No major rivalry in college sports has been as one-sided as the Ohio State football team’s incredible dominance over Michigan for the last two decades.
November 26, 2011. 3,000 days ago, the 6-5 Ohio State football team traveled to Michigan to face the 9-2 (No. 15) Wolverines who were favored to beat the Buckeyes for the first time since 2004 (last win for UM in 2003).
In a game that they should have won by much more, the Wolverines scraped past a floundering Buckeye team which had started 6-3 for a 40-34 win. In the eight match-ups since, no final score line has had the Wolverines with more points on the scoreboard.
3,000 days have now elapsed since then.
Luke Fickell had to face many challenges after the fallout from “Tattoogate” but did as best he could to lead as interim head coach. Most people expected him to be a fill-in until Ohio State could find a new head coach, and that is exactly what happened when Urban Meyer was hired on Nov. 28, just two days after the last Michigan win.
When Meyer took over he made beating “That Team Up North” a priority for his Buckeyes. He practically outlawed the color blue and consistently referred to the Wolverines as That Team Up North throughout the year, not just the last week of November.
Meyer made the countdown clock (always counting down days, hours, minutes and seconds until The Game a fixture in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
From punching bags covered by a block “M”, to having the practice squad wear the winged Wolverine helmets, Meyer pushed beating Michigan almost as much as his push for his team to win “The Chase…” in the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship run.
And when Ryan Day took over for Meyer after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 2019, he spearheaded a redesign of the “Michigan Wall” at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. As a coach-in-waiting in 2018 and officially offensive coordinator, his offense tore up the No. 4 Wolverines defense putting up 62 points in an absolute drubbing.
When he officially took over as head coach for the 2019 season, the offense once again humbled the Michigan defense in a 56-27 win. That extended the Buckeyes’ winning streak in The Game to eight straight and 16* out of 19* (2010 win vacated).
In the eight seasons that make up the 3,000 days, the Buckeyes have won at least 12 games in all but one season (2016) and have outscored the Wolverines 118-66 in the last two match-ups.
With the talent the 2020 Buckeyes bring back, it’s difficult to see the Wolverines breaking that streak. 3,000 days is not just a long time, it’s a sign of just how big the separation is right now between the Buckeyes and Wolverines.