The final whistle in Michigan's 24-17 loss to Notre Dame had not even gone off before people were already bringing up the Wolverine's woeful streak of losses against ranked teams on the road.
Michigan last beat a ranked opponent in a true road game nearly 12 years ago when they knocked off No. 2 Notre Dame in South Bend, 47-21. Since then, they've dropped 17-straight games against teams ranked in the top 25 of either poll on the road.
The first thing Michigan fans will say when presented with this fact is that winning games on the road against ranked teams is difficult. That much is true. Since the 2007 season, teams currently in the Big Ten are just 42–209 in these games.
This may be the golden age of Michigan State football, yet the Spartans are just 5–9 in road games against ranked foes (though they may have the league's best such win, topping Ohio State in the Shoe in 2015). Wisconsin? They're 3–9 since 2007. Penn State? Just 2–11.
One league team, however, has been nothing short of incredible on the road against ranked opponents in this span. Ohio State is 12–4 against top 25 teams.
Ohio State's 12 wins over ranked teams since 2007 have come against eight different programs, with five of the wins coming against teams ranked in the top 15. In their house.
The average score in those 12 wins? Ohio State 31, ranked opponent 16.
- 2007: #20 Purdue 23-7, #25 Penn State 37-17, #23 Michigan 14-3
- 2008: #18 Wisconsin 20-17, #20 Michigan State 45-7
- 2009: #11 Penn State 24-7
- 2010: #21 Iowa 20-17
- 2012: #20 Michigan State 17-16
- 2014: #7 Michigan State 49-37
- 2015: #12 Michigan 42-13
- 2016: #14 Oklahoma 45-24, #8 Wisconsin 30-23
Going back to Michigan's last road win against a ranked team – September of 2006 – gives Ohio State another win, making the Buckeyes 13–4 in these games while the Wolverines have gone 0–17 (in fact, they just miss being 14–4 with their win over No. 2 Texas coming a mere week before Michigan beat Notre Dame in 2006).
So yes, Michigan Man, it's really hard to win ranked games on the road. But you shouldn't be comparing your program to the rest of the Big Ten. You should be comparing it to the team you play at the end of November.