Ohio State vs Michigan: A Rivalry Like No Other

Ohio State vs. Michigan is the greatest rivalry by far.

In case you haven’t heard or somehow live under a rock, it is officially rivalry week with Ohio State and Michigan about to square off..

Let’s be honest, the only difference between this week and the other 51 weeks of the year is the Buckeyes actually get to stomp on the enemy for 60 minutes.

Throughout the history of sports, there are a few rivalries that rise above the others.  Is ‘The Game’ the best?  I certainly think so.

Army Navy has a special place.  The Iron Bowl is intense.  Yankees-Red Sox?  Please, those two teams get to play each other all the time.

For two states, two fan bases, two football programs, this rivalry is the epitome of all sports.  ‘The Game’ has changed the way we look at our cities, our culture and our history.

Gold pants, Mirror Lake, Bo and Woody, Archie, Desmond, Woodson, Smith, Tressel, 1973, 2006, Meyer and Harbaugh.  The list of favorite moments, quotes, players, coaches, games and pieces of memorabilia is endless.

Legends have been made in the Shoe and Michigan Stadium creating lasting memories cherished by fans that are passed down from generation to generation.

This is how ‘The Game’ and all that it represents remains sacred to millions of fans across the United States that bleed Scarlet and Gray or Maize and Blue.

My favorite game occurred November 23, 2002.  As a kid, I watched Ohio State beat Michigan in 1979 only to lose the Rose Bowl.  Then came 1995 and 1996.  Painful.

Tressel delivered on his promise a year earlier beating the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, but he restored the balance in the rivalry by beating the TTUN 14-9 earning the right to play for the National Championship.

Memo to all the younger fans out there.  Don’t take the current Ohio State winning streak for granted.

I’ve have heard several pundits say the stakes have never been higher than this year’s game.  That’s nonsense.  The stakes have just returned to where they belong.

This game will help determine the outcome of the Big Ten and who gets into the College Football Playoff.

Buckeye Nation can say whatever it wants about Harbaugh, but the truth is he has resurrected the Michigan program and along with Meyer have shifted the balance of power away from the SEC.

Winning this game is always important, but doing it when the other team is great makes it even better.  Compare 2006 to 2008 for the Buckeyes or 1991 to 1996 for the Wolverines.

Inflicting pain and ruining the opponent’s season, that is the essence of this rivalry.

Harbaugh’s team is in position to have a special season.  Standing in the way are the Buckeyes.  One game to settle the debate about which program is better.

Winner gets bragging rights for 364 days and likely a chance to play for a national championship.  The loser get sent off into the cold winter pondering what might have been.

That’s life in Ohio and Michigan and we wouldn’t want it any other way.

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