The Michigan and Ohio State University Rivalry

For the first time since 2011 the University of Michigan, No.5, has beaten Ohio State University, No.2. This victory guarantees  Michigan a spot in the Big Ten championship game and possibly in the College Football Playoffs as well. 

University of Michigan vs. Ohio State University competing for a spot in the Big Ten championship game | USA Today

Prior to this game, the Ohio State Buckeyes had defeated  Michigan eight times in a row, just shy of being named the longest win streak in rivalry history.

However, after losing to Michigan on November 25, 2021, the winning streak that Ohio State once obtained was destroyed. 

According to ESPN, Michigan player Hassan Haskins matched a school record with five rushing touchdowns. In addition, Michigan has now advanced to the conference championship for the first time. They also have a chance to win a Big Ten title for the first time since 2004 and a national championship for the first time since 1997. After their victory, Michigan’s head coach Jim Harbaugh was given the opportunity to reshape his coaching staff and even rename a drill the “Beat Ohio,” in order to add more incentive for his team. 

This rivalry has been portrayed as one of the biggest in college football. 

According to Draftkings Nation, the two teams met for the first time in 1897 and  met every year from 1900-1912. While there was a five year gap starting in 1913, the rivalry went uninterrupted from 1918-2019, before the 2020 game was canceled due to COVID-19. Additionally, the contrast between these two teams is referred to as “The Game” and while there is not a trophy for this game, theOhio State players do receive a gold pin in the shape of pants. Their former head coach, Francis Schmidt, previously made a comment about Michigan players explaining  the design of the pin. 

University of Michigan vs. Ohio State University in 1902, playing at Regents Field, Ann Arbor |

“Putting their pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us,”  Schmidt said. 

This statement implied that Michigan was still beatable even during their most dominant years of the rivalry. He compared them to regular people, saying that they are just like everyone else and they can make mistakes also. 

This rivalry has stemmed from the fighting of the two states over land and overtime transferred to a football game between the two states. 

According to the Observer, the rivalry can be traced back to the Toledo War in 1835-1836, which was fought between the states of Ohio and Michigan. The dispute was due to a disagreement over the location of the Michigan-Ohio border.

The war did not result in any casualties but has set the basis for the many angry interactions between Ohio State and Michigan fans. 

At this rate, the rivalry will continue for many years to come and lead to more high stake games like the one played on Saturday. 

Written by Anabelle Greene

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