The Rival Rundown: Michigan vs. Ohio State

Welcome back to The Rival Rundown! If you’ve always wanted to give props to your school on CC, now’s your chance! Shoot us an email explaining what’s awesome and unique about your school (or what stinks about Rival U) at [email protected]!

This is it, folks, the grand daddy of all college rivalries! Noted by ESPN as the greatest North American sports rivalry today, the bad blood between the University of Michigan and the Ohio State University is unequaled. This weekend marks the one hundred and sixth meeting of the two teams, in the last regular-season football game. If you don’t happen to be one who bleeds maize and blue, or scarlet and gray, now’s your chance to catch up on the rivalry that will be on the tips of everyone’s tongues this week.

Quick Facts:
University of Michigan: Public research university in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Enrollment of over 50,000. Mascot is the Wolverine.
Ohio State University: Public research university in Columbus, Ohio. Enrollment of over 50,000. Mascot is the Buckeye.

1. Football Victories

Michigan: 52 wins, 42 losses, 3 ties
Ohio State: 42 wins, 52 losses, 3 ties

Three credits to: Michigan. The Wolverines have also won 42 Big Ten conference titles (compared to Ohio State’s 33) and 11 national titles (compared to the Buckeyes’ 7).

2. Memorable Moments

Michigan: In one of the most famous football games in history, the 1950 Wolverines fought their way to victory 9-3 in Columbus.  In what is known to history as the “Snow Bowl,” the match took place in one of the worst Ohio blizzards on record. Before its start, Ohio State had the option of forfeiting the game and retaining the Big 10 championship title. However, since they decided to play, the two teams duked it out in the cold and snow, punting 45 times, occasionally on first downs. Michigan stealing the victory, and the title, on enemy turf? How sweet it was!
Ohio State: In the 1973 match-up between the Wolverines and the Buckeyes, both teams entered the game undefeated. The match would decide the Big 10 conference champion and which team would travel to the national championship at the Rose Bowl. When the game ended in a heart-wrenching tie, athletic directors of the other Big 10 conference schools had to vote by secret ballot for their choice of a winner. Ultimately, OSU became the victor, in what was one of the most legendary games in history.

Three credits to: Ohio State. With stakes raised to the limit–a conference championship, a trip to the Rose Bowl, and a tie with your most storied rival–having the confidence of your fellow conference members is something to relish.

3. Terrific Traditions

Michigan: American composer John Philip Sousa, who made a career of writing march songs, once declared the UM march song “the greatest college fight song ever written.”  Called “The Victors,” it has not only been played on the field and at commencement, but as the entrance theme song (in lieu of Hail to the Chief) for proud alum President Gerald Ford.
Ohio State: A seemingly cliche quote by one of OSU’s coaches turned into a legendary tradition for the Buckeyes. When asked about how he he planned to approach the Wolverines, Ohio State coach Francis Schmidt said, “They put their pants on one leg at a time same as everyone else.” Since then, the “Golden Pants Club” has awarded statues of golden pants to each OSU Buckeye who has scored a victory over Michigan.

Three credits to: Ohio State, for marrying college tradition appropriately with potty humor!

4. Ass-Kicking Alumni

Michigan: James Earl Jones, Tom Brady, Lucy Liu, Arthur Miller
Ohio State: Roy Lichtenstein, Jesse Owens, Patricia Heaton, Jack Niklaus (attended)

Three credits to: Michigan– how can you argue with the voice of Darth Vader (and CNN), and Super Bowl MVP?

5. Acceptance Rate Agony

Michigan: 42.1%
Ohio State: 52.3%

Three credits to: Michigan, definitively.

And the diploma goes to: Michigan! While there are sure to be some divided and heated opinions about this, the facts and figures stand for themselves. Over the years, Michigan has the historically better football team and academics to boot. However, the Buckeyes give a strong showing, with exceptional spirit and clutch victories.
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