To round out our list at number one…there could only be one…THE Game, Michigan and Ohio State!
For many years, the Big Ten conference was known jokingly as the “Big 2 and Little 8” due to the chokehold these schools had on the rest of the conference schools. Before the Big Ten conference championship game was introduced this season, the Michigan and Ohio State games have either decided or affected the conference champion 49 times in 108 meetings.
Always being a key game in the regular season, the rivalry was brought to a whole new level in 1969 when Michigan defeated No.1 Ohio State 24-12 in Bo Schembechler’s first season as head coach for the Wolverines; this marked the first battle of the “Ten Year War”.
The “Ten Year War” refers to the ten years (1969-1978) that Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes met as head coaches during the rivalry. Adding even more to the drama-filled matchup, Bo was once an assistant for Woody at Ohio State before arriving in Ann Arbor. After Woody Hayes was fired by Ohio State at the end of the 1978 season, the “Ten Year War” ended with a 5-4-1 record in favor of Bo and Michigan.
Since the “War” ended between the coaches in 1978, the schools have been incredibly evenly matched with the series record at 16-16-1. However, with recent NCAA sanctions, The 2010 Ohio State win has been vacated. In 108 meetings, Michigan leads the overall record series with a 58-43-6 record over the Buckeyes.
This rivalry is not only the greatest rivalry for Big Ten football, but is arguably one of the greatest rivalries in all sports.
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