior tight end Tyler Ecker for a 16-yard touchdown with two minutes to go to cut the OSU lead to 42–37. Senior wide receiver Steve Breaston caught the two point conversion to bring the Wolverines within a field goal. Michigan needed to recover the ensuing onside kick, and they failed to do so. The Buckeyes ran out the clock for the victory, and a trip to the BCS national championship game. Troy Smith completed 71% of his passes for 316 yards and four touchdowns, essentially clinching the Heisman trophy. Ginn caught eight passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. Ohio State running back Antonio Pittman ran for 139 yards on 18 carries for a 7.7 yards-per-carry average. Michigan running back Mike Hart carried the ball 23 times for 142 yards and three touchdowns against a stout Buckeye defense. Chad Henne also turned in an excellent performance with 267 yards, two touchdowns, and no turnovers on a 60% completion percentage. Neither performance was, however, sufficient to turn the tide in favor of the Wolverines. The game was highly touted by ESPN/ABC (there was even a game countdown clock for a week before kickoff) and was viewed by the largest television audience for a regular season college football game since 1993, averaging 21.8 million viewers.[19] The victory marked the first time in 43 years that the Buckeyes had won three consecutive games in the series. The game gained even more significance when, on the eve of the meeting, legendary Michigan head coach and former Ohio State assistant coach Bo Schembechler died. Schembechler was honored with a video tribute at Ohio Stadium as well as a moment of silence before kickoff.[20] Half an hour after the game ended, the Ohio Lottery PICK 4 evening drawing was 4-2-3-9, matching the final score of the game and paying out up to $5,000 per winner, for a total payout of $2.2 million.[21]

Following the game, there was a chance of a rematch in the BCS title game, but Florida was chosen over Michigan to be Ohio State's opponent, ultimately defeating Ohio State for the BCS Championship.

Sea change at Michigan (2008–2010)

Terrelle Pryor (right) eludes Brandon Graham with a stiff arm.

Lloyd Carr retired as coach at Michigan following the 2007 season and another loss to Ohio State. Tressel had compiled a 6–1 record against Carr's Michigan teams, leaving Carr with a 6–7 career record against Ohio State. In December 2007, Michigan hired West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez to take over the football program. Rodriguez, known for his expertise in the spread offense, represented a significant departure from the Wolverines' traditional offensive style. Furthermore, both Carr and his predecessor Gary Moeller had been apprenticed by the now-legendary Schembechler, and Rodriguez's hiring marked the first time in 40 years that a Michigan football team would not be coached by a member of the "Schembechler school."

The 2008 game, Rodriguez's first against the Buckeyes, featured an Ohio State team that needed a win to secure at least a share of the Big Ten championship for the fourth straight year. Michigan by contrast entered the game with a 3–8 record, having already suffered more losses than in any other season in its history. The Buckeyes posted a 42–7 win. OSU scored its largest margin of victory over Michigan since 1968 and pushed its winning streak against the Wolverines to five games, their longest in the rivalry's history.

Ohio State beat Michigan, 21–10, in the 2009 game to extend their winning streak against Michigan to six games and improve Jim Tressel's record versus Michigan to 8–1. Ohio State wore throwback uniforms to commemorate their 1954 national championship team. The 2009 meeting also saw Buckeye guard Justin Boren, who had transferred to Ohio State from Michigan in 2008, become the third player in school history to play for both teams (J. T. White and Howard Yerges, Jr. being the others)[22] and only the second to play for both teams in the rivalry game. In 2010, Ohio State again prevailed, 37–7.

Two schools, two new coaches (2011–present)

Rodriguez was fired following Michigan's 2010 season, ending Michigan's flirtation with the spread—and with non-"Michigan Man" coaches. Rodriguez was succeeded by Brady Hoke, who served as Michigan's defensive line coach from 1995 to 2002. Hoke held head coaching positions at Ball State from 2003 to 2008 and San Diego State from 2009 to 2010 before returning to Michigan.

