Originally posted on Taking Bad Schotz  |  Last updated 11/24/11

The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, also known as The Game, is the most historic rivalry in all of sports. These two teams started playing each other in 1897 and have played each other 107 times. The Buckeyes currently trail the Wolverines in the overall record 57-44-6 (including the OSU vacated win in 2010). There have been many epic battles between these two historic programs such as the “Snow Bowl”, “Ten Year War”, and the #1 vs. #2 matchup. Even when one of the teams are eliminated from a chance at a championship, ruining the other team’s season is just as satisfying.

The “Snow Bowl” is probably the most famous known game in the rivalry. The Buckeyes were ranked 8th as they were set to host the Wolverines in the middle of one of the worst blizzards on Ohio record. The Bucks were given the option to pass on the game, giving them a trip to Pasadena to play in the Rose Bowl, but they refused and the game was played. In the midst of the snowstorm and wind the two rivals combined for 45 punts. With out gaining a single first down or completing a forward pass, the Wolverines ended up winning 9-3, giving Michigan a trip to the Rose Bowl instead of the Buckeyes. This loss would lead to the hiring of Coach Woody Hayes.

The heart of this rivalry is built around Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler, two of the greatest coaches in college football history. They participated in what is called the “Ten-Year War.” In 1973, both teams entered The Game with undefeated records. The rivals ended up tying 10-10, leaving the AD of the Big Ten to decide who would move on to the Rose Bowl, which outraged Schembechler. Hayes coined the phrase, “that state up north” which is what he would call Michigan because of his rage toward them. He refused to let any one of his team to say the word Michigan when he was around them. During the “Ten-Year War” OSU and UM shared the Big Ten title six times. Hayes was fired after his incident in the 1978 Gator Bowl, putting an end to one of the greatest eras of the rivalry.

The most recent historic matchup was the 2006 #1 vs. #2 game. On November 18, 2006 the Buckeyes and Wolverines were set to face each other in Columbus. There was so much drama behind this game considering the winner would be on a trip to the BCS National Championship game. Hype for the game increased as legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler died one day earlier. The Buckeyes ended up winning in a memorable shootout, 42-39. This game recorded the biggest viewing audience for a college football game since 1993, having around 21.8 million viewers.

The Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry is the strongest and best that there is. Even if you are not a fan of either teams I suggest watching film on the rivalry, reading about, or watching this year’s game. Michigan is a favorite to win this year, as The Game will be played up in Ann Arbor. This is going to be a great game as the Buckeyes have a 7 game winning streak against Michigan and the Wolverines need the win for a chance at an at large bid into a BCS game. The game starts at 12 pm Eastern Time and will be playing on ABC. I suggest if you find a TV, enjoy your holiday weekend, and watch the Buckeyes break the Wolverines hearts and kill their chances of making a BCS game. Go Bucks!!!!

-Pollack

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