It’s often called the greatest rivalry in college football. “The Game” as fans of both teams belovedly call it, the rivalry between the Michigan-Ohio State football teams began as far back as 1897 when the two teams met for the very first time. Around that time, some citizens could still recall the tense Toledo War which entailed a boundary dispute between Michigan and Ohio after Michigan applied for statehood. This boundary issue came to a head when both state’s militias were called though there were no casualties during the entirety of the war which lasted only a year.
The two teams have been battling it out since their first game in 1897 during which Michigan won 34-0. The 1902 game in Ann Arbor when Michigan beat Ohio in a huge win at 86-0 is still the largest recorded margin of victory for either team.
The Ohio Buckeyes’ largest recorded margin of victory against Michigan was in 2008 when they posted a 42-7 win. Their victory against Michigan the following year gave them their longest winning streak against Michigan to date with 8 wins in a row. However, the longest winning streak by either team was Michigan with 9 straight wins from 1901 to 1909.
In 2014, Michigan needed to win against Ohio to qualify for the first ever College Football Playoff. Tied until the fourth quarter, Ohio ended the game with a win at 42-28 and went on to win the very first College Football Playoff.
The first game in the series between the two teams to have more than 100,000 fans attend was in 1957. For at least the past 3 years, Ohio State and Michigan have been in one of the top three spots with the highest number of fans in attendance. In 2017, Ohio State ranked number one in the country for total fan attendance while Michigan outranked all other schools in terms of home game attendance. Even as recently as 2018, Ohio was still in the top 3 most attended games.
If Ohio takes the victory in 2019, Ohio will break its current record winning streak against Michigan with a total of 8 straight wins.
- “The Game” happens the same time every year, taking place on the last Saturday of November
- The Wolverines have had several native-born Ohioans on their team over the years including Desmond Howard, Charles Woodson, Dennis Franklin and Rob Lytle.
- Ohio first played in the Rose Bowl in 1921 and claimed victory against the University of California 17-14
- Michigan first played in the Rose Bowl in 1951 and claimed victory against the California Golden Bears 14-6
Which team do you think will win during the Wolverines vs. Buckeyes game in Ann Arbor? Vote now and enter for a chance to win tickets and accommodations for two to see the game on November 30th in Ann Arbor, MI.