Kids, believe it or not, there was once a time when an Ohio State win over Michigan was treated as a rare and precious occasion.
I know that may be hard for you youngsters to believe.
After all, watching a thrashing of the Wolverines has become an annual Thanksgiving weekend tradition all across the Buckeye State.
You’ve gotten to do it for eight straight years, and 15 of the last 16.
But it hasn’t always been that way. For instance, back in the 1990s, wins against Michigan were so rare that many Buckeye fans even celebrated a tie in The Game.
Stop it. Stop that screaming right now.
The point is that you’re spoiled. You have it so good that you don’t even know how good you’ve got it.
You think “Oh, the Buckeyes didn’t even score 60 on Michigan this year!” qualifies as a legitimate complaint.
Here are 10 facts and figures from the 2019 edition of Jim Harbaugh Piñata Day that might help put things in perspective.
Harbaugh made history on Saturday by becoming the first coach for either school to start his career 0-5 in the series.
John Cooper (1988-1991) and Albert Herrnstein (1906-1909) both started 0-4.
Herrnstein had the decency not to try a fifth time. Cooper broke his streak with the tie mentioned above.
With the win over Michigan, Ohio State is now the top major-conference program in the nation by winning percentage. OSU’s .7298 (a record of 923-325-53) puts them just slightly ahead of Michigan’s .7297 (962-345-36).
So now when Ohio State fans tell Michigan fans that their “winningest program” claim is based solely on having started to play the sport before most other teams, they’ll be 100 percent correct.
J.K. Dobbins is the first Buckeye in more than half a century to put up four touchdown runs in a single game against Michigan.
Jim Otis had four against the Wolverines in a 50-14 win in 1968.
Bob Ferguson also scored four times against Michigan in a 50-20 win in 1961.
Jonathan Wells was seemingly on his way to doing it in 2001 with three first-half rushing touchdowns, but sprained his ankle and had to leave the game in the middle of the third quarter.
For the first time in program history, the Buckeyes are on a four-game winning streak in Ann Arbor.
OSU beat Michigan in Michigan Stadium in 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.
The Bucks are 7-1 in Ann Arbor since 2005.
For comparison’s sake, they only won six games in Michigan Stadium from 1966 to 2003.
As mentioned above, the Buckeyes have won eight straight meetings with Michigan. That’s the longest streak in Ohio State’s history against the Wolverines.
You might also remember the second-longest streak for OSU in The Game. It happened from 2004 to 2010.
So yes, there are kids who are old enough to drive now who have only seen Michigan win The Game once in their entire lives.
Oh, and those kids are also the same age as current college football recruits.
The only team to ever win nine straight meetings was Michigan. And like many of the Wolverines’ major accomplishments in this series, it happened at least partly before the airplane was invented.
Michigan won each meeting with Ohio State from 1901 to 1909, before the teams were even in the same conference.
A year after scoring 62 points against Michigan, the 56-point outburst on Saturday probably seemed like an offensive slump.
But the 29-point margin of victory ranks as the 7th-biggest the Buckeyes have ever put up in the series.
Two came during the Rich Rodriguez era (37-7 in 2010 and 42-7 in 2008), which shouldn’t really count.
Outside of those games, the Buckeyes haven’t laid that big of a butt-kicking on the Wolverines in more than 50 years.
The only other blowouts that big came in 1934 (34-0), 1935 (38-0), 1961 (50-20), and 1968 (50-14).
The 56-and-62-point explosions from the Buckeyes represent the first time in series history that they have dropped 50+ on the Wolverines in consecutive meetings.
But it’s actually not common for OSU to do that against any conference opponent. For example, they’ve only scored 50 or more points once against Michigan State (1969) and Purdue (2013).
Here’s the most recent time the Buckeyes have gone 50/50 on every Big Ten team.
Maryland: 2016-2019 (active streak)
Michigan: 2018-2019 (active streak)
Michigan State: Never
Nebraska: 2012, 2016-2017
Penn State: Never
Rutgers: 2016-2019 (active streak)
Ohio State has scored a total of 118 points on the Wolverines in just the last two seasons.
If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is.
From 1989 to 1997, the Buckeyes managed a total of only 115 points in The Game.
So in just the last two seasons, OSU has outscored their point total in nine games during the John Cooper era.
J.K. Dobbins’ 211 rushing yards mark the third time in four visits that a Buckeye running back has gone for more than 200 yards in a game at Michigan Stadium.
Ezekiel Elliott’s 214 in 2015 and Carlos Hyde’s 226 in 2013 are the other two.
Chris “Beanie” Wells had 222 in Ann Arbor in 2007.
No other Ohio State player has ever rushed for more than 200 yards against Michigan.
300 + 4
Justin Fields threw for 302 yards and 4 touchdowns against Michigan on Saturday.
Those numbers pale in comparison to Dwayne Haskins’ 396 yards and 6 scores from a year earlier, but are still remarkable in series history.
Fields is only the third Buckeye to have four passing touchdowns in a game against Michigan, and the fifth to have a 300+ passing yardage day.
Troy Smith put up 316 yards and four scores in the Buckeyes’ 42-39 win in 2006.
Smith had a 300-yard day in Ann Arbor in 2005 as well.
Before that, Joe Germaine was the only other Buckeye to do it, with 330 passing yards in 1998.
Mike Tomczak came close with 298 in 1983.