It's been called the greatest rivalry in college football, and some even refer to it as the best rivalry in all of sports. Ohio State and Michigan have a relentless hatred for one another, and often this resentment spills over and players lose their cool. Here are four of the most memorable times that Buckeyes and Wolverines have clashed on the field.
4. Norfleet and Roby Preheat the Game - 2012
Urban Meyer's inaugural year at Ohio State ended in a perfect season that was handcuffed by a postseason ban. The season may have felt meaningless to some, but it sure didn't diminish the hatred between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines.
That much was apparent during pregame warmups, when Michigan wide receiver and return specialist Dennis Norfleet clashed with Ohio State star cornerback Bradley Roby. Fullback Zach Boren and other Buckeyes collided along the sidelines with Wolverines entering the field.
Ohio State would go on to win the game 26-21.
3. Hall Flips the Bird - 2013
This one was ugly.
In the second quarter of the 2013 edition of The Game, the third-ranked Buckeyes were trailing unranked Michigan 21-14 when Dontre Wilson was stuffed after barely crossing the 15-yard line. Wilson, and many other Buckeyes and Wolverines, got involved in bench-clearing brawl that ended with the ejections of Wilson, Buckeyes offensive lineman Marcus Hall and Wolverines linebacker Royce Jenkins-Stone.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines traded words in the tunnel before the game as well.
ESPN commentator Todd Blackledge was apparently so excited about the fight that he forgot the players' names. Blackledge referred to Wilson as "Dontrelle Willis" and Marcus Hall as "Maurice Hall."
Hall made sure fans at the Big House knew how he felt, throwing up the double bird as he left the field.
2. Boston vs Woodson -
1997 was Charles Woodson's year.
Even if you're a Buckeyes fan, you have to appreciate the season he had, becoming the last defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy. In fact, he's the last player to win the award who was not a quarterback or running back.
And he had some epic battles with Ohio State's all-time receptions leader, David Boston.
In the '97 matchup, Woodson and Boston traded words in the week leading up to the game and on the field as well. The tensions boiled over into a fistfight on a play that involved neither player. The fight between Boston and Woodson is now featured in every hype video in the buildup to The Game.
Boston would finish the game with 68 yards and a touchdown, but Woodson led the Wolverines to victory with a punt return for a touchdown and an interception in the endzone. Woodson eventually won the Heisman and the Wolverines brought home their first national championship since 1948.
1. Ohio State Players Tear Down M Club Banner - 1973
This one, while not technically a fight, is an iconic moment from what became known as the Ten Year War between head coaches Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler.
Top-ranked Ohio State stormed out of the tunnel to take on the fourth-ranked Wolverines, and star offensive lineman John Hicks led the Buckeyes on a detour. As they took the field, the Ohio State players grabbed ahold of Michigan's M Club Banner and attempted to tear it apart.
Michigan radio announcer Bob Ufer was audibly upset.
“They’re tearing down Michigan’s coveted M Club banner!" Ulfer said. "They will meet a dastardly fate here for that. There isn't a Michigan Man who wouldn't like to go out and scalp those Buckeyes right now. They have the audacity, the unmitigated gall to tear down the coveted M banner!”
The Buckeyes would get the first and last laugh... well, sort of. The 1973 contest ended in a tie, but the Big Ten voted to send Ohio State to the Rose Bowl over Michigan.