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Series Began: 1897
All-Time Series Leader: Michigan 58-44-6
Recent History: Michigan stopped a seven-game losing skid to Ohio State with a 40-34 win over the Buckeyes in Ann Arbor in 2011. The last time the Wolverines tasted victory in Columbus was 12 years ago, in 2000.
In what is arguably one of the top three rivalry games in the history of college football, Ohio State vs. Michigan won’t have the impact of other grudge matches on our list, but this fiesta of hate still has BCS implications.
Regardless of how many wins the Buckeyes can rack up in 2012, they’re completely out of any postseason considerations due to NCAA sanctions banning the Bucks from playing after their Nov. 24 finale with Michigan.
The Wolverines, on the other hand, remain relevant in the BCS equation not because of their 6-3 record, but due to the fact that some team has to win the Big Ten.
And that the winning team will play in the BCS Rose Bowl, regardless of its BCS ranking.
Yes, Michigan’s not even in the latest BCS standings, but that doesn’t mean they can’t join in the big-money dance.
What makes Ohio State vs. Michigan significant comes down to the race for the Big Ten Legends Division title, which is the ticket to the second annual conference championship game.
For the Wolverines, this means that Nebraska (which beat Michigan on Oct. 27) must lose to either Penn State, Minnesota or Iowa and then Michigan must win out.
So, the Wolverines must best Northwestern this Saturday and then sink Iowa in Week 12 before traveling to Columbus to face the Buckeyes.
And if this all plays out as scripted, then a win at the Horseshoe could equal a trip to Indianapolis to play default Leaders Division champion Wisconsin or Indiana.
The end result of this game is, again, a BCS bid regardless of BCS standing.