It also kept the Wolverines from being No. 1 in the new national polls released Monday.
Those are subplots to what was a very intense, very important game in what’s going to be a grueling Big Ten race. But every Ohio State player knew that Michigan came into the game as the nation’s last undefeated team.
“There’s always satisfaction in denying Michigan the No. 1 spot in the country,” Ohio State senior Evan Ravenel said after the game, smiling but leaving it at that.
Michigan would have been No. 1 for the first time since 1992-93, when some guys known as the Fab Five were in their second season wearing maize and blue. The win continued Ohio State’s recent dominance in the series, too. The Buckeyes eliminated Michigan in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament last year, and with Sunday’s win Ohio State coach Thad Matta improved to 17-3 against the Wolverines.
Ranked No. 2 coming into the game, Michigan slipped to No. 5 in the newest coaches poll. The Wolverines were also No. 5 in the AP poll, where they were one of five teams to receive a first-place vote.
In the coaches poll, No. 1 Louisville got 18 first-place votes, No. 2 Duke got six and No. 3 Indiana got seven.
Ohio State moved from No. 14 to 11 in both polls, just ahead of Minnesota. That means four Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 12. Michigan’s next game is Thursday at Minnesota, and Ohio state’s next game is Saturday at No. 17 Michigan State.
See why Michigan coach John Beilein said Monday that he thinks a team could lose six conference games and still win the Big Ten?
Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State shared last year’s title with 13-5 conference records.
After Sunday’s game, Beilein said he knew no team would go undefeated and hoped his team would learn from Sunday’s experience in Columbus.
“Rankings are irrelevant,” Beilein said. “(Being No. 1), it’s great, but the rankings are irrelevant. What’s the end of the story? What are you like in March? That’s when we’ll know.”