The Greatest of Rivalries

Sam Wilson, Staff Writer

It’s a very human feature to have an enemy or hold a grudge against someone or something. People have been doing this for as long as we can remember. Some of the greatest rivalries kids have grown up with. Mario v. Bowser, Batman v. Joker, and Plankton v. Mr. Krabs. These are good and fun but some rivalries bring more to the table than these made-up ones. Sports Rivalries. These rivalries take the cake of being ferocious, violent, and made out of total hatred. Most of these dont just start out of the blue, most have a spark that ignites the fiery flame.
Now to introduce the greatest sports rivalry of them all let me take you back a long, long way back to 1836 and the Toledo war between Ohio and Michigan over a border dispute. No one got hurt but this “war” planted roots of hatred between the states and the people. We then can move to Ann Arbor in 1897 with the first-ever meeting of the two football teams. Michigan pulled out this win in an easy victory but the rivalry would only get tighter and tighter from here.
Our next step on this timeline takes us to Columbus, Ohio where famed Ohio State coach Woody Hayes gave the famous quote, “Because I couldn’t go for three,” after being asked why he went for two up by 36. This quote and enthusiasm created a hatred of Ohio State from a Michigan fan’s perspective. The Michigan Coach at that time was the also famed Michigan coach Bo Schembechler who was a former assistant of Hayes which made Ohio State fans hate Michigan. This hatred ignited the “Ten-Years War” between the two schools, where for 10 straight years the games between the schools were ultra-competitive.
The last stop on our timeline is the present day. At the time I am writing this Ohio State is going into this game as the #2 team in America and Michigan as the #3 team. Both teams have rolled through their schedules to have an undefeated record going into this game. The Wolverines are led by quarterback J.J. McCarthy and runningback Blake Corum. It is crazy to say but this Michigan team might have improved on defense from last year. This Ohio State team is the #1 ranked offense in college football with explosive weapons like Marving Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka. This matchup has been scary good for the last couple of years. Both teams have been ranked in the top 10 in 4 of the last 5 games.
Another interesting part of this rivalry is the coaches on either side of the matchup. Ohio State coach Ryan day has only lost one Big Ten game ever. That game was last year against Michigan. Michigan’s coach Jim Harbaugh has led U-M to four 10-win seasons and six bowl games in his time there. These coaches are giants in the college football world and every time we get to see them coach against each other it is special. Overall this will be one of the biggest games in recent history with how high these teams are ranked but all we can do is wait for “The Game”.