All this week, LGHL writers will be bring you articles with inspired by their favorite Ohio State theoretical questions. Check out all of our What If? thoughts throughout the week HERE. Whether you disagree, let us know what you think in the comments below and on Twitter @Landgrant33.
Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
Today’s Question: What will the series record be when Ohio State next loses to TTUN?
Context: While it was difficult for both Matt and Jami to concede, they did admit that some day, some how, the Mitten State Weasels will eventually win again in their once-great rivalry versus Ohio State.
The Corn and Blue currently hold a 58–51–6 all-time advantage over Ohio State, but over the past century, they are just 45-49-4.
Jami’s Take: 59-58-6 for Ohio State
Given the way Ohio State has dominated this matchup in my lifetime, it’s hard for my pea brain to comprehend the fact that Michigan still holds the all-time series.
Though OSU has taken the last eight games against the Wolverines, eventually Michigan will eke one out again. But I think by the time Michigan manages to do so, the overall series record will have swung in OSU’s favor.
It might sound a bit deranged for me to think OSU could feasibly win eight more consecutive games. Statistically, the fact that the Buckeyes have won 15 of the last 16 games against Michigan actually doesn’t work in Ohio State’s favor. But given the combination of coaching and recruiting, it’s not really that unreasonable to think they could win eight more before another Michigan victory.
For one thing, Michigan doesn’t stand a chance while Jim Harbaugh is still their head coach, and lucky for us, Christmas came early! In January, Harbaugh signed a four-year contract extension that could keep him in Ann Arbor through 2025.
“But even Brady Hoke, whose track record was far worse than that of Harbaugh, delivered against OSU back in 2011. Surely Harbaugh will sneak one win in...” you say? We’ll chalk that Hoke win up to a fluke.
Though the Wolverines hired six new assistant coaches to shake things up heading into this fall, I don’t think it will change the fact that, since Harbaugh took over, they’ve been unable to get the job done in high-stakes situations (and that extends beyond just The Game).
If this is the case and OSU keeps on winning against Harbaugh’s Wolverines, that puts the series record at 58-55-6 (in favor of Michigan) by the time Harbaugh’s contract expires in 2025.
Obviously I do not have a crystal ball and I cannot see the future. That leaves a lot of unpredictable variables as far as recruiting, coaching, and injuries. But … this is where I’m going out on a limb to say OSU will continue their victory ride even beyond Harbaugh’s time as coach. I firmly believe that if OSU continues to dominate the way they have in the regular season, they’ll be ready for whatever surprises that new coach might have up their sleeve.
That’s not to say a Buckeye loss is impossible. The last time OSU lost to Michigan was the aforementioned loss in 2011, which was Brady Hoke’s first season. On the flip side, when Tressel took over for OSU in 2001, momentum shifted in the Buckeyes’ favor. New coaches have the potential to shake things up, and it’s entirely possible that a new coach in Ann Arbor will make a point to bring some competitive energy back to The Game. If the Buckeyes are going to lose before the series record tips in OSU’s favor, it will be in the Wolverines’ first season with a new head coach.
But if OSU continues to dominate the way they have in the regular season, I think they’ll be ready. I feel confident they can take this hypothetical new coach on a four-year ride to not just even out the series but take the lead, 59-58-6. Then and only then will Michigan see another hypothetical victory.
Matt’s Take: 63-58-6 for Ohio State
Jami rightfully admits that she cannot see the future, and while neither can I, I do have a powerful advantage over her in this discussion; I am very close, personal friends with the football gods. As I revealed earlier this year when I wrote about where and when Buckeyes would be taken in the 2022 NFL Draft, often times, the etherial spirits that systematically pull the strings of the entire sport speak to me as their chosen vessel on earth.
Therefore, I know exactly* what the record of the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry will be when the Meerkats finally get another win in the series.
* = probably not at all exactly
So, friends, join me for a completely accurate future history lesson.
Ryan Day’s last season at Ohio State will be 2034 and he will finish with a 15-1 record against That Team Up North. However, Day will not be summarily fired following a loss in The Game in 2034, in fact, he will go out on a high note, winning the first-ever 32-team College Football Playoff; his fourth national title while at Ohio State.
As a side note, the football gods are also telling me that having accomplished so much in Columbus, the then 56-year old coach will finally be seduced by the NFL where he will move back to his native New England where he will take over as head coach of the Patriots following the surprising retirement announcement of Bill Belichick, who is still as spry a sneaky as ever at the age of 82.
So, if Day doesn’t lose in his final season as Ohio State coach, when does he lose? Let’s break it down:
It should come as no shock that Day will not drop a rivalry game in the next four seasons; the combined recruiting classes that we are already aware of (from those signed and on campus to the 2022 class for which the bulk of the work has been done) skew so heavily in Ohio State’s favor that the Mitten State Men have no shot of even keeping the games close during the C.J. Stroud and Quinn Ewers eras.
So, that brings us to 2025. As Jami mentioned, this is the final year on the recently extended, yet dramatically reduced contract between Jimmy Harbz and the university. There will be a lot of momentum from up north for the team to finally get a victory in the series, and potentially save the cesspool’s favorite son from an embarrassing firing, but, alas, it will not happen and the school’s administration will finally put the tenure of Screech Powers’ cousin out to pasture and move on to another
sucker coach to lead the Muskrats.
As the new coach gets his program in order in Ann Arbor, the Buckeyes will continue their dominance, winning in 2026, tying the overall record at 58-58-6 in 2027, and taking their first ever lead in the series in 2028.
Now, dear reader, this is where Jami would have you believe that the Buckeyes will lose their first game in recent memory, in 2029. That would again even the all-time record at 59-59-6 heading into the 2030 season. However, my contacts from up on high have exclusively revealed to me that this is not, in fact, what will happen.
Instead, the Buckeyes will win in ‘29, ‘30, ‘31, and ‘32 bringing the all-time record to 63-58-6, in favor of Ohio State. Winning The Game in 2032 will have a major buildup for multiple years, as it will mark 20-straight victories for the Buckeyes in the series.
OSU last lost to Missedagain in the asterisk-laden 2011 Luke Fickell season; meaning that with the win in 2032, the Buckeyes will have won 20-straight rivalry games and taken the all-time series lead; and according to my sources, they will never give it back.
Now comes the part of our story that gets a little bit sad. Following the emotional victory in 2032, there will be a bit of a let down in 2033, and thanks to a fake punt, the Weasels will finally break the two-decade long winless streak.
Day, of course, could never leave Ohio State on a loss to their rival, especially one coming against Coach Harbaugh... oh no, Jim didn’t get rehired, his brother Jon got the job in 2030, after Jimbo’s predecessor was quickly axed as well.
That is why Day will come back in 2034 and will lead the Buckeyes to another national title before riding off into the sunset for the greener pastures of the NFL.
So, you can take this to the proverbial (or literal if you would like) bank, because it comes directly from the football gods who know and see all. Therefore, if they decide to alter their current plans and things don’t work out exactly as I have laid out for you, don’t blame me; take it up with them. They are the ones in charge, after all.
Who has the right answer to today’s question?
This poll is closed