Ohio State vs. Michigan: Top 10 Games

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2003

1. 1950 - The temperature hovered near 10 degrees and winds whipped the snow at 28 mph. Columbus was paralyzed on Nov. 25, 1950, by one of the worst snowstorms ever to hit the area. Yet Michigan and Ohio State played on. Several inches of snow had obliterated the yardlines at Ohio Stadium. Long-snappers said when they looked back between their legs they couldn't even see the punter. And punters played a huge role.

Michigan's Chuck Ortman punted 24 times for 723 yards, and Ohio State's Vic Janowicz - who won the Heisman Trophy that year - had 685 yards on 21 kicks. The teams frequently punted on first down, just to avoid a turnover. Ultimately, it was a turnover - on a blocked punt - that provided the difference.

On third and 6 at the Ohio State 13, Buckeyes coach Wes Fesler instructed Janowicz to punt with Ohio State holding a 3-2 lead. Only 47 seconds remained in the half and it is likely that Ohio State could have run out the clock. But Michigan's Tony Momsen - whose older brother Bob played for the Buckeyes - blocked the kick and then fell on it in the end zone, closing the scoring in a 9-3 Michigan win.

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Michigan won the infamous ''Snow Bowl'' despite not having a first down and misfiring on all nine passes.

Fesler was fired, and a young coach from Miami of Ohio named Wayne Woodrow Hayes was eventually hired.

2. 1969 - The first meeting between Michigan's Glenn ''Bo'' Schembechler, and his former boss and good friend, Hayes. A year after Hayes' Buckeyes cruised past the Wolverines 50-14 on their way to a national championship, Schembechler denied No. 1-ranked Ohio State a second consecutive title with a stunning 24-12 upset in Ann Arbor.

3. 1972 - No. 9 Ohio State was 8-1, Michigan was ranked No. 3 and was 10-0. On two dramatic series, Ohio State held the Wolverines out of the end zone on fourth and goal from the 1. A field goal on either possession would have tied the game, won 14-11 by the Buckeyes. Schembechler would say afterward, ''No, I didn't go for the field goal from the 1 because I thought we could score from there. We should have scored from the 1!''

4. 1973 - No. 4 Michigan had outscored its opponents 235-48. No. 1 Ohio State had a 297-27 scoring edge on its victims. Both were 10-0 and they played to a 10-10 tie.

After the game, the Big Ten's athletics directors met to select the conference's representative to the Rose Bowl. Even though Michigan's Mike Lantry missed two field goals in the last two minutes and the Wolverines easily won the statistical battle, the ADs voted for Ohio State, driving Schembechler into a frenzy.

5. 1975 - Ohio State scores twice in the last two minutes to pull out a 21-14 victory and hold on to the No. 1 spot. Buckeyes then go to the Rose Bowl and are upset by UCLA, losing another national title.

6. 1978 - No. 6 Michigan beats No. 16 Ohio State 14-3 in the last meeting between Schembechler and Hayes. A month later in the Gator Bowl, Hayes throws a punch at Clemson linebacker Charlie Baumann and is fired. Schembechler stays on another 11 years, preserving the legacy of ''The Game.''

7. 1987 - Fired five days earlier, Ohio State coach Earle Bruce took his team to Ann Arbor for a game that had no national or Big Ten implications. Just before the kickoff, while standing on the sidelines, Bruce turned around to see every member of the team take off his helmet. Each wore a white headband with the word EARLE written on it in black marker. Ohio State pulled off the 23-20 upset.

8. 1995 - Ohio State is 11-0 and ranked No. 2 but is undone by Tim Biakabutuka's 313 yards on 37 carries. The Wolverines hold on, 31-23.

9. 1996 - Second-ranked Ohio State was unbeaten and needed a win to take over the No. 1 spot. Michigan had three losses and was a heavy underdog at Ohio Stadium. The Wolverines' 13-9 shocker - aided by a slippery field when OSU All-American cornerback Shawn Springs slipped on Tai Streets' long touchdown catch and run - dropped Ohio State far enough in the polls that even when the Buckeyes won the Rose Bowl they ended up a close No. 2.

10. 1997 - Michigan came in No. 1 and stayed that way, beating fourth-ranked Ohio State 20-14 as Ohio native Charles Woodson starred on both sides of the ball to seal the Heisman Trophy.