They've been pissing Michigan off for 200+ years. The Game is a proxy war.
When did the hatred begin?
Also, you may want to check out:
The Rivalry (HBO special)
If you like free, mgovideo has the HBO documentary:
and The Ten Year War DVD:
That makes for a cute folk explanation, but in fact, OSU was not always a meaningful game. We first played them in 1897, but it was just another game at that point. Our earliest archrival was Chicago, followed by Minnesota. OSU's first rival was Illinois. There was a stretch of time where the Brown Jug and Illibuck games were at the end of the season.
The OSU series began to gain intensity in the 1920s, when they dedicated their new stadium against us and we followed suit. They seem to have viewed us as an archrival earlier than we returned the favor. In the 1930s, OSU began the custom of giving out gold pants. At that point, we had been much more successful than OSU, and they issued those to deliver a kind of "They put their pants on the same as us" message. In 1935, after Chicago had decided to de-emphasize sports, we agreed to play OSU as the annual season-ending game.
Yeah, ultimately Michigan's rivals have been teams that could compete against them, which was really hard in the early days of college football.
Francis Schmidt, OSU's coach from 1934-1940, may have really started the rivalry by a) beating Michigan four straight times and b) inspiring the gold pants tradition (which I think is pretty cool, all bias aside).
However, the rivalry was probably inevitable simply because Michigan and OSU have been the dominant teams in the Big 10 for decades. Nothing stokes a rivalry like competing head-to-head for titles year in and year out. There have been brief challenges to the status quo, but Minnesota and MSU couldn't keep things going while Michigan and OSU have.
and this is why the Lions (NFL) have no real rivalries. I mean, as Lions fans who do we really hate? No one. Mostly we just feel sorry for ourselves (until recently)...
I used to hate the Pack when Favre played with them because he always lit us up. I still hate the Bears but I wouldn't call them a rival.
and as an overall Detroit sports fan, I find it easy to hate the major league sports from Chicago..
The Packers and Vikings, and also the Cowboys because everyone does.
Gotta hate Chicago.
If you think about the earliest days of the Big Ten - when "The Victors" was written and the Michigan-Chicago rivalry was the biggest deal outside the Ivy League - that was also when Detroit was first becoming the Motor City, and Chicago was the old guard. While those two were also the two best teams in the Big Ten at the time, I've got to think there was a bit of a Detroit-Chicago civic rivalry that helped make the Michigan-Chicago game special.
However, the rivalry was probably inevitable simply because Michigan and OSU have been the dominant teams in the Big 10 for decades.
I have a feeling this is not going to be a very dominant decade for TSIO.
OSU's football coach from 1934 to 1940 was Francis "Close the gates of Mercy" Schmidt. His teams beat Michigan by 34, 38, 21, and 21 points his first four years. He definitely had no compunction about running up the score on Michigan or any other school. He lost to Michigan in Tom Harmon's last OSU game, 40-0. Coincidentally, it was also Schmidt's last game.
is what I was looking for, thank you very much! The beginning of the gold pants tradition is a good benchmark.
The hiring of Woody certainly must have kicked it up a notch. He was 12-6 against us until Bo took over, and Bo only won 2 of his first 7 games against Woody.
Of course, Bo then became the only Michigan coach to ever beat Woody in consecutive years, closing out Hayes' career on a three game losing streak to Michigan, during which OSU did not score a TD.
Can you imagine that? Woody Hayes's teams did not find the end zone against Michigan a single time in his last three games. Amazing...
Imagine it? I remember it. I was in high school -- and it was glorious. I still have the headline from the Detroit News sports section after Bo beat Woody in 76: "Bo's Wolverines Perfect, 22-0; Goodbye Woody, Hello Pasadena."
I was in JR High! Rich Leach was like today's DROB. He was a hero to all us kids! Even though I'm a lot older, DROB is still my hero!
jmblue - that was an excellent answer, but it piqued my interest, so I've wasted a bit of time doing a bit of research that left me with a few questions.
What I've always wondered is - when we rejoined the Western Conference in 1917, why did Minnesota become our end of season rival until it became Ohio State? While perusing the "all time database" on nationalchamps.net (an amazing resource), it looks like the Big Ten rivalry games for most the 1920s were: Michigan-Minnesota, Chicago-Wisconsin, Iowa-Northwestern, Illinois-Ohio State, and Indiana-Purdue.
It's crazy to me that only one of the rivalries within the conference today that I would call "major" was being played to end the season back then - and that none of the Iowa-Wisconsin-Minnesota triple were playing each other to end the season. Why weren't we paired back up with Chicago? Why were we paired with Minnesota? What was the reasoning behing Iowa-NW and Illinoi-OSU?
I really appreciate the response you've given - it's by far the best answer to the OP's question. But it leaves me with more questions than answers. Like why were the rivalries changed in 1935? And it wasn't yet because Chicago de-emphasized sports - they actually had the first Heisman winner in 1935, and left the Big Ten for football in 1939. From 1935-1939, the season ending rivalries were Michigan-Ohio State, Chicago-Illinois, Minnesota-Wisconsin, and Indiana-Purdue. Iowa and Northwestern seemed to play Nebraska and Notre Dame, respectively, to end the season just as often as each other.
After Chicago dropped football in 1939 (and then big time sports all together after WWII), Iowa, Northwestern, Illinois, and then in 1953 Michigan State all lacked a consistent end of season rivalry game. The 1980s saw Iowa-Minnesota apparently replace Wisconsin-Minnesota, until Penn State joined in 1993 and gave us the recently replaced state of Big Ten rivalries.
It's surprising to me that the most consisten Big Ten season-ending game is Indiana-Purdue - which has been that way since 1908. Other than that, Michigan-Ohio State is the only Big Ten rivalry which has been consistently played to end the season (although Minnesota-Iowa-Wisconsin have done so as a group for a while).
Of course not every rivalry has to be played to end the regular season - Tennessee and Florida call their game "The Third Saturday in October," and the Red River Shootout is one of the sport's premier rivalries and is played in early October. Michigan-MSU and OSU-PSU are two Big Ten ones that come to mind. But it still is good way to see how the Big Ten's rivalries evolved , and leaves me wondering what the reasons were for those early evolutions.
I'm sure it was a big game before the 1950's but the hiring of Woody Hayes took the hatred of Michigan to a whole new level and we fed off of that. Add Bo to the mix and it became epic.
Bo vs Woody
It was early evening of the Sixth Day.
I was about to post that it was early afternoon of the Sixth Day, round about 1:00pm (before TV was able to dictate kick off times).
for both teams since around 1935, so the roots of the rivalry predate even then.
The hatred on OSU's part started in the very early days because it took them 16 tries before they finally beat us. (These days, OSU fans don't count those games as part of the rivalry because, in their own words, it was a long time ago, so they shoudn't count. The John Cooper years apparently don't count either because he never "understood" the rivalry. Basically, any games they lost don't count.)
Apparently, there must have been a time when OSU fans weren't whack jobs because they actually gave Tom Harmon a standing ovation after he destroyed them in 1940. But that might have just been a fluke.
I'm sure we hated them long before Bo vs. Woody but I've never heard of when the hate officially started. You would need a time machine to figure that out.
If the rumors are true, the games they won won't count either.
They are pissed we got the UP with all the minerals over the Toledo thing. We only hate them cuz they're dumb.
According to that special on HBO, it started with the battle over the city Toledo.
I don’t know when or why it started, but there have sure been PLENTY of good reasons to hate them since.
An old classmate of mine told me that a family member of hers took his 9-yr-old daughter to The Game in Columbus last fall, wearing our colors (first mistake). A group of 8-10 adults surrounded them and taunted the daughter until she was in tears.
The worst part: many OSU fans are actually proud of this kind of behavior.
Not saying our fanbase is perfect, but to date I've never heard a story like that coming out of Ann Arbor.
