Decade in Review: Ranking The Best Ohio State vs. Michigan Games from 2010-2019

By Kevin Harrish on January 24, 2020 at 2:35 pm
The Game.
Decade in Review: The 2010s

Ohio State dominated Michigan over the 2010s.

The past 10 years, Buckeyes went 9-1 over their rivals to the north, beating three different Michigan head coaches and establishing their longest winning streak in the rivalry ever at eight games.

We take a look back at the decade of dominance, ranking each of the 10 editions of The Game – from a Buckeye perspective, of course.

10. 2011 – Ohio State 34, #15 Michigan 40

There's no debate about the last spot on this list, given that Ohio State only lost to Michigan once in the last decade. So, here it is.

Ohio State's seven-game winning streak against the Wolverines was snapped at the end of what would go down as one of the worst seasons in Buckeye football history. The sickening thing is, Ohio State still had a chance to win.

If you're a masochist and choose to watch the highlights, don't dwell on that overthrown ball to DeVier Posey. Instead, appreciate the insane scramble by Braxton Miller to get the first down one play later.

This stung, but two days later Ohio State officially hired Urban Meyer and rattled off eight-straight wins.

9. 2014 – #6 Ohio State 42, Michigan 28

This one aged well because of the three games that followed, but it's tough to argue that this win was among the sweetest or most satisfying wins over Michigan (isn't it great that we get to be this picky?)

The reality is, this was a home game for a national title contending Ohio State team led by a Heisman Trophy candidate against an unranked Michigan team with a head coach about to be fired. On paper, it probably should have been a blowout.

In reality, it was a close game until the final five minutes and it cost the Buckeyes their starting quarterback just before a Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff run. Ultimately, everything ended up more than fine, but this game itself wasn't quite a shining highlight, even in hindsight.

8. 2010 – #8 Ohio State 37, Michigan 7

In what was Jim Tressel's final rivalry game as Ohio State's head coach, the Buckeyes absolutely pasted Michigan for their seventh-straight win in The Game.

This one included a 55-yard kickoff return for a touchdown from Jordan Hall (Ohio State's most recent kickoff return touchdown), a 98-yard run by Boom Herron (which was shortened to an 89-yard run because of a phantom holding penalty), and countless players throwing up their Block O gloves after a touchdown and taking inconsequential unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

It was extremely fun, but Michigan was also bad and this is exactly what should have happened.

7. 2015 – #8 Ohio State 42, #10 Michigan 13

Welcoming Jim Harbaugh to the rivalry with a four-touchdown victory in The Big House should probably be higher on this list, but it's a little bittersweet because of the way the week before played out.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 214 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 7.1 yards per carry, J.T. Barrett rushed for 139 yards and three touchdowns on 7.8 yards per carry, and Joey Bosa even got an interception. It was all awesome, but it also made the loss the previous week all the more sickening. Where was that against Michigan State?

It was sure fun, and there's nothing like winning in blowout fashion in the Big House, but it ultimately proved that the entire season should have been more, and that makes it hard to fully enjoy and appreciate.

6. 2017 – #5 Ohio State 31, Michigan 20

This game was Dwayne Haskins' coming out party, and gave the College Football world a peek at what he'd become his first (and only) season as a starter.

With the Buckeyes trailing in the Big House early in the second half, fifth-year senior J.T. Barrett went down with a knee injury, putting the game in the hands of the redshirt freshman, and he delivered.

Haskins led the Buckeyes to a 31-20 comeback victory over Michigan on the road, completing more than 85 percent of his passes for 97 yards, setting the tone for his next season.

5. 2019 – #2 Ohio State 56, #14 Michigan 27

Ohio State capped off one of the most dominant regular seasons in program history the only way that made sense – with a dominating victory over Michigan.

A year after obliterating the Wolverines in the Horseshoe, the Buckeyes went up to Ann Arbor and actually topped the previous year's offensive performance, scoring 56 points and putting up 577 total yards to hand Michigan a 56-27 loss – their eighth-straight in the rivalry.

Justin Fields threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns while J.K. Dobbins rushed for 211 yards with four touchdowns of his own. It was pure dominance from start to finish.

4. 2013 – #3 Ohio State 42, Michigan 41

In 2013, Ohio State took its 23-game winning streak and national championship hopes into Ann Arbor and barely escaped with them in hand after an absolutely wild game.

The teams combined for over 1,100 total yards and 83 points with Braxton Miller rushing for 153 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 9.6 yards per carry, and Carlos Hyde putting up 226 yards and a touchdown of his own, averaging 8.4 yards per carry.

But while Ohio State gashed Michigan on the ground, the Wolverines gave the Buckeyes all kinds of trouble through the air as Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner threw for 451 yards and four touchdowns.

Ultimately, the Buckeyes survived in epic fashion as Tyvis Powell intercepted a Michigan two-point conversion attempt with under a minute left on the clock to seal Ohio State's 24th-straight win and keep the national title hopes alive – if only for another week.

3. 2012 – #4 Ohio State 26, #16 Michigan 21

The obvious lowlight of the 2012 season was that Ohio State was not bowl eligible and as a result, could not play for the national championship. However, that set up one of the most unique matchups against Michigan we'll ever see.

Because there would be no Big Ten Championship game or bowl game that followed, the Buckeyes had a very rare opportunity to cap off an undefeated season at home against Michigan, and they did just that.

There was no national title or conference title, but there were certainly Gold Pants, and one hell of a party on the field after the game.

2. 2018 – #10 Ohio State 62, #4 Michigan 39

Michigan entered the 2018 edition of The Game favored and more confident than they'd been in years, guaranteeing victories, wearing their "Revenge Tour" shirts during warmups and cracking buckeyes with nutcrackers before the game.

Then, the Wolverines got flayed yet again.

The Buckeyes met the nation's top defense on the field and put up 62 points – the most they've ever scored in the rivalry – ending Michigan's Big Ten Championship and College Football Playoff hopes and sending them back to Ann Arbor with another fat L in a game they thought sure they would win.

1. 2016 – #2 Ohio State 30, #3 Michigan 27 (Double Overtime)

This was the most hard-fought game on the list with both teams boasting elite defenses and essentially playing for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Urban Meyer called this the hardest game he's ever coached, and it felt like it could have gone either way from the opening kickoff to when Curtis Samuel finally lept into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown.

It was a low-scoring defensive struggle from start to finish, but Ohio State was able to make the plays needed on both sides of the ball to get the win. Malik Hooker and Jerome Baker both had game-changing interceptions and the Buckeye offense did just enough.

Ultimately, Ohio State pulled out the win in double overtime thanks to a fourth-down run from J.T. Barrett and some late-game heroics from Curtis Samuel.

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