Fun Fact Friday: The Ohio State vs University of Michigan Rivalry


One of best rivalries in sports resumes Saturday, when Ohio State and Michigan meet on gridiron for the 111th time.

This famed rivalry did not get started on the football field, but rather a conflict over the Toledo Strip.  The conflict erupted when both Ohio and Michigan claimed Toledo as a part of their statehood petition. After a brief and bloodless battle, Ohio gained the disputed area from Michigan

This incident increased tension between the two states for over 60 years before the two teams met on the field for the first time in 1897. Since then, the rivals have met every year on for their last regular season game.

With such a long and historic rivalry, there are many traditions from their meetings. Ohio State started the “Gold Pants” tradition in 1942. Each Ohio State player and coach receives a gold miniature charm depicting a pair of football pants after a victory over the Michigan Wolverines. Many former football players recall receiving their Gold Pants as their most memorable part of their careers at Ohio State.

In addition to these gold pants, football players can secure their place in Ohio State lore by a great game against Michigan. One player who had standout games against Michigan was Archie Griffin.  During Archie’s senior year 1975, Ohio State came back from behind and beat Michigan 21-14. That was the year that Archie Griffin won his second Heisman trophy. That trophy is on display outside the Great Hall at the Union.

In recent years, the rivalry has taken a turn in Ohio State’s favor. Ohio State has won the last nine out of ten meetings with Michigan. Saturday will be another chance for Ohio State to extend that streak to three consecutive wins under Urban Meyer and have bragging rights for the next year.  The game kicks off at noon at Ohio Stadium! Go Bucks!

For those interested in more information about the rivalry, check out the video below:

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