10 Telling Facts About The Game

By Jimmy Longo on November 24, 2017 at 9:30 pm
J.T. Barrett

Long gone are the prehistoric days of 86-0 flukes and mediocrity or lack of scoring from the Ohio State offense. Since the dawn of time flipped and the 20th century started to do its thing, Ohio State has done its thing too. And there have been some interesting things along the way.

Here's a look at 10 telling facts about Ohio State—Michigan:

Ohio State has owned Michigan in modern times

10. Some year-by-year glances

  • Televisions introduced (1926): 46-41-4
  • The discovery of penicillin (1928): 46-39-4
  • The invention of radar (1935): 39-36-4
  • V-E Day (1945): 35-32-3
  • Sound barrier broken (1947): 37-29-3
  • JFK Assassination (1963): 27-23-2
  • Neil Armstrong walks on the moon (1969): 25-20-2
  • Apple II released (1977): 21-17-1
  • Fall of the Berlin Wall (1989): 16-10-1
  • Internet becomes available to the general public (1991): 16-8-1
  • Google founded (1998): 15-4
  • Lloyd Carr resigned (2007): 7-1

9. A new century with a lot of cooked wolverines

Since the John Cooper's last season in Columbus during the 2000 season (38-26, Michigan over Ohio State), the might Michigan defense in all facets hasn't been particularly mighty against Ohio State.

Over the 17 years of the 21st century, Ohio State has outscored the Wolverines an astounding 527-380.

Jim Tressel offenses averaged 27.9 points per game over the 2001-2010 span while Urban Meyer offenses have racked up an average of over 36 points per game in his five-year run against Michigan.

The highest scoring average against Ohio State this century? Lloyd Carr averaged just over 23 points per game from 2000-07.

8. A lot of points means a lot of wins

As a result of the vast point difference, one can probably make the assumption about the record spread during the 21st century. After John Cooper's 38-26 loss in 2000 at the start of the century, Ohio State has gone a whopping 13-3 against the Wolverines from 2000 onward.

7. 2011 was a weird year

The Game in 2011 was just a culmination of a weird time in the Ohio State—Michigan rivalry. It was only the second time in the last 82 years dating back to 1929 that both schools both had new coaches at the helm of the programs. Luke Fickell was in for Ohio State on the interim after Tattoogate and Brady Hoke after Rich Rodriguez was fired.

6. Winning records are hard to come by up north

The last head coach for Michigan to have a winning record against the scarlet and gray was Gary Moeller from 1990-1994. Moeller went an astounding 2-1-1 during his tenure in Ann Arbor.

5. Rankings are a given

To a testament of the pedigree of Ohio State and Michigan — there have only been nine seasons in the history of the rivalry since the polls started in 1936 that neither team has been ranked by the Associated Press.

Those years, those coaches, those teams? Well, that might be the thing that surprises you. Eight of those teams were coached by Woody Hayes.1951, 1953, 1959, 1962-63 and 1965-67. The lone other year was 1987 between Earle Bruce and Bo Schembechler. It was Bruce's last year in Columbus and Schembechler's third-to-last. 

Other Michigan coaches with teams that were unranked at the time they played unranked Buckeyes were Bennie Oosterbaan (2), and Bump Elliott (6).

In all, only nine out of the last 80 years have both teams not been ranked.

4. A lot of folks have seen "The Game" live

Since 1921 when attendance was recorded on an annual basis, a lot of folks have seen the The Game in person.

8,543,333 people to be exact. According to census data, that's roughly 3,000 more than entire population of New York City.

More people have seen The Game in person than:

  • The entire population of New York city: 8,537,673 (July 2016)
  • The entire population of Switzerland: 8,372,000 (July 2016)
  • The entire personnel of the United States armed forces: 1,348,719 (September 2017)

3. Paul Brown left the Buckeyes for Military service

Paul Brown, the legendary coach who brought Ohio State its first national championship, is the only coach from either side to have ever coached one year and then left the team for military service.

After Ohio State's 45-7 loss to the Wolverines, Brown was enlisted in the Navy within the following year, commissioned as a first lieutenant and served there until the end of the war, at which he became the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

This is all hypothetically subjective of course, but Paul Brown staying with Ohio State after the war ended may have drastically altered the course of the series even earlier. 

After the war ended in 1945, Michigan went 6-3-1 against the Buckeyes over the next 10 years into the middle of the 1950s when Woody Hayes began to make his mark.

2. The 10 Year War was the last bitter battle

After Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler battled to a 5-4-1 record in favor of Schembechler after the 10 Year War, the time following has been in favor of the Buckeyes, though it's been historically one sided — a mark of peaks and valleys.

Coach Record against Michigan
Urban Meyer 5-0

1. Jim Harbaugh's Offense 

It is well known that Michigan's offense has been putrid at best, hasn't thrown a passing touchdown to a wide receiver position since the beginning of September and is ranked 102nd in the nation in total offense.

But in the perspective of "The Game" just how comparatively bad have Harbaugh offenses been? Well, the last coach to have a lower scoring average through his first two games than Jim Harbaugh has had at the helm of Michigan was Bump Elliott from 1959-1960, where his offenses scored a total of 23 points through two games. That's an average of 11.5 points.

Harbaugh offenses in their two-year standing against Ohio State? Not much better, with an average of 15 points per game.

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