Ohio State vs. Michigan is widely recognized as not only the greatest rivalry in college football, but in all of sports.
ESPN’s Sports Century named it the top rivalry in sports at the end of the 20th century.
It draws one of the biggest TV audiences of any regular season game every season. It also plays a role in determining the Big Ten champion more often than not.
But since Jim Tressel arrived in Columbus in January 2001, The Game has gotten a little… predictable.
Sure, there is still some drama left. How will Michigan blow it this year?
Maybe they’ll give up a 4th-and-1 in overtime. Maybe one of their safeties will drop a sure-fire interception. Maybe their quarterback will throw the ball directly to a Buckeye. Maybe they’ll get roasted by a quarterback playing the first meaningful snaps of his career. Maybe they’ll watch a true freshman score two first-half touchdowns. Maybe they’ll give up a blocked punt for a touchdown. Maybe they’ll come in with the nation’s top-ranked defense and give up 60 points. Drama!
1. Play the game underwater. Why should the best game of the year take place on land? It’s time to stop letting old people control everything. Besides, everything is safer underwater except for breathing.
2. The loser has to do the winner’s chores for a week.
3. Only Borens can ref. With family members on both sides of the rivalry, they can be assured of calling it down the middle.
4. Play the game in Indianapolis. How else is Michigan going to know what it’s like?
5. Play the game before it gets too late in the season and a bunch of Michigan players decide to sit the game out.
6. Play the game on an aircraft carrier. Parris Campbell spent last year’s game looking like he’d been shot out of a catapult. This might even things up a little.
7. Play the game on a river, but in kayaks. False start rules would have to be relaxed.
8. Have snow flown in from a September in Buffalo and reenact the Snow Bowl.
9. No punting. Granted, this wouldn’t be much of an adjustment for Ohio State.
10. Play the game in Toledo every year. We can call it “The World’s Second-Largest Cocktail Party” on account of the Glass Bowl only seating 26,000.
11. Get rid of the marching bands. No reason to shame Michigan here too.
12. Only onside kicks allowed. And the ball must be on fire.
13. Each team must play one player from its last team to lose The Game. Michigan gets 21-year old Devin Bush. Ohio State gets 30-year old Boom Herron. If OSU’s win streak lasts another 30 years, a player with a Golden Buckeye card could also win Gold Pants.
14. John Cooper coaches one of the teams, but which one is only decided after a special coin toss ceremony on the Tuesday before The Game. Yes, the coin toss takes place in a hot tub.
15. Targeting is permitted against anybody who throws up a Heisman pose.
16. Play basketball instead. It’s a lesser sport, but at least it’s one Michigan still plays.
17. Players must each eat two plates of Thanksgiving leftovers at halftime. Two slices of pie will be served to each player after the third quarter. In the event of an overtime, the football will be dipped in gravy prior to every play.
18. Headsets in the coaches’ booths replaced with semaphore flags to signal down to the field.
19. Highlights from previous OSU wins in The Game shown on the Ohio Stadium scoreboard must be downgraded to Standard Definition to match all the video from previous Michigan wins.
20. The winner gets to kick Rutgers out of the conference.
21. The loser has to pretend to care about Penn State for the following season.
22. If the winning team scores 50+ points, they win both showcases in the Showcase Showdown.
23. No Gatorade, only milk. Anybody caught drinking anything other than milk has to chug a gallon of milk at midfield and then take 14 footballs in the gut from a Jugs machine. This is also the process for two-point conversions.
24. In the third quarter, both teams’ running backs are replaced with their most annoying Super Fan. And since they like being seen so much, no helmets allowed.
25. Play the game at night. … Nah, even this idea is too stupid for an April Fool’s piece.