In early 2011, Ohio State's football program came under NCAA investigation for an incident in which several prominent players were discovered to have traded memorabilia for tattoos. Evidence thereafter surfaced that Tressel had known about situation but had not reported it to school compliance officials, and that the abuses were more widespread and longstanding than originally reported. On May 30, 2011, Tressel resigned as head coach and former Buckeye player and assistant coach Luke Fickell was appointed interim head coach for the 2011 season. Tressel ended his career with a 9–1 record against Michigan, including his final seven in a row. In July 2011, in response to the ongoing NCAA investigation, Ohio State vacated all wins from the 2010 season, including the 2011 Sugar Bowl win. If the vacated wins are not counted, Tressel's record versus Michigan would stand at 8–1, with a win streak of six.[3]

Big Ten expansion

In 2010, the Big Ten Conference announced that University of Nebraska would be joining the Big Ten the following year, and that the Big Ten would be split into two divisions. When rumors surfaced that Ohio State and Michigan would be placed in different divisions, concerns arose that the teams might no longer play the last game of the regular season to avoid potential back-to-back games if each team won their division and earned the right to play in the Big Ten Championship Game. Fans bombarded the athletic directors of both schools, as well as the Big Ten commissioner with emails, creating pressure to keep "The Game" as the regular season finale. The Michigan–Ohio State game is now a "protected crossover" game, to be played every year at the end of the regular season.

In popular culture

United States National Guard soldiers in Baghdad, Iraq, in November 2009 show that the Michigan–Ohio State rivalry reaches far and wide.

During the mid-2000s, ESPN aired several commercials mentioning certain situations that would be different "if it wasn't for sports". One such commercial had a couple making out, which after starting out as a close-up, pans out to show the man wearing an Ohio State shirt and the woman wearing a Michigan shirt. At the end of the commercial, the caption reads "If it weren't for sports, this wouldn't be disgusting."[23]

Later on, after ESPN launched ESPNU, another commercial aired for ESPNU that showed a couple on a blind date that goes well until the woman tells the man that she's from Michigan, and "Go Blue!". The man then jumps out of the woman's Jeep Grand Cherokee while it is moving and goes "Go Buckeyes!".[24]

In 2006, as part of their Midwest Midterm Midtacular, The Daily Show visited Ohio State University and made fun of the rivalry on the final night by having correspondent Rob Riggle report while wearing a Michigan sweatshirt. This brought boos, jeers, and a few laughs from the OSU audience. After the sketch was over, Jon Stewart compared the rivalry to the disputes between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.[25]

The 2007 HBO documentary Michigan vs. Ohio State: The Rivalry focused on the rivalry, chiefly the "Ten-Year War" through the present.[26]

The book Myth Directions by Robert Asprin, who attended Michigan, features a thinly veiled version of the Ohio State vs. Michigan game, parodying both sides and their fanaticism regarding the event.

Accomplishments by the two rivals

Team Michigan Ohio State
National titles 11 7
Heisman Trophies 3 7
Bowl appearances 40 421
BCS bowl appearances 4 91
Rose Bowl appearances 20 14
All-Americans 126 130
Big Ten titles 42 352
All-time program record 884–308–36 8313–309–53
All-time win percentage .735 .7193

1 includes 2011 Sugar Bowl win vacated by Ohio State
2 includes 2010 Big Ten Championship vacated by Ohio State
3 includes 2010 regular season wins vacated by Ohio State


Game results

Winning team is shown in bold font. Years of a Michigan victory are in blue. Years of an Ohio State victory are in scarlet. Years with a tie are in white. Years with a vacated win are in grey.

