Ohio State-Michigan tilt may be one for books
No. 2 Ohio State hosts rival and third-ranked Michigan today with a lot on the line, and it could join a long list of memorable games in the storied series, one of the most famed rivalries in sports.
The Game is set up to be a gem.
No. 2 Ohio State (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) hosts rival and third-ranked Michigan (10-1, 7-1, No. 3 CFP) on today with a lot on the line, and it could join a long list of memorable games in the storied series.
Here’s a look back, in chronological order, at some of the top games in one of the greatest rivalries in sports, according to AP Sports Writer Larry Lage.
Lage’s first memory of The Game was in 1981 when Art Schlichter lifted the unranked Buckeyes to a 14-9 win over seventh-ranked Michigan with a touchdown near his father’s seats in Section 19. Lage’s first game story as a journalist covering the series came in 1995 when Tim Biakabutuka ran for 313 yards to help No. 18 Michigan beat No. 2 Ohio State 31-23. Lage has covered one Michigan road game in the series, a decade ago, and all the matchups at The Big House since 2001. The 43-year-old Lage played football across the street from Michigan Stadium at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School and one of his teammates was Mike Lantry, whose father was a central figure in The Game’s 10-10 tie in 1973.
• 1950: In what is remembered as the “Snow Bowl,” the unranked Wolverines beat No. 8 Ohio State 9-3 as the temperature hovered around 10 degrees with winds reaching nearly 30 mph and the white stuff making it tough to see or play. Ohio State fired coach Wes Fesler with an 0-3-1 record against the Wolverines. The Buckeyes ended up hiring Woody Hayes, a young coach from Miami (Ohio), to take his place.
• 1969: In Bo Schembechler’s first game against Hayes, his mentor, No. 12 Michigan beat the topranked Buckeyes 24-12 at home. Hayes lamented the loss, saying the Schembechler-led Wolverines beat the best team he ever had. The game was the start of what became known as the “Ten Year War,” with Bo beating Woody five times, losing four games and finishing one famously tied.
• 1973: No. 1 Ohio State and No. 4 Michigan, both undefeated, battled in an instant classic to a 10-10 tie with enough drama to be the subject of a documentary, “Tiebreaker.” The Wolverines got the better of play, but kicker Mike Lantry missed two field goals in the last 2 minutes. Big Ten athletic directors chose the Buckeyes, not Michigan — perhaps because quarterback Dennis Franklin got injured to represent the Big Ten in the Rose Bowl at a time when the conference would only allow one team to be in a bowl. The Big Ten would later decide to allow more than one school to participate in the postseason.