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Revisiting the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry

Nov 24, 2014

Credit MGoBlue / flickr.com

This Saturday brings one of the deepest, most storied rivalries in all of college sports: Michigan versus Ohio State, as the Wolverines head to Columbus. Bruce Geelhoed is a history professor at Ball State University. He's the author Bump Elliott: The Michigan Wolverines and Their Championship Football Season. 

The book looks at the 1964 season, and Geelhoed says the U of M-Ohio State game was important for both teams, as it would decide the Big Ten championship for that year. Geelhoed notes that Ohio State had been on a winning streak the previous decade, making this a must-win game for Michigan to reassert its claim as a strong team in the rivalry.

Interestingly, the game was off the radar for most people, notes Geelhoed. This was because both teams had already used their two televised games for that season, and the Detroit newspapers were on strike at the time, preventing their coverage of the game.

Michigan ended up winning the game and, following that win, the series between Michigan and Ohio State for the next 25 years was marked by an intensity and competitiveness worthy of their rivalry, splitting the series 12 games apiece with one tie.

Listen to Bruce Geelhoed discuss this game above