I went to several games at OSU as a child and had pretty good experiences. That said, we were on the 50 yardline instead of in the nosebleeds. My experience is that better seats = more beneign fans.
No offense, but stories like these are either lies, or missing the part where "the victims" broughtbshit on themselves. I've been to Columbus 4 times for The Game, and the worst I got is "Michigan sucks", and "you're going down."
But you've just been lucky. I've been down 3 times, had fans push and shove, beer dumped, bottles and rocks thrown at the bus, 7 year old girls flip the bird, 70 year old women moon, a lady in a wheelchair threaten to kick, and got jumped, spit on and a punch thrown just trying to get away from that cesspool with a woman in tow, and had to walk all the way around the otherwise of the parking lot just to get back safely to the bus, avoiding the drunks and assholes. It's no place to take women and children, and is best done with camouflage.
Brian's story of going down there is pretty accurate. They're animals. And if it hasn't happened to you, count your lucky stars, because you're an outlier. There's a reason hardly anyone goes down there anymore; and few that do are making a repeat trip.
I never had any problems with OSU fans in general. The OH state police have been known to ticket wolverine fans on I-75 before and after the game! ILLINI fans have gotten the rudest in the past several years. My favorite stadium to see a road game is Kinick field in Iowa City. Their fans are really nice to Michigan fans...may be they remember that Bump built their program, a Michigan man!
The Michigan/Ohio rivalry started truly in 1835 over Toledo when Ohio was a state and Michigan was still a Territory.
Based on the NorthWest Ordinance of 1787 that outlined the protocol for dividing and eventually creating states from the territory East of the Mississippi and North of the Ohio River, Michigan's border should be about 8 miles South of where it is. Ohio, having the power of state hood and congressional representation in the early 1800s, decided that it wanted to annex Toledo and the mouth of the Maumee River in order to build a canal there and reap the rewards. So they just moved the border north into Michigan territory and claimed that stretch of land as its own.
Michigan and Ohio then went to war - really! - though both sides were so incompetent that no one was killed. In fact the only recorded injury was when Two Stickney, not to be confused with his older brother One, stabbed a sheriff in the leg.
In the end, congress gave Ohio Toledo just like the Big Ten sent OSU to the Rose Bowl in 1973 because injustice is Michigan.
Of course, a few years after the war, the railroad business took off and everybody stopped using canals! Ha! Suck it Ohio!
Also, we got the Upper Peninsula from Wisconsin out of the deal (sucks to be you, Wisconsin), which proved immensely more lucrative than Toledo.
So in the end, as always, Ohio's a bunch of jerks and we came out better off anyway.
You can also read all about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_War
Thanks to the Toledo War, I got undergrad in-state tuition at UM even though I was located 8.5 hours by vehicle from Ann Arbor. All Yooper UM alum are tremendously thankful for the Toledo War. Many of us would otherwise be Badgers.
Basically, I exist because Michigan ended up "losing" the Toledo War. I have one parent from Detroit and one from the U.P., and both went to U-M.
Needless to say, I've got no complaints about losing Toledo.
You raise an interesting point. I was born and raised in Michigan and Graduated from U of M in 1981. I moved around the country a bit in the 80's but work moved me to Cleveland in 1987 and I've been here ever since. My family still resides in Michigan and I have season tickets so I spend a fair amount of time back home.
Here is what I find interesting. I don't know that i've ever encountered even ONE Michigan fan or alumnai that i would classify as "hating" OSU. We don't like them....we don't respect them but we really don't hate them. Here is Ohio, however, it is completely the opposite. They HATE us. They HATE everything about us and view the game as a Holy war to be won at all costs. It's one big reason why I don't think Tressel will get fired (we beats us too often) unless the NCAA mandates it.
I hate the hell out of Ohio St.
I meant other than you of course.
Wear OSU colors in Ann Arbor, and you may draw some ugly comments.
Wear UM colors in Columbus, and something truly ugly could happen to you. Not kidding.
I stopped in Columbus during a trip and ate at a restaurant with my Michigan t-shirt and M cap and not one person in the restaurant said a thing. I got of lot of stares! One woman came by and gave me a high five since she was a big Michigan fan. She told me I can't believe your dressed up like this in Columbus!
