Ohio State vs. Michigan: Scores Throughout the Years While the Buckeyes and Wolverines first clashed on the football field in 1897, animosity between the two states dates back even farther. In 1835, Michigan and Ohio were on the verge of a conflict over the city of Toledo. Then-Gov. Oliver H. Smith of Michigan sent a group of soldiers to Columbus to help suppress a rebellion there. When the rebels were defeated, Smith ordered all rebel property destroyed. The order included buildings used for public purposes such as churches and schools.
In addition to destroying government property, the rebels had the gall to name their organization the "Order of the White Rose." This nickname caught Smith's fancy, so he ordered that every member of the organization be put to death. The governor's son was one of the leaders of the rebellion, so it is not surprising that he would want to punish his father's enemies. He ordered that the prisoners be taken to a site near Sandusky and then executed. This event caused a breach in the peace between Michigan and Ohio that has never been healed.
In 1897, Ohio State played its first game against Michigan. The Buckeyes lost that opening match 10-0. Since then, the teams have met every year except for 1918 when America entered World War I. That year, Ohio State joined other colleges in suspending their programs until further notice. The Wolverines also went without a season during this time.
Winsipedia's database gathered all-time series results. While the Buckeyes and Wolverines first clashed on the football field in 1897, animosity between the two states dates back even farther. The two states agreed to settle their dispute through football - with each team putting up a flag at its respective university. The game was won by Michigan, which granted the University of Michigan its first charter for an annual football season.
Ohio went on to win the next five games played against Michigan, but the Wolverines finally ended that streak in 1901. From then on, Ohio would dominate the series: 33-9-2 until 2007 when John Cooper led the Buckeyes to a 1-0-1 record against Michigan.
The rivalry heated up again in 2008 when Jim Tressel became the new coach of Ohio. That same year, Urban Meyer took over at Michigan and has not looked back since. The series currently stands at 2-1-1 with Ohio winning last year's game 24-20 in Ann Arbor.
In addition to competing against each other in football, the states also compete in other sports such as basketball, baseball, and ice hockey. The overall competitive balance of these teams makes for a great college sports rivalry.
The teams first met in 1897, and the last time Ohio State and Michigan played each other was in 1917. Since 1918, the rivalry has been played every year. From 1897 through 1912, the Wolverines won 12 of 14 encounters against the Buckeyes, with two draws. In 1913, Ohio State beat Michigan 6-0 in Ann Arbor before a crowd of 10,000. The game is now known as the "Ohio State - Michigan Game".
In 1914, the Big Ten began scheduling games between its members. The league's directors voted to include Ohio State in their schedules, which included annual games against both Michigan and Indiana. The schools agreed to alternate playing each other for a season every year, with OSU going to Michigan and UM going to Indiana. The new arrangement lasted until 1947 when it was decided that no team could play both Ohio State and Michigan within a single season. Although this rule was not followed, even today many programs are limited by NCAA rules on how often they can play certain opponents. In 1989, the Big Ten approved a plan where each school would be allowed to play the other twice during the regular season.
In addition to playing each other annually, Ohio State and Michigan have a friendly agreement where if one school gets docked points due to poor conditions or some other reason, then they will make up those points at a later date. For example, in 2003 Michigan was given back six points due to poor field conditions.
History of the series, scores, and key games Ohio State and Michigan have a long-standing rivalry. As of 2020, the Wolverines lead the all-time series, 58-51-6. However, the Buckeyes have won the last eight matchups, including 15 of the previous 16.
In addition to being one of the most historic rivalries in college football, the Ohio State-Michigan game is also one of the best battles between up-and-coming and veteran teams. In fact, the winner of this year's game will go into next season with at least a share of the Big Ten Conference title.
Ohio State enters the season as the favorite to win the 2020 Big Ten Championship. If they were to win that game then they would get to play Alabama in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship. The Crimson Tide defeated Georgia 28-22 in overtime for their first championship in the event's ten-year history.
It's been reported that if Ohio State wins this year's game then head coach Ryan Day will be named the conference's new football chairman. He would succeed Jim Tressel, who was forced to resign after it was revealed he knew about but didn't report alleged incidents of abuse by former OSU assistant coach Jerry Sandusky years earlier. Day has since said he was aware of only two allegations of abuse, both of which occurred before he arrived at OSU in 2015.