Ohio State vs Michigan Rivalry
by Jim from Ohio State
I am an Ohio State fan and I have to say that I love your site. It gives good dispassionate (well, maybe not 100% dispassionate) insight into football in the state of Alabama.
However, let me be so bold as to offer some insight into football in the state of Ohio and the rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan, which was listed by ESPN in 2000 as the greatest rivalry in all of North American Sports history.
It starts with high school football. I happen to be from Cincinnati, which now boasts perhaps the best high school football in the nation. On one day in 2005, in the two state playoffs played at Paul Brown Stadium, three of the four Cincinnati teams playing were ranked in the USA/Today top 25. It was my alma mater, St. Xavier, who ended Prattville's 30-game winning streak and it was our rival Elder who ended the 109-game winning streak of Independence High School from North Carolina.
The reason that I bring up high school football is because Michigan recruits heavily in Ohio. There was a time that players from both universities would say that an Ohio State-Michigan game was like a continuation of Ohio high school all-star games. A lot of the players already knew each other, which I'm sure is also the case with the Iron Bowl.
Michigan is the winningest program in college football history and Ohio State is #5 on that list, I believe. So the rivalry means a lot as far as conference and national championships are concerned. Like the Iron Bowl, it is the last game of the season. Unlike the Iron Bowl, however, for a long time it WAS the last game of the season for the loser. The Big Ten did not allow any team other than the champion to play in a bowl game and that team could not repeat. So some of the rivalry's best teams did not even get to play in a bowl game.
During the six year stretch from 1970-75, Michigan came into the game undefeated. They won once. Michigan has defeated several hitherto undefeated Ohio State teams as well and that just stokes up the rivalry.
It's also convenient that the teams are in different yet bordering states. That makes for some lighthearted fun with the state governments and Congressmen as well as the citizenry.
And the rivalry does not end with football. There are only three universities that have won national championships in football, basketball, and baseball -- Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State.
By the way, I see on Ohio State's schedule that a home-and-home with Tennessee is set for 2018 and 2019. Maybe we can get some more Big Ten - SEC matchups going.
So now you know a little about us as well. Keep up the good work and good luck!
EDITOR's NOTE: Shane from Kentucky agrees that the osu - michigan rivalry is the top all time CFB rivalry