Year Michigan Ohio State Location
1897 Michigan 34 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1900 Michigan 0 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1901 Michigan 21 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1902 Michigan 86 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1903 Michigan 36 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1904 Michigan 31 Ohio State 6 Columbus
1905 Michigan 40 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1906 Michigan 6 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1907 Michigan 22 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1908 Michigan 10 Ohio State 6 Columbus
1909 Michigan 33 Ohio State 6 Ann Arbor
1910 Michigan 3 Ohio State 3 Columbus
1911 Michigan 19 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1912 Michigan 14 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1918 Michigan 14 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1919 Michigan 3 Ohio State 13 Ann Arbor
1920 Michigan 7 Ohio State 14 Columbus
1921 Michigan 0 Ohio State 14 Ann Arbor
1922 Michigan 19 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1923 Michigan 23 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1924 Michigan 16 Ohio State 6 Columbus
1925 Michigan 10 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1926 Michigan 17 Ohio State 16 Columbus
1927 Michigan 21 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1928 Michigan 7 Ohio State 19 Columbus
1929 Michigan 0 Ohio State 7 Ann Arbor
1930 Michigan 13 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1931 Michigan 0 Ohio State 7 Ann Arbor
1932 Michigan 14 Ohio State 10 Columbus
1933 Michigan 13 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1934 Michigan 0 Ohio State 34 Columbus
1935 Michigan 0 Ohio State 38 Ann Arbor
1936 Michigan 0 Ohio State 21 Columbus
1937 Michigan 0 Ohio State 21 Ann Arbor
1938 Michigan 18 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1939 Michigan 21 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
Year Michigan Ohio State Location
1940 Michigan 40 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1941 Michigan 20 Ohio State 20 Ann Arbor
1942 Michigan 7 Ohio State 21 Columbus
1943 Michigan 45 Ohio State 7 Ann Arbor
1944 Michigan 14 Ohio State 18 Columbus
1945 Michigan 7 Ohio State 3 Ann Arbor
1946 Michigan 58 Ohio State 6 Columbus
1947 Michigan 21 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1948 Michigan 13 Ohio State 3 Columbus
1949 Michigan 7 Ohio State 7 Ann Arbor
1950 Michigan 9 Ohio State 3 Columbus
1951 Michigan 7 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1952 Michigan 7 Ohio State 27 Columbus
1953 Michigan 20 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1954 Michigan 7 Ohio State 21 Columbus
1955 Michigan 0 Ohio State 17 Ann Arbor
1956 Michigan 19 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1957 Michigan 14 Ohio State 31 Ann Arbor
1958 Michigan 14 Ohio State 20 Columbus
1959 Michigan 23 Ohio State 14 Ann Arbor
1960 Michigan 0 Ohio State 7 Columbus
1961 Michigan 20 Ohio State 50 Ann Arbor
1962 Michigan 0 Ohio State 28 Columbus
1963 Michigan 10 Ohio State 14 Ann Arbor
1964 Michigan 10 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1965 Michigan 7 Ohio State 9 Ann Arbor
1966 Michigan 17 Ohio State 3 Columbus
1967 Michigan 14 Ohio State 24 Ann Arbor
1968 Michigan 14 Ohio State 50 Columbus
1969 Michigan 24 Ohio State 12 Ann Arbor
1970 Michigan 9 Ohio State 20 Columbus
1971 Michigan 10 Ohio State 7 Ann Arbor
1972 Michigan 11 Ohio State 14 Columbus
1973 Michigan 10 Ohio State 10 Ann Arbor
1974 Michigan 10 Ohio State 12 Columbus
1975 Michigan 14 Ohio State 21 Ann Arbor
Year Michigan Ohio State Location
1976 Michigan 22 Ohio State 0 Columbus
1977 Michigan 14 Ohio State 6 Ann Arbor
1978 Michigan 14 Ohio State 3 Columbus
1979 Michigan 15 Ohio State 18 Ann Arbor
1980 Michigan 9 Ohio State 3 Columbus
1981 Michigan 9 Ohio State 14 Ann Arbor
1982 Michigan 14 Ohio State 24 Columbus
1983 Michigan 24 Ohio State 21 Ann Arbor
1984 Michigan 6 Ohio State 21 Columbus
1985 Michigan 27 Ohio State 17 Ann Arbor
1986 Michigan 26 Ohio State 24 Columbus
1987 Michigan 20 Ohio State 23 Ann Arbor
1988 Michigan 34 Ohio State 31 Columbus
1989 Michigan 28 Ohio State 18 Ann Arbor
1990 Michigan 16 Ohio State 13 Columbus
1991 Michigan 31 Ohio State 3 Ann Arbor
1992 Michigan 13 Ohio State 13 Columbus
1993 Michigan 28 Ohio State 0 Ann Arbor
1994 Michigan 6 Ohio State 22 Columbus
1995 Michigan 31 Ohio State 23 Ann Arbor
1996 Michigan 13 Ohio State 9 Columbus
1997 Michigan 20 Ohio State 14 Ann Arbor
1998 Michigan 16 Ohio State 31 Columbus
1999 Michigan 24 Ohio State 17 Ann Arbor
2000 Michigan 38 Ohio State 26 Columbus
2001 Michigan 20 Ohio State 26 Ann Arbor
2002 Michigan 9 Ohio State 14 Columbus
2003 Michigan 35 Ohio State 21 Ann Arbor
2004 Michigan 21 Ohio State 37 Columbus
2005 Michigan 21 Ohio State 25 Ann Arbor
2006 Michigan 39 Ohio State 42 Columbus
2007 Michigan 3 Ohio State 14 Ann Arbor
2008 Michigan 7 Ohio State 42 Columbus
2009 Michigan 10 Ohio State 21 Ann Arbor
2010 Michigan 7 Ohio State 37 Columbus


