Ohio State vs. Michigan: A Time-Honored Tradition

I am proud to say that I have never been a student at OSU to witness a defeat to “that team up north.” I was a little worried this year that tradition might come to an end, but this Thanksgiving weekend the Buckeyes did not fail to produce a big W. There is so much team spirit at the game before and after that is makes for quite an experience.

There are so many incredible traditions that come with this game, that an entire week is dedicated to following these traditions exactly as they have done for over 100 years. This week was the annual Mirror Lake Jump in which thousands of students descend upon teeny, tiny mirror lake to jump in the water for what is supposed to be a good-luck charm to defeating M*ch*g*n. The weather is always below or at freezing, which makes for quite the evening. People usually start jumping in at about 9pm and people jump probably until around 2am. There are police and ambulances all over in case of an emergency as well as those who just want to watch the mayhem and not participate by jumping in the lake. It is normally on the Thursday before the game, but since this year was Thanksgiving, the jump was scheduled for Tuesday before the game. Also a tradition is the many rivalries that occur between both schools through various student organizations. Fraternities have blood drives to try to beat other fraternities from M*ch*g*n in blood giving. Finally, OUAB (the student activities board) hosts a Beat M*ch*g*n crafts night, for students to prepare items for the game.

There are some things about this game, that as an OSU student, must be observed. As seen above (in the previous paragraph), the word M*ch*g*n should be spelled in writing with stars or referred to as “that team up north” instead of using their actual name. Also, stores that carry Big Ten items with all of the schools, are supposed to place the M*ch*g*n flag upside down.

This year there were a few new traditions that were added to the continuously growing list. One of my new favorite things I saw this year for Beat M*ch*g*n week, we the “Dump the Blue” campaign at some of the local bookstores. Students had the option to get rid of any blue clothing they had in exchange for a red rally towel to be used at the game on Saturday. Another of my other favorite things about this years game was the chant at the end of the game that was, “SEVEN STRAIGHT” alluding to the fact that OSU has beaten these opponents seven times in a row.

Here’s hoping it will be eight straight next year…. Go Bucks!

The first picture is from the OSU vs. UM 2006 #1 vs #2 “game of the century” after everyone rushed the field.

Tim and Rebecca

Another from 2006….Thank you to “Block O” for creating this gem…..

No to Michigan

Finally, we made it to AA deck!!! Picture from the 2010 game….

view from seats
OSU vs. UM 2010 view from our seats

A tradition that never gets old!

This weekend past was the ‘game’, which apparently was not only a game but also a great opportunity for research on human behavior (“studying the big game”). The game is the annual college football match between The Ohio State ‘Buckeyes’ and The University of Michigan ‘Wolverines’. The rivalry has dated back to 1897 and there have been 106 meetings total between the two teams. The University of Michigan has an edge overall with 57 to 43 wins but in recent years Ohio State has been the stronger of the two teams with a run of 6 victories in a row. This weekend they got the sixth win with a 21-10 score line in Ann Arbor, MI to leave the team 10-2 on the season and heading to a big bowl game in Pasadena CA in January known as the Rose Bowl.

rose bowl

The rivalry has a range of traditions such as jumping in Mirror Lake on the OSU campus on the Thursday night before the game (where did the jumping tradition came from?), usually in some very cold temperatures leading to a range of illnesses….. The scene on a Thursday night is something that everyone should experience, jumping into questionable water quality in sub zero temperatures, I’m not so sure……



The game also allows for a range of charitable organizations to benefit, with a run for cancer occurring between the two universities and also a blood battle to see which university can gain the most donations playing a role in stocking local hospitals blood supplies. It is also the last game of the intense football season and everyone’s attention on campus focuses on it with a range of events occurring.

This year the football team has had a good year – one poor performance against big ten rival Purdue and a tough loss against University of Southern California has meant they do not get to go for a national championship title. It does mean however that the team won a Big Ten title and the team has improved as the season has gone on and the campus is excited for next season already. The only problem is that the season doesn’t start until August of next year!

As I write this blog, I need to acknowledge my sports advisor Ed, a big contributor for this blog and without whom I would not have any idea of what is football or its rules so ever 🙂