So over a year ago my teacher was a buckeye fan and we had to write an essay on any topic we prefer. This was history class; I chose to write about the history of the greatest rivalry and Thaught it would be neat to share it with the board. Please excuse the grammar, punctuation, and any trouble reading. Hope you enjoy thanks.
The Team up North vs Ohio
"If 'Bo' is not a winner, I never saw one and I should know. He beat me the last three games we played. We've fought and quarreled for years but we're great friends." Those were the words of the late, legendary Ohio State Buckeyes, college football coach, Woody Hayes (Woody vs. Bo). With a twenty two game winning streak on the line, Woody Hayes brought his undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes team, into the Big House on November 22, 1969. Coaching against Woody Hayes was the legendary Michigan Wolverine, head coach, Bo Schembechler. In Schembechlers first year at Michigan, his team prevailed, and won 22-14. The Woody vs. Bo era had just begun.
The richest rivalry in college football is argued throughout America. Fans in the south east will argue that the Iron Bowl, which is played by the Alabama Crimson Tide, and the Auburn Tigers, is the best rivalry in college football. Fans in the south believe the red river shootout between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners is the richest tradition of them all. There is a rivalry different than any other in college sports. The Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes is the greatest college football rivalry known today (Farestad-Rittel). The rich history of both schools playing each other dates way back to 1897 (UM vs. OSU). In 1897, the Michigan Wolverines faced the Ohio State Buckeyes for the first time ever. The Michigan Wolverines won the game, with a score of 34-0.
The states of Ohio and Michigan have ostracized one another for long years. Before the two teams faced each other on the football field, they went to war on the battle field years before. In 1835, people of Ohio and Michigan fought over an area that both states claimed at the time. Both states believed that the city of Toledo which borders Lake Erie was their own territory. In 1835 tensions grew between the people of Michigan and Ohio. After numerous altercations between both parties, the State of Ohio came into an agreement and won the territory of Toledo. Toledo officially became a city of Ohio in 1836 (Toledo War). The deal might have been sweet for Ohio, that they received the city of Toledo in exchange for Michigan to receive the Upper Peninsula. It was the Toledo war where the people of Michigan received the nickname wolverines from their arch enemies of Ohio. Ohioans believe the people of Michigan were being bad-tempered like the animal wolverine (Why Wolverines). After a few years later the University of Michigan officially adopted the Wolverine as their schools mascot.
The rivalry between the Michigan Wolverines and the Ohio State Buckeyes has been coached by some of the most legendary coaches in the history of college football. Michigan has been coached by Fielding Yost, Bo Schembechler, Gary Moeller, and Lloyd Carr. All four coaches led their teams to the top in their respective years. Ohio State has been coached by notables such as Woody Hayes, John Cooper, and Jim Tressel. All have been great coaches and are respected by their peers in which they stand in a crowd that not many college football coaches have accomplished what they have.
The two coaches that stand out are Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes. Both are known as the godfathers of their Universities football teams. What was ironic is that Bo Schembechler was an assistant coach at the Ohio State University from 1959-1963. After Bo left Ohio State in 1963, he went on to coach his alma mater the University of Miami in Ohio; Bo left Ohio in 1968 to coach the University of Michigan in 1969 (UM vs. OSU). In his first season as coach of the Wolverines, Bo finished with a 12-1 record and his he led Michigan to the Big Ten championships. He also beat his mentor Woody Hayes, who had a twenty two game winning streak on the line coming into Ann Arbor, Michigan, the home where the Wolverines play. Bo Schembechler won the outright coach of the year award in his first season (Woody vs. Bo).
From there on Bo and Woody went on to play each other for another ten years. The decade of competition between the two storied coaches is known as the “ten year war” (UM vs. OSU). After three straight victories by Bo over Woody in 1976-1978, the legendary Woody Hayes called it quits and walked away from the game he worshipped. Woody Hayes retired in 1978, leaving behind records that no other Ohio State Buckeye coach has touched. Woody Hayes retirement was a sad day for college football. Bo Schembechler went on to coach Michigan for another eleven years. Bo won thirteen big ten titles in twenty one years at Michigan. Bo came up with the slogan “those who stay will be champions” (Bell). In his twenty one years of coaching, every single one of his players who played until their senior year under Bo, won a big ten championship. The slogan “those who stay will be champions” is engraved in the inner jersey of every Michigan jersey made by adidas today.
