Ranking the top 5 Michigan-Ohio State games since Wolverines last won in Columbus
Michigan favored over Ohio State this weekend
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The rivalry between Michigan and Ohio State is the best in all of sports, and it figures to add another epic chapter this weekend.
Michigan has won 10 straight games and heads into Columbus as the No. 4 team in the country. Ohio State is also 10-1 and ranked in the top 10.
The winner will represent the Big Ten East Division in Indianapolis and keep its College Football Playoff hopes alive. The loser will settle for a disappointing appearance in a great bowl game.
Sound familiar? Michigan and Ohio State have squared off with everything on the line for decades. But the last several years have been very one-sided. Michigan has lost 15 of 17 meetings and hasn't won in Columbus since 2000.
Since then, most of the games have been competitive. In fact, eight have been decided by fewer than seven points.
As Michigan heads to Columbus as a slim favorite, here are the top five meetings between the heated rivals since the Wolverines last won at the Horseshoe.
5. 2005: Ohio State 25, Michigan 21
Perhaps one of the turning points in the rivalry came in 2005, when Ohio State beat Michigan on its final drive of the game.
Ohio State hadn't won consecutive games in Ann Arbor since 1981, but the loss in 2005 kicked off a string of three straight losses for the Wolverines at home in the rivalry. Michigan has lost six of seven games against Ohio State at home since 2005.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the second quarter behind a pair of long drives from Troy Smith. At halftime, Ohio State held a slim 12-7 lead.
Michigan took over after halftime, scoring 11 unanswered points in the third quarter and adding a field goal midway through the fourth quarter to take a 21-12 lead.
An Ohio State offense that had been dormant for the first 23 minutes of the half drove 67 yards for a touchdown to pull within two. Then, after Michigan pinned the Buckeyes at their own 12-yard line with 4:18 to go, Smith orchestrated a 12-play, 88-yard touchdown drive to take the lead with 24 seconds remaining.
The home team had won "The Game" three times in a row, so when Michigan stumbled in Ann Arbor, it began to tip the scales. The Wolverines wouldn't beat OSU for another six years.
4. 2011: Michigan 40, Ohio State 34
Michigan's only win over Ohio State since 2004 was also one of the most exciting meetings between the two teams.
This game isn't higher on the list because Ohio State was in a bit of a transition year after the controversial ending of Jim Tressel's career. Michigan didn't have national title aspirations, but it was playing for a BCS bowl in the first season under Brady Hoke.
After falling behind 7-0 on the first drive, Michigan scored 16 straight points in the first quarter behind a pair of touchdowns from Denard Robinson -- one on the ground and one through the air.
The fireworks were far from over. Ohio State scored 10 points in a four-minute span to take the lead in the second quarter. Robinson scored again to regain the lead before Braxton Miller threw his second touchdown pass to take a one-point lead into halftime.
Like in 2005, Michigan appeared to seize control of the game midway through the fourth quarter, as Robinson's fifth touchdown gave Michigan a 37-27 lead. But Ohio State went 80 yards in five plays to make it a three-point game with 7:09 to go.
The Wolverines ate up more than five minutes of clock but settled for a field goal to go up six points with two minutes remaining.
With the game on the line, Miller missed a wide open pass to DeVier Posey streaking toward the end zone that would have given the Buckeyes a lead.
On fourth and six from his own 35-yard line, Miller threw an interception to Courtney Avery that ended the game, and Michigan's seven-game losing streak in the rivalry.
3. 2013: Ohio State 42, Michigan 41
The current roles for Michigan and Ohio State were reversed when the teams met in 2013.
Ohio State was ranked No. 3 in the country and heading toward the Big Ten Championship Game. Michigan, however, was nowhere near as talented, sitting at 7-4 heading into the game.
Despite the talent gap, the game was back-and-forth the entire 60 minutes. The teams were tied at seven and 14 in the first quarter and went into halftime tied at 21.
The first two-score lead came in the third quarter, when Ohio State scored 14 unanswered points to lead 35-21. The Wolverines answered, though, scoring a pair of touchdowns in the first 10 minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the game.
Even after Ohio State scored with 2:20 remaining, Michigan wasn't dead. Devin Gardner led an 11-play, 84-yard drive to score with 32 seconds in the game.
Hoke decided to go for the two-point conversion and the win, but the play was a complete disaster, as Gardner threw wildly with pressure in his face. The Wolverines lost the game by a point.
2. 2006: Ohio State 42, Michigan 39
The stakes couldn't have been higher when No. 1 Ohio State hosted No. 2 Michigan in the final week of 2006.
Though there should have been a rematch in the national championship game, Urban Meyer's Florida Gators somehow got the nod, so the Michigan-Ohio State game became a de facto semifinal.
Both teams were 11-0 heading into the game, and there were no other undefeated Power Five teams in the country.
Michigan opened with a seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, but Ohio State scored four touchdowns on its next five drives to take a 28-14 lead into the break.
The Wolverines scored a much-needed touchdown out of the half and added a field goal to pull within four. When Michigan pulled within four points in the fourth quarter, the defense got a stop on third and 15 that would have give the ball back to the offense with a chance to take the lead.
Instead, a late hit was called on Shawn Crable for a hit on Smith. Ohio State got new life and scored three plays later to go up by 11 points. Michigan scored and converted a two-point conversion to pull within three points, but one Ohio State first down iced the game for the Buckeyes.
1. 2016: Ohio State 30, Michigan 27 (2OT)
How can the rivalry's only double overtime game not be the best matchup of the last 18 years?
This was the closest match to the 2006 meeting in terms of pregame hype, as Michigan was No. 3 in the country and Ohio State was No. 2.
Michigan would have won the East Division with a win, and Ohio State was looking to finish 11-1. The winner was expected to be the Big Ten representative in the College Football Playoff.
Michigan controlled the first half, but turnovers were costly. A pick-six got Ohio State on the board in the second quarter, and Wilton Speight's second interception allowed Ohio State to pull within three points at the end of the third quarter.
Michigan held a lead right up until the final second of regulation, when a 23-yard field goal sent the game to overtime.
The Wolverines answered a J.T. Barrett touchdown with one of their own in the first overtime, but settled for a field goal on the next possession.
After a sack set up third and nine for Ohio State at the 24-yard line, Michigan had a chance to drop Curtis Samuel for a huge loss to set up a long fourth down for the game. Instead, Samuel cut across the full field and came up one yard short of the line to gain.
The following play was one of the most controversial in rivalry history. Barrett kept the ball and stretched right around the first down. Michigan fans insist Barrett came up a yard short, while OSU faithful claim the opposite. But not much has gone Michigan's way in this rivalry the last 20 years, and Barrett was awarded a first down.
On the next play, Samuel ran 15 yards for a touchdown and a win. Ohio State went to the playoff, and Michigan settled for an Orange Bowl appearance.
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