Ohio State and Michigan form the greatest rivalry in college football, but it's been drastically one sided in recent years as the Buckeyes have won 15 of the last 16 matchups.
Domination so complete and tenured would make you think it'd be hard for a single player (one way or the other) to make a difference. But we're asking that question anyway — if Michigan had the ability to swap quarterbacks with Ohio State every year going back to 2004, how many of these regular season-ending matchups would they have won?
Let's see a break down of the matchups, results and quarterbacks for each game.
|Year||Ohio State QB||Ohio State Score||Michigan Score||Michigan QB|
|2004||Troy Smith||37||21||Chad Henne|
|2005||Troy Smith||25||21||Chad Henne|
|2006||Troy Smith||42||39||Chad Henne|
|2007||Todd Boekman||14||3||Chad Henne|
|2008||Terrelle Pryor||42||7||Nick Sheridan|
|2009||Terrelle Pryor||21||10||Tate Forcier|
|2010||Terrelle Pryor||37||7||Denard Robinson|
|2011||Braxton Miller||34||40||Denard Robinson|
|2012||Braxton Miller||26||21||Devin Gardner|
|2013||Braxton Miller||42||41||Devin Gardner|
|2014||J.T. Barrett||42||28||Devin Gardner|
|2015||J.T. Barrett||42||13||Jake Rudock|
|2016||J.T. Barrett||30||27||Wilton Speight|
|2017||J.T. Barrett||31||20||John O'Korn|
|2018||Dwayne Haskins||62||39||Shea Patterson|
|2019||Justin Fields||56||27||Shea Patterson|
Looking at the chart here, I could see every game involving Troy Smith going drastically different if he were suiting up for the Wolverines between 2004-06.
I'm not sure any quarterback could've saved Michigan between 2007-10, but the conversation changes when Braxton Miller gets involved in 2011. I think Miller could've led Michigan to a win over Ohio State in every game he started from 2011-13.
But that's essentially when the conversation ends for me, with one outlier. Urban Meyer's recruiting created a drastic gap between the two programs, and the only conceivable win I see for Michigan after 2013 is the classic 2016 showdown. If you give Michigan J.T. Barrett and put poor Wilton Speight behind center in Ohio State's '16 offense, the Wolverines would've been dancing in Ohio Stadium as they inevitably earned their first College Football Playoff bid.
What are your thoughts? How many wins would the Wolverines grab if the quarterbacks were swapped in this series?