Great Moments in Hate: Ohio State Tears Down Michigan's Iconic M Fan Club Banner in 1973

By Kevin Harrish on November 24, 2021 at 9:35 am
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Ahead of another chapter in the greatest rivalry in sports, we take a look at some of the most iconic moments that fueled the hate.

The year was 1973. Ohio State and Michigan entered The Game both undefeated and each seeking a Big Ten championship and the chance to play for a national title in the Rose Bowl.

“They will meet a dastardly fate here for that! There isn't a Michigan man in the stadium who wouldn't like to go out and scalp those Buckeyes right now!”– Bob Ufer

With the Buckeyes ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll and the Wolverines No. 4, it was the highest-ranked meeting of the two teams in the history of the rivalry and everything was on the line.

The game had more than enough juice to it already, but just before kickoff, Ohio State went ahead and added a bit more, running out of the tunnel and straight to Michigan's iconic M Club banner, promptly tearing it down.

It's a now-iconic scene, and Michigan announcer Bob Ufer was absolutely apoplectic, delivering some equally iconic commentary.

"And they're tearing down Michigan's coveted M Club banner! They will meet a dastardly fate here for that! There isn't a Michigan man in the stadium who wouldn't like to go out and scalp those Buckeyes right now! They had the audacity – the unmitigated gal – to tear down the coveted M that Michigan is going to run out from under!"

If that didn't infuriate the Michigan Men enough, the result of the game sure did the trick.

The contest ended in a 10-10 tie, meaning the Big Ten's Rose Bowl representative would be selected by a vote amongst the conference's athletic directors. Despite precedent that teams shouldn't receive consecutive Rose Bowl bids, the directors chose the Buckeyes.

Michigan coach Bo Schembechler was furious, calling the decision "an embarrassment to the Big Ten Conference."

Ohio State went on to smack USC 42-21 in the Rose Bowl. Meanwhile, Michigan didn't even receive a bowl bid, despite finishing the season undefeated.

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