Arguably the biggest rivalry in all of college football will have high stakes this Saturday as the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines head south to Columbus, OH, to meet the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes. Both of these bitter enemies are undefeated at 11-0 heading into this matchup, with the winner clinching a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game and perhaps the College Football Playoff afterwards.
The last time Michigan and Ohio State were both undefeated for ‘The Game’ was 2006, a matchup that has since earned the often used “Game of the Century” superlative in college football. Led by eventual Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith at quarterback, the No. 1 Buckeyes defeated the No. 2 Wolverines 42-39 in the first ever No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown in the illustrious rivalry’s history.
In front of 105,000+ fans at Ohio Stadium, the likes of Smith, Antonio Pittman, and Ted Ginn Jr. led OSU to a 28-14 lead at halftime. The Chad Henne and Mike Hart-led Michigan offense eventually got to work in the second half and were nipping at the Buckeyes’ heels. After Smith completed a touchdown pass to Brian Robiskie late in the fourth quarter, Henne hit Tyler Ecker for a 16-yard touchdown with 2:16 left, and the ensuing two-point conversion pulled UM to within three. However, a few Pittman runs for a first down iced the game for the home team, allowing them to survive the instant classic.
The win clinched Ohio State the 2006 Big Ten Championship and earned it a spot in the BCS Championship Game, where it was gashed by Florida. We’ll see who comes out on top in the 2022 showdown between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines.