This week at Inside The Shoe we are running a feature where each of the writers tries to describe what the annual Ohio State vs. Michigan game means to them. It's a little difficult for me to put into words, because some of my experiences with this game have just been so cool. Being only 22, for the majority of the years I have been able to intelligently watch football, Ohio State has pretty much dominated Michigan.
Thankfully, I missed most of the John Cooper Years, and Ohio State has gone 7-3 against That School Up North in the past decade. But save for 2008, when Rich Rod was new to The Rivalry and Lloyd Carr had left a pretty bare cupboard, every year since 1995 has been a two possession game.
Basically, in my short history with The Ohio State/Michigan game, almost every game has been close and has meant something to the Big Ten standings. So even without the hatred for Michigan that is ingrained in my DNA, I look forward to this game all year, every year, simply because it almost always determines what bowl game each school will go to.
My first year attending Ohio State just so happened to coincide with the 2006 football season. And although that season ultimately ending with an epic debacle, the Michigan game that year almost completely gets rid of the bitter aftertaste of the championship game.
It was the only time in the 106 meetings that both teams have been ranked #1 and #2, which, to be honest, I am still surprised about. With all the titles won by these two teams, I would have thought that they would have been the top two teams at least once before, but they never were.
So obviously, this was a special game. The fact that this was the first Michigan game I saw in person makes it a special game for me. Throw in the fact that the game was incredible, and that the winner went the the BCS Title Game, and it means that much more.
For those of you that were in attendance on that Saturday afternoon, you remember the BEST HALFTIME SHOW OF ALL TIME. To see it on Youtube doesn't do TBDBITL justice, but looking back, this is just the icing on the cake on one of the greatest games I have ever, and likely will ever, see.
Last season was my last year at Ohio State, and my friends and I were determined to be in attendance. Luckily, the Michigan football team was just disgusting last year, and I bought a pair of tickets from a disgruntled alumnus for just $250. Considering that I know people that sold just one ticket for more than twice that for the #1 vs. #2 game, I thought that was a deal.
Not to be a jerk to any UM fan who might be reading this, but the one thing I took away from that magnificent road trip was how in need of renovations the Big House is. It was cool to be there in a historic stadium. It was not cool to have to sit on another dude's lap for halftime.
The last thing that has to be mentioned in my Michigan Game Memoirs is the legendary Mirror Lake Jump. For those who don't know, the Mirror Lake Jump is when the students of the greatest university of all time (Ohio State) gather at the man-made pond in the center of campus on the Thursday before The Game, and jump in it. Keep in mind while watching that video that the temperature is typically hovering around freezing.
My best Mirror Lake memory is running into one of my TA's whilst in the water, and having him instantly scream out "YOU GET TEN BONUS POINTS!"
So there you have it, Michigan. You want the secret to our domination? Make yourself a tiny lake, fill it with water, then have thousands of students throw up and pee in it, and then go swimming in it. You think I'm crazy? I jumped in Mirror Lake four times. Ohio State beat Michigan each time. Coincidence? I don't believe in coincidences.
I am looking forward to countless more Michigan Game memories, but nothing will ever compare to being a student at Ohio State during the most dominant run by the Buckeyes in this rivalry, ever.
It truly is the greatest rivalry in sports. There are a few that come close (Duke vs. UNC in basketball, Auburn vs. Alabama football), but in my mind, nothing equals it. And if somebody brings up Yankees/Red Sox, give yourself a slap in the face for me. Feel free to share your memories and experiences below, and everyone, enjoy the rest of Hate Week.