Ohio State Dominates Michigan Week

Michigan Week

By Zack Meisel
By Zack Meisel
Unigo Campus Rep at Ohio State University
Nov. 22, 2008

A 42-7 triumph put the finishing touches on “Beat Michigan Week” at Ohio State University. The annual week of fiery traditions between the two archrivals culminated with a rare one-sided result.

Saturday marked the 105th meeting between Ohio State and Michigan, a yearly matchup that many deem “The Game.” Leading up to the battle in The Horseshoe, the two schools took part in many other events as well.

Every year, on the Thursday night before the game, OSU students jump in Mirror Lake. Regardless of frigid temperatures, susceptibility to pneumonia and muddy clothes, thousands of students throw themselves into the shallow pond.

According to Josh Epstein, a sophomore engineering major, the tradition dates back many years, and acts as a kickoff to Michigan Weekend in Columbus.

“The experience is nothing what I thought it would be,” he said. “Seeing all those people surrounding a freezing cold lake and jumping in, then running back to their rooms is funny as hell. It’s something that makes an amazing memory because you just joined a tradition that’s been going on for years.”

More than any other campus event, the jump illustrates a unique sense of school pride, said Scott Rosenthal, a freshman business major.

“The mirror lake jump shows a sense of spirit that really cannot be matched,” he said.

Other prevalent events carrying the “Beat Michigan” theme included the marching band’s “Beat Michigan Concert,” the “Beat Michigan Battle Against Hunger,” “Ohio State-Michigan Blood Battle” and the “Beat Michigan 5K Race.” Each affair employed the rivalry’s influence to help raise money for charity.

Overall, the multitude of events created a full week of school pride and unity, said Zack Rosenberg, a sophomore psychology major.

“It’s a bunch of crazy people going nuts about something that brings them together,” he said.

A special pep rally was held at the start of the week to initially pump up Buckeye followers. Former gridiron standouts Eddie George and Chris Spielman riled up a large group of students and alumni.

“Beat Michigan Craft Night” drew a mass of students looking to decorate dorms in anything but maize and blue. Attendees created Buckeye keychains, piggy banks, t-shirts, picture frames and other crafts while joining together in anti-Michigan cheers.

Early Saturday morning, tailgaters set up their tents, lit the grills, and opened cold beverages in anticipation of the noon kickoff. Buckeye fanatics clad in scarlet and gray lined the streets in preparation of the season’s most important game.

Ohio State took advantage of an inexperienced Michigan squad to win big. The result marks the first time in the illustrious history of the rivalry that the Buckeyes have won five consecutive meetings.

The series began with a 36-0 Wolverine victory in Ann Arbor in 1897. OSU didn’t record its first win over Michigan until 1919. Overall, Michigan still leads the series 57-42, with six ties.

Each season, fans circle the date of the Ohio State-Michigan game on their calendars. It represents one of college football’s major rivalries, and carries rich, extensive traditions and history.

Freshman business major Scott Rosenthal said in regard to school pride and tradition, the rivalry it’s a microcosm of what college is all about.

“Being a freshman, I had never experienced the aura of Michigan week,” he said. “I always had a love for OSU football and lived to watch the big game in late November. But finally being a student, I was able to really experience the pageantry and tradition that is Michigan week.

“All the university clubs come together to show their disdain for Michigan, and the campus as a whole unites. With the conclusion of the game on Saturday, the week as a whole is incomparable to anything, and I could not explain it to anyone that isn’t a student here.”