The Legendary Rivalry of Michigan vs. Ohio State: Top 20 Iconic Games | Teen Ink

The Legendary Rivalry of Michigan vs. Ohio State: Top 20 Iconic Games

July 22, 2023
By tyler_lyman1111 BRONZE, Yorktown, Virginia
tyler_lyman1111 BRONZE, Yorktown, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

For over a century, college football fans have been treated to a remarkable rivalry between two football powerhouses - Michigan and Ohio State. As the decades passed, these teams have given us thrilling encounters that have left a lasting impact on the sport's history.

Number 20: The Defensive Clash of 1971

In 1971, the Wolverines entered the rivalry game undefeated and ranked in the AP top five. In a fantastic defensive battle, the teams mustered only 17 points in total. Michigan's 10-7 victory stands as a testament to their prowess on that day, breaking a streak of several losses against the Buckeyes.

Number 19: The Upset of 2004

A 9-1 Michigan team faced a 6-4 Ohio State in 2004, and expectations were high for a Wolverines victory. However, the Buckeyes had different plans and secured an upset win with a 37-21 scoreline, ultimately leading to Michigan's conference victory.

Number 18: Ohio State's Comeback in 2005

The 2005 encounter saw Ohio State staging an impressive comeback against Michigan, erasing a 21-12 deficit in the final minutes. Troy Smith's leadership guided the Buckeyes to a memorable 25-21 victory, setting the stage for his future Heisman triumph.

Number 17: Michigan's Shutout in 1993

The undefeated Buckeyes rolled into Ann Arbor in 1993, aiming for a crushing victory against Michigan. However, the Wolverines, led by WR Mercury Hayes and RB Jon Ritchie, stunned Ohio State with a resounding 28-0 shutout, resulting in a shared Big Ten Title.

Number 16: A Tense Tie in 1941

Their first ranked meeting in 1941 resulted in an ironic tie, with both teams ending the season with one loss, trailing Minnesota in the Big Ten. This draw marked the beginning of several more ranked encounters between the rivals.

Number 15: Ohio State's Slim Victory in 1944

In 1944, the undefeated Buckeyes managed to retain their perfect record, defeating their northern rivals by a narrow margin of just four points.

Number 14: The Closest Win in 1926

Marking the 23rd matchup between the teams, the 1926 game saw Michigan clinch the slimmest victory ever recorded between the two, securing their win by a whisker.

Number 13: Tom Brady's Heroics in 1999

In a memorable clash in 1999, QB Tom Brady led Michigan to a late-game winning drive, securing a 24-17 victory over Ohio State. The Wolverines' triumph propelled them to a successful season culminating in an Orange Bowl win against Alabama.

Number 12: Tressel's Debut Victory in 2001

Jim Tressel took over as Ohio State's head coach in 2001, determined to defeat Michigan and end a long drought on the road. The Buckeyes achieved a 26-20 win, igniting support for their new coach across Ohio.

Number 11: The End of "The 10-Year War" in 1978

Coaches Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler's rivalry came to an end in 1978 with Michigan's 14-3 victory. Unfortunately, the continuation of the rivalry was halted after Hayes' unfortunate altercation in the Gator Bowl.

Number 10: The Surprise Upset of 1987

A fired-up Ohio State team, led by their recently dismissed coach, pulled off a stunning 23-20 upset against Michigan. The Buckeyes' heartfelt tribute to their former coach added to the emotional intensity of the game.

Number 9: Charles Woodson Shines in 1997

Ohio native Charles Woodson's brilliance guided Michigan to a strong 20-14 victory over Ohio State. His exceptional performance played a pivotal role in securing the Heisman Trophy and maintaining Michigan's top-ranking status.

Number 8: Michigan's Shocking Upset in 1996

In 1996, a surprising Michigan team stunned the No. 2 Ohio State with a 13-9 upset, denying the Buckeyes a chance to claim the No. 1 spot in the polls.

Number 7: Michigan's Triumph in 1995

A three-loss Michigan squad pulled off a major upset, defeating the highly ranked Buckeyes, thereby eliminating them from the Big Ten Title race and a shot at the National Championship.

Number 6: Ohio State's Stand in 1972

In a memorable defensive performance, Ohio State's stout defense denied Michigan twice from the one-yard line, leading to a hard-fought 14-11 victory for the Buckeyes.

Number 5: Ohio State's Late Rally in 1975

Down 14-7 with just two minutes remaining, Ohio State staged a remarkable comeback, securing two late scores to win 21-14 and maintain their No. 1 spot in the polls.

Number 4: The Controversial Tie in 1973

A clash of undefeated teams in 1973 resulted in a 10-10 tie, leaving the Big Ten ADs to decide the representative for the Rose Bowl. The controversial decision to choose Ohio State over Michigan fueled tensions.

Number 3: The 2006 Game of the Century

The 2006 encounter between the top-ranked Ohio State and the second-ranked Michigan was a highly anticipated game. With both teams vying for a spot in the National Championship, Ohio State's 42-39 victory in a closely contested match left a lasting impression.

Number 2: The Legendary Snow Bowl of 1950

Amidst freezing temperatures and heavy snow, Michigan and Ohio State engaged in a historic battle. Michigan's Tony Momsen's blocked punt, resulting in the game's only touchdown, led the Wolverines to a 9-3 win despite not completing a single pass.

Number 1: Bo Schembechler's Upset in 1969

One of the most significant upsets in college football history occurred when undefeated Ohio State, led by Woody Hayes, faced off against Michigan under the direction of Bo Schembechler. The Wolverines shocked the Buckeyes with a 24-12 victory, ending Ohio State's 22-game winning streak. This game marked the start of the legendary "10 Year War" between two of college football's greatest coaches.

The Michigan-Ohio State rivalry continues to captivate fans, offering unforgettable moments that shape the legacy of college football's most historic matchup.

The author's comments:

My father went The Ohio State University and I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps. I’m a 13 year old boy and as many others I love football. Since I love Ohio State and football it makes sense as of why I love Ohio State Football’s team! Ohio State’s biggest rivalry is against Michigan, and that’s what sparked me too write about the top 20 games they’ve played. When I’m older I would like to be a sportscaster.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.