The rich resume of Bo Schembechler will always be shined in Ann Arbor, Michigan. However, there was one goal that Bo never achieved during his tenure at Michigan. Bo Schembechler never won a national championship at Michigan. His arch rival Woody Hayes did not win as many big ten titles, but Woody Hayes coached Ohio State to five national championships. Today, Woody Hayes has the most wins by a coach in Ohio State history (Bo vs. Woody). Woody Hayes died of a heart attack on March 12, 1987. A sad day in college football as one of the legendary coaches in all of sports was buried. Woody Hayes will always be remembered in Ohio.
Furthermore, Lloyd Carr became the head coach of the University of Michigan Wolverines in 1995 (Um vs. OSU). Lloyd was an assistant under Bo Schembechler from 1976 till 1994. He was given the job because a majority of Michigan fans believed he had the passion of Bo and would thrive like Bo. At the time Ohio State was coached by John Cooper who earned the job in 1988. Cooper and Carr were not Bo and Woody but both coached there teams to big ten titles. The two teams met in 1997; Michigan was 9-0 at the time and Ohio State was 8-1. Michigan was led by Heisman trophy candidate Charles Woodson. Ohio State was led by David Boston; as they came into the Big House hoping to end Michigan’s perfect season. Charles Woodson returned a 78 yard punt return and scored to take a 13-0 lead into halftime. From that play on, Michigan did not look back as they went on to win 20-14. Lloyd Carr and his Michigan Wolverines went on to win the national championship that year, as well as winning the coach of the year honors. Charles Woodson won the Heisman trophy that same year and until today, he is the only Heisman trophy winner to win and play on the defensive side of the field.
Buckeye fans were not pleased with head coach John Cooper, he left in 2000 with 2-10 record against Michigan. In 2001, Jim Tresel was hired by the Ohio State Buckeyes to coach their team. In his famous introduction conference, Jim made a clock and set the date to the Michigan game. As promised in his speech, he went on to beat Lloyd Carr and the Michigan Wolverines in his first year. The Tresel vs. Carr era had just begun. Jim Tresel went on to beat the Wolverines in his second year as well. The tide of the rivalry was now going Ohio States way. In 2003, the two teams met for a record 100th meeting. The rivalry between the two teams was so immense that the 108th congress sent out a document to both schools for on congratulating the Ohio State University and the University of Michigan on the 100th football game between the two teams and recognizing their rivalry as the greatest sports rivalry in history (Congress).
The two coaches met in 2006 with perfect records on the line. The winner of the game would have advanced to the national championship game. This was the biggest game in the history of the arch rivalry. Lloyd Carr called his old mentor Bo Schembechler to talk to the team that week. Bo came into the locker room the week of the game and game a passionate speech to the players. On the eve of the biggest game in the history of the rivalry, Bo Schembechler died of a heart attack. But the Wolverines came out strong and would not let Bo down. The national eyes were all on game that cold Saturday in November. After hard fought match by both teams, Ohio State prevailed, and won the game 42-39, and advanced to play in the national championship game.
Jim Tresel and Lloyd Carr brought an image to football that had not been felt since the days of Bo and Woody. The rivalry between the two teams has a great meaning to it. It’s not about who wins or loses at the end of the night. These two schools represent their entire state when they clash on the field. The pride they bring on the field is long hours of hard work and dedication to not only their universities, but their entire state.
This game has a great meaning to me because it’s where brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, and grandparents all choose a side and get together to celebrate the rich tradition both teams bring. This is the greatest rivalry in college sports because the respect both opponents have for each other is immense. No matter what the record of either team, they bring their full heart on the last Saturday in November. This rivalry is felt and respected all around the nation. Next time you think it’s just a game, think of all the blood, sweat, tears, and broken hearts the two states have faced.
Bell, Scott. "MD." The Michigan Daily. 18 Nov. 2006. Web. 2012. . Congress. "H.RES.460." 20 Nov. 2003. Web. . Farestad-Rittel, Brandon. "The 10 Best College Rivalries." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 09 Jan. 2011. Web. 2012. . "Toldeo War." Â» The Toledo War (aka the Ohio-Michigan War) Â» Absolute Michigan. Web. 2012. . "UM vs OSU." Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. Web. 2012. . "Why Wolverines." Â» Why We Are Called the Wolverine State Â» Absolute Michigan. Web. 2012. . "Woody vs Bo." Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. Web. 2012. . *
SLIGHT MOD EDIT - I am guessing where the paragraphs are / should be, using my own sensibilities admittedly. I do not presume to know what the author intended, but hopefully this makes it a little more readable for the board. - LSA