” If you grew up a Buckeye, if you grew up in the great state of Ohio, or if you are a Buckeye now, this is the real one. This is the greatest rivalry in all of sport, not college football, all of sport” Ohio State Buckeyes football head coach, Urban Meyer
COLUMBUS — It is that time once again in the heart of Big Ten country. Two words; Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines
Michigan week, as it is often called in the Buckeye State, two words, that every die-hard scarlet and gray wearing fan and alumnus have sub-consciously etched in the back of their mind memorized, the annual clash between two of the most storied college football powers on the last days of November.
In a game simply known as “The Game” and dubbed as the greatest rivalry of the 20th century by ESPN in 2000, other rivalries such as the Iron Bowl between Alabama-Auburn, Notre Dame-USC and Army-Navy come close, none of them touch the history, passion and mutual hatred of Ohio State vs. Michigan, especially between fans, alumni and even the states themselves.
Even in the off-season, the Wolverines-Buckeyes rivalry lives on as Michigan has had a successful history of recruiting the state most notably Cleveland, as former standouts Desmond Howard and Elvis Grbac prepped at the–then all-male St Joseph’s High School.
Other Ohio-born players such as Charles Woodson, Mario Manningham decided to take their talents to “that team up north’ as Buckeye fans often refer to Michigan. Ohio State has also established a steady pipeline in Cleveland, thanks to city school, Glenville, which provided stars such as Troy Smith, Donte Whitner and Ted Ginn Jr.
With Schembechler being a former Woody Hayes assistant and current head coach Brady Hoke, a native of Dayton suburb, Kettering, the OSU-UM rivalry is personal for both sides.
First played in 1897, Michigan currently leads the all-time series, 58-45-6, with Ohio State winning the last two under current head coach, Urban Meyer, after a vacating a win in 2010, due to the now infamous Tattoo Gate” scandal under former head coach Jim Tressel, who went 7-1 vs. Michigan.
In a series that has featured legendary coaches such as Hayes and Schembechler, Heisman Trophy winners such as Howard, Smith and NFL standouts such as Tom Brady,Dan Dierdorf, Paul Warfield and Dante Levelli, Ohio State and Michigan is a rivalry unmatched.
In a history full of upsets, nothing would make the Wolverines season more special than to spoil another Buckeyes national title dream. Just be sure not to ever mention John Cooper’s name down in Columbus.
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