Ohio State stomped Illinois on Saturday afternoon, but more importantly the final rain-soaked snap against the Fighting Illini means one thing: Michigan Week.
There will be lots of time to dissect the 114th edition of The Game between now and the opening kickoff at noon next Saturday, but it’s never too early to start.
Here are some series numbers to chew on.
(Ohio State fans will probably find most of them pretty tasty.)
1. The Wolverines lead 58-49-6*.
The series began with a 34-0 Michigan win in 1897, and the guys north of the border dominated the series through the end of World War I.
Lately, though, Ohio State has had the run of things.
2. Ohio State’s double-overtime win last season was the 14th in 16 years for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State’s recent string of success has the rivalry the closest it has been since 1908 when Michigan led 9-0-1 after a 10-6 win in Columbus. Ohio State would not get its first win in the series for another 11 years, though they tied the 1910 game.
3. Throw out the records — until recently.
Upsets used to be a hallmark of this series, but Michigan’s nosedive in the last decade put a big dent in that trend.
From 1993-2004, the lower-ranked team won eight times.
Since 2005, the higher-ranked team is undefeated.
4. The 2017 season marks the 100th consecutive year Ohio State and Michigan will play.
The Buckeyes lead the series 49-46-4 in that span, includign the last five.
5. Ohio State leads the series 42-36-4 since it was moved to the last game of the regular season.
Being the last game of the regular season has played a major role in the development of the intensity of the series. That’s because something significant is almost always on the line.
Since the game was moved to the final Saturday of the Big Ten season in 1935, the game has had the potential for major impact the Big Ten standings 44 times (according to Michigan Sports Information). This will not be 45 as the Buckeyes have already clinched a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game.
6. Since Clifton native Woody Hayes became Ohio State’s head coach in 1951, the Buckeyes lead the series 37-27-2.
After struggling mightily in the early years of the series, the Buckeyes began making some traction in the 1930s and ‘40s.
The tide really began to turn in 1951, however, when the fiery Hayes became the field general of the Scarlet and Gray. He was 16-11-1 against the Wolverines, tying Michigan’s Fielding Yost for the most wins by a coach in the series.
7. Urban Meyer is 5-0 against Michigan as head coach of the Buckeyes.
He will move into third on the Ohio State list of most wins against the Wolverines if the Buckeyes win next Saturday. He’s currently tied with his mentor, Earle Bruce, who was 5-4.
Jim Tressel was 9-1 against Michigan.
(*All numbers count an Ohio State win in 2010 that was vacated by the Buckeyes as part of NCAA sanctions. Ohio State’s official release will list the Buckeyes with one less win.)