  1. ^ http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/umosu/rivalrep/1897osu.htm
  2. ^ Maag, Christopher (November 27, 2010). "Ohio State Routs Michigan to Share Big Ten Title". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/28/sports/ncaafootball/28buckeys.html. 
  3. ^ a b Ludlow, Randy (July 8, 2011). "Ohio State vacates wins from 2010 football season, places program on probation". The Columbus Dispatch (Dispatch Printing Co.). http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2011/07/08/0708-ohio-state-pleads-case-to-ncaa.html?sid=101. Retrieved July 8, 2011. "In addition to vacating the wins from its 12-1 season along with its Big Ten and Sugar Bowl championships, the university has placed its football program on probation for two years effective today, Ohio State reported to the NCAA." 
  4. ^ UWeekly: "What does ‘The Game’ mean to you?"
  5. ^ BuckeyeXtra: "Ohio State notebook: OSU, Michigan losses won't ruin The Game"
  6. ^ The Oxford Press: "The Game defines coaching careers"
  7. ^ Associated Press: "Ohio, Michigan Kids Dream of 'The Game'"
  8. ^ NCAA: "'The Game' Means More Than Usual"
  9. ^ "The 10 greatest rivalries". The End of the Century (ESPN.com). 2000-01-03. http://espn.go.com/endofcentury/s/other/bestrivalries.html. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  10. ^ "Big Game Decides Big Ten Title", University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
  11. ^ Emmanuel, Greg (2004). The 100-Yard War: Inside the 100-Year-Old Michigan-Ohio State Football Rivalry. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-67552-0.  Emmanuel's first chapter, "Hate: The Early Years," cites the origins of the 100-year competition between the two football teams as being borne out of the unfulfilled bloodlust of the militia troops.
  12. ^ The Five Greatest Traditions Of Ohio State Football, by Mike Furlan. Retrieved on November 20, 2006.
  13. ^ Big Ten Conference records
  14. ^ http://www.buckeyefansonly.com/woody/aboutwoody.html
  15. ^ http://espn.go.com/espn/page2/index?id=5854774
  16. ^ "Top 10 College Football Rivalries 2 and 1...". Sporting News. 2008-09-12. http://www.sportingnews.com/blog/ibleedblackandred/167454. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  17. ^ Layden, Tim (1995-12-04). "Run For The Roses". Sports Illustrated (Time Inc.). http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1007496/index.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  18. ^ MGoBlue: Big Ten Champs! Football Beats Buckeyes in Big House
  19. ^ Gough, Paul (2006-11-20). "Ohio State, Mich. run up ratings". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3ib621c0f3d9ad3eeefaf742844df20e00. 
  20. ^ NCAA Football - Michigan Wolverines/Ohio State Buckeyes Recap Saturday November 18, 2006 - Yahoo! Sports
  21. ^ "Winning Ohio lottery number: 4239", Associated Press, November 19, 2006.
  22. ^ "Lineman who left Michigan to play for Ohio State in 2009". ESPN.com. 2008-04-23. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3363195. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  23. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liNBAvdfakg
  24. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0_wTylAi7Y
  25. ^ Jon Stewart (2006). Midwest Midterm Midtacular - Goodbye, Columbus (TV-Series). Comedy Central. http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=120218&title=midwest-midterm-midtacular. 
  26. ^ Official HBO Michigan Vs. Ohio State: The Rivalry page
  27. ^ http://bigtennetwork.com/sports/football/story.asp?list_id=1&story_id=3177779

External links

  • OSU vs UM — a history of the rivalry sponsored by the libraries of both universities

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