Stop calling this game a rivalry.
The Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines were scheduled to play each other this Saturday. However, the game has been canceled due to an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past week within the Wolverines’ program. This is disappointing to many because Ohio State and Michigan is viewed as one of the biggest rivalries in sports, but should it be?
When you think of great sports rivalries, you think of two great teams that are competitive against each other. The Ohio State and Michigan rivalry has been anything but competitive lately. The Buckeyes have won the past eight and 15 of the last 16 games against the Wolverines. Right now, Ohio State is undeniably one of the best programs in all of college football, while the Wolverines haven’t won their conference in over 15 years. Before the cancellation of Saturday’s game, the Buckeyes were 30 point favorites over the Wolverines. How can something so one-sided be viewed as a great rivalry?
The New England Patriots have won nine consecutive games against the New York Jets. Additionally, the Patriots have won six Super Bowls over the past two decades while the Jets are 0-12 and recently clinched missing the playoffs for the 10th straight season. The Patriots and Jets play each other twice every season but do any Patriots fans consider the Jets a rival? Why should Ohio State and Michigan be viewed any differently?
Auburn vs Alabama in football and Duke vs North Carolina in basketball are two college rivalries that are both undeniably better than Ohio State vs Michigan in football. Auburn-Alabama and Duke-North Carolina are both geographically much closer to each other than Ohio State and Michigan are. Additionally, Auburn-Alabama and Duke-North Carolina are both far more competitive than Ohio State and Michigan. North Carolina had a down year in basketball last season, but they still played a very good Duke team competitively twice. In a great rivalry, all the records go out the window and anything can happen. Lately, when Ohio State has played Michigan, the Buckeyes have had the upper hand no matter what.
Michigan was once on the same level if not better than Ohio State but that was a very long time ago. Ohio State has won nine conference titles since Michigan’s last conference title. Additionally, The Buckeyes have won the past eight and 15 of the last 16 games against the Wolverines. Because of the ginormous gap between the two teams, Ohio State and Michigan should not be considered a rivalry.