The Game: Ohio State vs. Michigan

Geraffi's picture
February 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm

I was reading responses in a forum earlier regarding the age old argument that Michigan leads the all-time series vs. Ohio State, although Ohio State has owned that team up north over the last decade and in fact has been the dominant team in the modern era.  So I decided to spend my Sunday morning productively by reviewing the win/loss record in THE Game, especially since 1950 which was the end of the leather helmet era in college football.  I also dug a little further to find other relevant statistics.
With full disclosure, I used Wikipedia to gather the information presented below.  I was careful, often checking twice, but didn't want to spend my entire day on this little project, so feel free to check for accuracy.  Also, it's unclear when the vacated season is included or excluded on Wikipedia, so that could have a slight impact on the info presented below.  Again, feel free to check for accuracy.  I'll try to make corrections.
Hopefully this will help all of you defend the Scarlet and Gray!
The results show that Ohio State has definitely been the dominant team since 1950, but it's been a pretty even match up overall, as the greatest rivalry in all of sports should be.
Ohio State v Michigan Statistics (from Wikipedia)
Prior to 1918, Michigan pretty much owned the Buckeyes, going 12-0-2, between 1897-1912.
Because of this stretch, Michigan holds the all-time series lead 58-44-6.
The first meeting of OSU and Michigan as members of the Big Ten was in 1918.
Michigan won that meeting, but in 1919 Ohio State returned the favor, splitting the 1910’s, 1-1 (as members of the Big Ten).
The overall record since 1918 is 46-44-4, in Michigan’s favor, but just barely!  Urbs will right this wrong!
Since the end of the leather helmet era (using 1950 as the cut), the overall record is 33-30-2, Advantage, THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY.
Record by Decade:

Decade Ohio State Michigan Tie
1920s 4 6*  
1930s 5 5  
1940s 2 6* 2
1950s 5 5  
1960s 7* 3  
1970s 5* 4 1
1980s 4 6*  
1990s 2 7* 1
2000s 8* 2  
2010s 2~ 1  

*Won the decade (OSU 3 and current, UM 4, tied 2)
~Current leader
Other Relevant Statistics
Total National Championships Claimed

Ohio State 7 1942, 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970, 2002
Number of NC since 1950 = 6
Michigan 11 1901*, 1902*, 1903*, 1904*, 1918, 1923, 1932, 1933, 1947, 1948, 1997
Number of NC since 1950 = 1
*Shared with Princeton, Yale, or other (I didn’t look any further for shared titles)

Total Heisman Winners

Ohio State 7* ) 1944, 1950, 1955, 1974, 1975, 1995, 2006
Michigan 3 1940, 1991, 1997

*tied for most with ND and USC
BCS Appearances and Record:

  Appearances Record NCG Record
Ohio State 9 6-3 3 1-2
Michigan 5 2-3 0 0

Rose Bowl Appearances and Record
The Rose Bowl isn’t always the best measure due to Big Ten rules that didn’t allow the same team to go in consecutive years.  In addition, with the dawn of the BCS era, Ohio State played in three NCGs.  They would have likely gone to the Rose Bowl in those years.

  All-time Record Since 1950 Record Last
Ohio State 14 7-7 13 7-6 2010 (W)
Michigan 20 8-12 18 6-12 2007 (L)

Big Ten Champions/Co-Champions:

  All-time Since 1950 Last
Ohio State 34 26 2009
Michigan 42 23 2004
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