Putting Urban Meyer's Michigan Dominance into Perspective

By TJ Neer on June 19, 2017 at 1:05 pm
Urban Meyer.

Going into the 2017-2018 football season, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer will be 5-0 against Michigan as an Ohio State head coach and 2-0 against the Jim Harbaugh-led Wolverines.

Urban Meyer knows the importance of that game. Fans know the importance of that game. It wouldn't be that difficult to find an Ohio State fan that would prefer a single-win season — as long as that win is over That School Up North — to one where the Scarlet and Gray gets 10 (or more) wins but loses to the boys in blue.

There's an argument to be made that a certain coach in Ohio State history got canned because he couldn't consistently get wins against the Big Blue. Looking at you, John Cooper.

Ohio State football history buffs (or anyone with a few minutes to browse Wikipedia pages) could find that in Cooper's 13 seasons at the helm, the Bucks were 2-10-1 against Michigan. For Ohio State fans, even bringing up that memory could be a fireable offense, and it is a reminder as to why the school needs a coach that can consistently win over Michigan.

And after Cooper's departure, they found it in Jim Tressel, who was 9-1 in 10 seasons in Columbus. But is Meyer making a case as being more prolific against the Bucks' most important opponent than The Vest?

Ohio State Head Coaches vs. Michigan
Name Years Coached Record vs. UM
Woody Hayes 1951-1978 16-11-1 (.571)
Earle Bruce 1979-1987 5-4-0 (.555)
John Cooper 1988-2000 2-10-1 (.154)
Jim Tressel 2001-2010 9-1-0 (.900)
Urban Meyer 2012-Present 5-0-0 (1.000)

One thing you might notice upon looking at the table is this: no one emerges unscathed from the rivalry. And if you look further into the history of the matchup, you'll find the only coaches who finished their coaching career undefeated against the rivals (a) coached for Michigan and (b) coached only one season/got only one win against their rival.

Which makes Urban Meyer's record that much more impressive.

Sure, Urban Meyer faced off against a Brady Hoke-led Michigan squad three times to kick off his time in Columbus but has had to deal with insane person current UM head coach Jim Harbaugh's teams for the last two years, and they haven't been pushovers.

In fact, Michigan has finished in the top 15 (Final AP Poll) in both years that Harbaugh has been the coach, which makes Meyer's undefeated record against the Wolverines even more noteworthy.

With a chance to win his sixth straight in 2017, Urban Meyer would tie the Scarlet and Gray's longest streak in history and continue his reign as the only Ohio State coach of all time to not have a loss against Michigan.

(Note: Ohio State did win seven straight from 2004-2010, but wins from the 2010 season were vacated, so the official streak stands at six.)

And while Meyer may not (yet) have the volume of wins against TSUN that Woody or Tressel, he is currently tied for third all-time with Earle Bruce for wins against the Wolverines as a Buckeye coach.

With a win this year, Meyer could have a strong case as the best Ohio State coach in history in the game that matters most to Buckeye fans.

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