Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes featured in our The Game content

The Game: Michigan Vs Ohio State, So Good It Doesn’t Need A Name

College football rivalries – there’s too many to count, whether they’re showcased between top schools or waged quietly between lower-tier programs with less notoriety. But there’s one NCAA football rivalry that cuts so deep it requires no introduction. It’s called simply The Game, and everyone knows as soon as you mention it that you’re talking about the intense annual meeting between the Big Ten’s Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes.

What Is The Game?

Michigan vs Ohio State

Over a century old, The Game has been played 117 times dating back to October 1897. With a border separating the two, the Ohio State vs Michigan rivalry was already brewing during the Toledo War between 1835 and 1836. Though it was short-lived, Michigan and Ohio argued over a piece of land that we know today as Ohio. There were no deaths caused by the war but tensions were peaking. 

So, when The Game was held in its inaugural season, the hatred between schools and cities was uncovered. The first kickoff favored the Wolverines, who had been playing football over a decade longer than the Buckeyes, who stormed the field in 1890. The result was a 34-0 blowout for Michigan on a mid-October day. That history repeated itself for a while with the Wolverines winning 19 of the first 24 contests. 

Both groups found themselves in the Big Ten Conference in 1918. From then until 2020, The Game was played every year before the COVID-19 pandemic rudely interrupted it. Currently, Michigan leads the all-time series 60-51-6, including owning the longest win streak between 1901 and 1909. The teams are nice enough to alternate home-field advantage, playing the contest in Ann Arbor, Michigan, during odd-numbered years and in Columbus, Ohio, during the even-numbered years. 

The two schools and their fans hate each other so much that they couldn’t bear to be apart – talk about a toxic relationship. So, when the Big Ten was being split into two divisions in 2010 and the programs would be forced to be split apart, the fanatics grew frantic. An abundance of emails were sent to the commissioner until it was agreed The Game would be a protected crossover matchup at the end of each regular season. Thank goodness, otherwise we wouldn’t have the event that was ranked as the greatest North American sports rivalry in history by ESPN in 2000. Yeah, it’s that serious. 

Michigan vs Ohio State 2022 

Listed as one of our games of the year last season during Rivalry Week, the most recent outcome of The Game put the Wolverines back on a win-streak wagon by claiming victory for the second straight year. At Ohio Stadium, the Buckeyes were favored by 7.5 points before kickoff and held a 10-3 lead after the opening quarter. But a pair of touchdowns by Michigan’s Cornelius Johnson in the second tightened things up, with the Buckeyes taking a narrow 20-17 advantage into halftime. 

The second half, though, had Michigan’s name written all over it as the Wolverines held the Buckeyes to a field goal in the remaining time while piling up 28 points. Two big runs of over 75 yards by Donovan Edwards only a few minutes apart propelled Michigan to the 45-23 victory.

Ohio State QB CJ Stroud, a 2022 Heisman Trophy finalist, completed 31 of 48 tosses for 349 yards. The junior threw for two touchdowns but also had two interceptions for the first time all season. Stroud has declared for the upcoming NFL draft with an outstanding 2022 resume of 41 touchdown passes (ranked 2nd) and an 88.9 QBR (ranked 2nd), but he is leaving college missing one thing – a rivalry win over the Wolverines.

Though Michigan signal-caller JJ McCarthy completed just 50 percent of his passes, he nailed three touchdowns. McCarthy went on to lead his team to the No. 2 spot in the College Football Playoff, taking them to +300 odds to win the national championship before falling to the TCU Horned Frogs in the semifinals. 

The Game: Ohio State vs Michigan Series History

Ohio State vs Michigan Last 10 Matchups
YearWinnerScoreWinner's SpreadOVER/UNDER
2022Michigan Wolverines45-23+7.5 (W)57 (OVER)
2021Michigan Wolverines45-27+6.5 (W)64.5 (OVER)
2019Ohio State Buckeyes56-27-9 (W)52.5 (OVER)
2018Ohio State Buckeyes62-39+4.5 (W)56.5 (UNDER)
2017Ohio State Buckeyes31-20-12 (L)50 (OVER)
2016Ohio State Buckeyes30-27 OT-6.5 (L)44.5 (OVER)
2015Ohio State Buckeyes42-13+1 (W)45 (OVER)
2014Ohio State Buckeyes42-28-21.5 (L)55 (OVER)
2013Ohio State Buckeyes42-41-15.5 (L)57 (OVER)
2012Ohio State Buckeyes26-21+4 (W)52 (UNDER)

Although Michigan is on a two-year win streak, Ohio State has been dominating the rivalry over the last decade, winning eight of the last 10 matchups. The OVER/UNDER is insane here, with The Game scoreboard hitting the OVER in nine of the last 10 meetings. I guess playing your rival gives you some clear scoring incentive.

New to the college football scene and reading college football odds? Check out our handy college football betting guide to help you get in the action. Also, keep an eye on our college football odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.

The Game FAQ

What Is The Game?

The Game is a college football rivalry between two of NCAA Division 1's top programs in the nation -- the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes. The annual meeting has been played since 1897, with the Wolverines leading the series 60-51-6.

Where Is The Game Played?

Since 1918, after both Michigan and Ohio State joined the Big Ten conference, The Game alternates locations. On odd numbered years, it will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan -- home of the Wolverines. During even numbered years, it will be played in Columbus, Ohio at the Buckeyes' Ohio Stadium.

Who Won The Game In 2023?

Coming back from a first-quarter deficit, the Michigan Wolverines held the Ohio State Buckeyes, who were favored by 7.5-points, to three points across the second half. Both teams entered the matchup undefeated, but the Wolverines lifted to a 45-23 victory.

Back to Top