Michigan-Ohio State: Rivalry Changing Moments

Since 1935, when the two teams first began their annual end of the season meetings, Michigan and Ohio State have regarded the final game of the regular season as most important. This fact is something that Michigan and Ohio State fans have known, understood, and relished for years. While the rivalry has seen its share of ebb and flow, the importance of The Game has never wavered. Big Ten and National Championships have often been on the line when the Wolverines and Buckeyes have clashed in late November. Yet, even during those few meetings when pride alone was on the line, the passion and intensity of the rivalry has never diminished. The Game became a national spectacle during the 10 Year War, thrusting the importance of the rivalry beyond just the Midwest. As the 2007 HBO special on the rivalry eloquently summed it up, the regular season became mere window dressing before the annual end of the year battle. Each of the rivalry’s 107 meetings has held a certain level of importance for the players, coaches, and fans. Even so, there have been brief moments in history when fate has stretched out its hand and fundamentally changed the course of the rivalry. There are moments when the importance of The Game transcends the regular level of passion and intensity that the rivalry is built upon.

The 1919 contest between Michigan and Ohio State marked the first such moment in the history of the rivalry. In 1916, future first-team All-American Chic Harley arrived at the Ohio State campus and dramatically changed the course of “The Game.” Harley helped Ohio State snap a 15 game non-winning streak against Michigan in 1919. Ohio State’s 13-3 victory showed that yes, Michigan could be beaten. Ohio State’s win was the first of 3 straight victories over Michigan, a stretch that cemented the rivalry as a two sided affair.

In 1951 another rivalry changing moment occurred, created by the arrival of Wayne Woodrow Hayes, a.k.a “Woody.” Ohio State won all of 2 games in 12 years prior to Woody Hayes taking over the Buckeye program. While Hayes lost his first contest to Michigan, he went on to win 12 of the next 16 games against the Wolverines. Beginning in 1952, Hayes presided over the first “Red Scare” in the rivalry’s history, a period when Ohio State took over and dominated the series. Hayes not only made beating Michigan a priority, he instilled a level of hatred into the rivalry that fueled his team’s performance and created a deep sense of animosity between the two programs.

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3rd Greatest Season Opener – ‘84 vs. Miami (FL)

Counting Down Michigan’s Greatest Season Openers

1984 for the most part was not a memorable season for Michigan. Schembechler’s squad would finish 6-6 after an injury to QB Jim Harbaugh sent the season into a spiral. But it did begin with a bang, as the Wolverines took out the number one ranked Hurricanes propelling the Wolverines to a temporary third place ranking. 1984 was also Jimmy Johnson’s first at the helm for Miami. He would finish the season 8-5 with three consecutive losses, including the historic Hail Flutie Game. An odd tidbit, Miami entered the game 2-0, while it was Michigan’s season opener.

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Football Banquet; Coaching Speculation Carousel

2010 Michigan Football Banquet, Coaching Speculation

2010 Football Bust

By: UMGoBlue.com Senior Writer Andy Andersen

The 90th Annual University of Michigan Greater Detroit Alumni Club Football Bust was held on the evening of December 2 in Livonia at the Laurel Manor.

The purpose of the event is to view highlights from the 2010 season, observe the presentation of the coveted M rings to the seniors, and to honor players for outstanding academic and athletic achievements.

Besides a great meal, fans can get a look at the players, put a face and personality with the number, get to know them a little, and say thank you. Although at times I have thought the proceedings a little lengthy, it is a fine opportunity for a Wolverine fan to show his/her appreciation.

This year’s event, by circumstance not design, recalled the 1985 team, which manhandled Nebraska in the 1986 Fiesta Bowl. Those Number 2 ranked Wolverines laid defensive hit after hit, causing turn over after turn over, in as fine a Bowl defensive performance as produced by any Bo Schembechler team.  They embarrassed the Huskers. Offensively they were potent under the guidance of QB Jim Harbaugh, the hands and elusiveness of John Kolesar, and with the wheels of Jamie Morris. Gerald White attended, but Jim Harbaugh did not.

A ton of speculation before the event swirled abound whether Harbaugh would be there. ESPN reported he was considering the trip up until last Saturday, but scheduled a Stanford practice which prevented attendance.  His attendance would have entertained the media. among others.

To the surprise of no one this side of Timbuktu, Denard Robinson won the Bo Schembechler MVP award, and well earned and deserved it was. His accomplishments are worth listing again in these pages.

That Robinson is the nation’s top dual threat QB has been proved. Also recently named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, he set the NCAA season rushing record for QBs with 245 carries for 1,643-yards and 14 TDs this season. He is the first QB to run and pass for plus 1,500-yards in NCAA history in a single season. He was 155/253 passing for 2,316-yards for16 TDs. He also set a UM mark for total offense by amassing 3,858-yards and accounting for 30 TDs.

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