The Ohio State—Michigan rivalry isn’t dead.
Ohio State has just been on a nice run. But a run is all it is. Buckeye fans seemingly have nothing better to do than to fold their arms and speculate as to what should be done about things.
One brilliant commentator has even suggested that USC should be the new Michigan, as far as rivalries go for Ohio State.
Yes, Ohio State has a rematch game against USC scheduled for this year in Columbus as well. But OSU fans can’t be serious that a second game against a good team will somehow replace 105 years of playing football against each other.
I don’t take the suggestion seriously, but use it as a starting point to explain what will happen to our Buckeye friends.
You will lose, and the tide will swing the other way.
Some history may put things in perspective.
Sure, Ohio State has beaten Michigan the last five years, and seven of the last eight meetings. But setting aside last year’s beating in Columbus, the last seven years of the rivalry have averaged a point differential of 8.1 points per game. That’s not domination.
Those are close games, including a 2006 42-39 thriller that is arguably the greatest college football game ever played.
Before the most recent stretch, Michigan beat Ohio State five out of the last six meetings, and a whopping 10 out of 12 times (excluding a tie game in 1992). From 1952 to 1972, Ohio State won 14 out 21 meetings. From 1938 to 1951, Michigan won 10 of 14 meetings, two of which were ties.
Simply put, my Buckeye friends, you’ve got yours coming. And anyone who suggests otherwise simply doesn’t have an understanding of or an appreciation for history, or is irrationally overconfident, or most likely both.
As one famous individual said, “pride comes before the fall.”
I honestly don’t know when it is coming. It may be this year. It may be next year. Or maybe a few years from now. But when it does, I’ll smile and think back to my Buckeye friends who so arrogantly suggested there was no more rivalry. And when the Wolverines are on top again, I’ll be sure not to make the same mistake.