Not too long ago, Ohio State was in the midst of a two-decade long run of dominance over rival Michigan. And now the tide of college football’s most prestigious rivalry has completely turned as the Wolverines picked up their third straight win in the series with a 30-24 triumph over the Buckeyes on Saturday
The last time Michigan beat Ohio State three years in a row was from 1995-1997, with all three games having major national championship implications. Led by first-year head coach Lloyd Carr, the ‘95 Wolverines took down the undefeated Buckeyes 31-23, ruining Ohio State’s bid for both a Rose Bowl and a shot at a national title. The following year in 1996, the 10-0 Buckeyes had their national title hopes blown up once again in the Horseshoe, as Michigan running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka ran for 313 yards and led the Wolverines to a 13-9 win. Then in 1997, Brian Griese and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson led Michigan to a 20-14 victory en route, their final stop before winning the Rose Bowl and being named AP national champions.
These string of losses ended up defining Jon Cooper’s tenure at Ohio State, as his poor record against Michigan trumped the other success he had as the Buckeye head coach from 1988-2000. A similar conversation is being had about current OSU head coach Ryan Day as the Buckeyes have lost the edge in this series under his watch.