This past week marks the greatest week of Ohio State football season: Beat Michigan week! This week marks the final football game of the regular season against longstanding rival, University of Michigan. Before I came to Ohio State, I had always heard of the rivalry, but never fully acknowledged how important this game truly is to the University, alum, students, and anyone affiliated with the University. Events were held on campus each day of the week to mark this tradition. The schedule included events such as the Michigan Blood Battle, a fight to beat Michigan in the amount of blood pints donated to the Red Cross, Beat Michigan craft night at the Ohio Union, and the Beat Michigan pep-rally fully equipped with OSU cheerleaders, the OSU marching band, and excited fans! The history of this rivalry is long and extensive; there is even a great documentary produced by HBO. Here is a snippet of some OSU-Michigan trivia per the University archives:
- Ohio State didn’t win until the 16th game in the series (1919).
- From 1968 through 1980 (that’s a 13 year period) the Big Ten Rose Bowl rep, was either Ohio State or Michigan.
- Jim Tressel was only the fourth coach in Ohio State football history to win his first game against Michigan and only the 2nd Ohio State coach to start 2-0 against the Wolverines. The other was Francis Schmidt, who started 4-0 from 1934 to 1937.
- Schmidt also introduced the tradition of the “gold pants.” After accepting the coaching position, he was asked how he expected to cope with the OSU nemesis from Ann Arbor. His matter-of-fact answer developed into a cliché: “They put their pants on one leg at a time same as everybody else.” Schmidt’s comment led to the formation of the “Golden Pants Club,” which awarded miniature gold football pants to all players who had a hand in a victory over the Wolverines.
- Biggest margin of victory in the series for the Buckeyes was in Schmidt’s second season, 38-0 in Ann Arbor.
- Under Tressel, the Buckeyes posted a 8-1 record against arch-rival Michigan.
- This year (2012) will mark the 109th game between the two Universities.
This time around, we won the football battle! The final score of this year’s rivalry game was 26-21 with OSU picking up the win!! It was such a great game and the fans rushed the field for celebration as soon as the clock hit 0:00!! It could not have been a more perfect ending to my last OSU football game as a student. Now, about those alumni tickets…