The Rivalry. Every M fan should own it.
Let me tell you a little story about the worst state ever....
I think one major source of hate is that there are Michigan fans that live in Ohio, but almost no osu fans that live in Michigan. To top that off, Michigan fans in Ohio aren't afraid to strut their stuff on quote-unquote enemy turf.
the Michigan MSU rivalry. It matters much more to them. I remember the Michigan team bus being stopped by the police and searched for bombs after 9-11, ohio resodding their field twice during a season and then again just a few days before the Michigan game and they were wearing different cleats just for that game, Ohio cops stopping Michigan drivers on principal alone even though Michigan cops probably have more reason (we're smuggling illegal fireworks back in instead.) Woody was so pasionate he punched a kid for beating his team, and now the schools administrators and coach have sold thier soul to beat Michigan. They litterally don't care how they do it anymore, the motto is "just win baby." Who knows what their problem is.
This sounds like a raging vent but you are right...and you made me laugh. I've always thought they just have less going on down there than at UM so this is what they focus on. Despite their endless protestations to the contrary OSU is simply not in the same class as UM as a Unversity, so the rivalry takes on greater importance for them. I mean, if they can't compete with us in football what do they have?
This is very good if you haven't seen it - by HBO. I know a number of people with no interest in either side who really liked it. If you didn't know the history of the rivalry this explains very well why there is really nothing else in college sports with this kind of history.
If you are ever in Ohio try to find the sports radio station. It's ridiculous no matter what time of the year it is they are talking smack about us whether a reason to has come up or not.
Our sports radio will be talking about the Red Wings, Pistons, Tigers, or the Lions with the NFL Draft and Ohio will be talking about how terrible Michigan is.
I think it slants towards OSU. For example, our National Title barely gets a mention, while theirs is some grand reemergence of the program. When they premiered it at the Michigan Theater to Michigan VIPs, it got lukewarm reviews. It wasn't hardly up to the quality ESPN has recently produced.
They also made a huge deal about the culture of OSU football - but didn't say anything about Michigan except "they win and they're arrogant." And they made OSU's terrible reputation as fans out to be a good thing. I honestly don't think they mentioned our 1997 title at all.
But I still thought it was a pretty well done job of recapping the rivalry - despite its Ohio lean.
I was three years old when this happened: www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xIV4OVADDA. My family had a "Best of Bob Ufer" 8-track tape that we would listen to while driving to Ann Arbor for games. I'll never forget the section where Ufer went freaking crazy when they did that to the banner, and rightly so. When I think of Michigan football, I think of The Victors, the helmets, and the team bursting forth from the tunnel and sprinting under the banner. Those are uniquely "Michigan". For osu to attack our banner, it would be similar to our team attacking their stupid tuba player dotting the i.
Let's just take a look at the rivalry for a moment. We gave them the script ohio thing. Pretty classy in my book. Their fans gave Tom Harmon a standing ovation. So there was some respect in the rivalry. But three things have happened since then that turned this from a rivalry into a hatefest. First was when Woody went for 2 to make it 50-14 in '68. Two was the banner, and three was when Tressell had his rent-a-cops search our team bus with bomb-sniffing dogs. Real classy Jim. You'll notice that all three were shitty things that osu did to us. I don't remember us doing anything of the like to them. That's because we're better than them, and they can't take it.
Here's the Buckeye reaction to the 3-3 tie with Michigan in 1910 via the Michigan Daily:
“When the timer’s whistle made it certain that Michigan had indeed been tied, the Ohio rooters, who packed the stands, rushed onto the field and danced madly while their band played and the student clowns capered about “Berky” the mule, that was advertised as ‘having Michigan’s goat’. Factory whistles screamed and cannons boomed in honor of what the Ohio backers felt to be a triumph.”
This very poster is on display at bookstores throughout campus. I guess osu fans' disdain for their on-the-field performance of this era does not stretch to the program art.