There’s plenty at stake this weekend when Ohio State and Michigan square off in the 116th meeting of the greatest rivalry in all of sports.
There are bragging rights for the next 365 days.
Ohio State’s national championship hopes could take a tumble with a loss.
Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh has lost his first four games in the series, something no other Michigan coach has ever done. Only John Cooper (1988-1991) and Albert Herrnstein (1906-1909) have ever done that as OSU head coaches.
No one has ever lost their first five meetings of The Game, and Harbaugh desperately wants to avoid making that particular type of history.
But there’s something even bigger hanging in the balance this Saturday.
The winner of this week’s Ohio State vs. Michigan game will be the winningest power conference program in NCAA history by winning percentage.
Ohio State enters the game with an official all-time record of 922-325-53. That works out to a winning percentage of .72961538. That’s the second-highest of any program that has been playing FBS football for more than 25 years.
Michigan enters with a mark of 962-344-36. Their winning percentage is .73025335. That’s the top of the list… for now.
That could all change Saturday. The teams are close enough that an Ohio State win and Michigan loss would vault the Buckeyes to No. 1 on the all-time list.
If the Bucks win their eighth-straight game in the series, they would have a record of 923-325-53, for a winning percentage of .72982321.
A Michigan loss would make the Wolverines 962-344-36, which works out to .72970961.
Now for the disclaimer: Boise State currently has the highest winning percentage of any current FBS member. The Broncos are 458-168-2 all-time, good for a .73131955 winning percentage.
They actually passed Michigan in winning percentage earlier this season to take the No. 1 spot all-time.
However, the Broncos played as a junior college, as well as in Division 2 and what was then called Division 1-AA (now FCS) for the majority of their history. They only moved up to Division 1-A (now FBS) in 1996.
So Saturday will decide not only the winningest program in a power conference, but also among the teams that have been a top-level program for more than 25 years.