Jim Harbaugh photo  
Jim Harbaugh, 3-5-0
Ryan Day photo
    Ryan Day, 1-3-0

Since 1935, when the Michigan-Ohio State game moved to the end of the Big Ten schedule, the success of a season was often measured by the results of The Big Game. A coach could redeem a poor season by defeating the arch-rival or, an otherwise stellar record could be marred by an inability "to win the big one."

The series began in 1897 under rookie coaches Gustave Ferbert and David Edwards. Rookie coaches would meet two more times. In 1929 Michigan's Harry Kipke faced off against Sam Willaman of the Buckeyes. Both had been star players and and served as assistant coaches at their schools. Ferbert won his only game against the Buckeyes. Willaman won his first game, but would wind up with 2-3 record. The 2011 game marked the third time that first year coaches have taken the field for both teams. Brady Hoke defeated OSU interim coach Luke Fickell. Only Ferbert, at 1-0-0, would post a career winning record in the series.

Fifteen Michigan coaches have squared off against the Buckeyes and seven emerged with winning records - from Gustave Ferbert's perfect 1-0-0 record (1897) to Fielding Yost's 16-3-1 (1901-1926). Three Michigan coaches played Ohio State even and four suffered a losing record.

Ohio State has sent twenty-one coaches into battle against Michigan - all but one with overall career winning records. Only four, however, have managed winning records against Michigan - ranging from Jim Tressel's 9-1-0 to Woody Hayes' 16-11-1 (1951-1978) and Urban Meyer's perfect 7-0. Wolverine alumnus Albert Herrnstein lost all four meetings, 1906-1909, with his mentor Fielding Yost.

What is remarkable, is how evenly matched the great ones were. Fielding Yost held a slim 5-3 edge over John W. Wilce. Paul Brown, who went on to fame as a professional coach, was 1-1-1 in his matches against Fritz Crisler. "Bo" Schembechler and Woody Hayes both had career winning records in the big game, but "Bo" came out on top, 5-4-1, in head-to-head matches with his former boss.

Lloyd Carr won four of his first five games against the Buckeyes, including two upset victories that ruined the national title hopes of Ohio State teams ranked second in the country.  Jim Tressel was the fifth OSU coach to win his first game against Michigan and only the second to hold a 2-0 advantage over the Wolverines.  Carr won a national championship in his third season.  Tressel did him one better by winning the BCS title in his second.  Carr gained his first win over Tressel in 2003.  Tressel's Buckeyes salvaged a disappointing 2004 season by upsetting  Michigan and depriving the Wolverines of  an outright Big Ten title.  The Buckeyes came from behind in 2005 to give Tressel his fourth win in the series and assure Ohio State a tie for the conference title. In 2006, the series' first showdown between #1 and #2 rated teams, OSU held on for 42-39 victory. In what would be Lloyd Carr's final game at Michigan Stadium, the Buckeyes clinched a third straight Big Ten title with a 14-3 win, giving Tressel a 9-1 record against Michigan. The Buckeyes 42-7 win in 2008 was their largest margin of victory since 1968's 36 point advantage. In the final game at the "old Michigan Stadium" in 2009, a big contingent of OSU fans saw the Buckeyes roll to a 21-10 win. The 2010 game opened with a scoreless first quarter and Michigan pulled within three at 10-7 in the second quarter. Jordan Hall returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown to set a Buckeye series record. OSU ran off 27 unanswered points to secure a dominating 37-7 win.

With the 2010 win, Tressel extended his consecutive win streak to 7 games, three better than Francis Schmidt (1934-1937) and Woody Hayes (1950-1963). Fielding Yost holds the series record for consecutive wins with a nine-year run from 1901-1909. The second longest string for a Michigan coach is three wins: Fritz Crisler, 1938-1940 and 1945-1947; Bo Schembechler, 1976-1978; and Lloyd Carr, 1995-1997.

First year Michigan coach Brady Hoke broke the string of Buckeye victories by defeating interim coach Luke Fickle's Ohio team 40-34. Denard Robinson led the Wolverines to their first win in seven years, accounting for 337 yards total offense and five touchdowns (2 rushing and 3 passing). In the first year of divisional play the rivalry game did not have a direct impact on either the Legends or Leaders championship, but Michigan (6-2) did finish with a better conference record than Ohio (3-5) for the first time since 2004.

Urban Meyer took over the OSU reins in 2012 and led the Buckeyes to an undefeated (but bowlless) season, capped by a 26-21 win over Michigan at Columbus. Meyer moved to 2-0 against Michigan and Brady Hoke in 2013 by holding on for a 42-41 win when the Wolverine's two-point conversion attempt failed with 30 seconds left in the game. An underdog Michigan team played OSU to 14-14 first half tie in the 2014 game. The Buckeyes scored on the first drive of the second half. Michigan responded with a score on the ensuing possession, but Ohio then pulled away for a 42-28 win. The Buckeyes then demolished Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game and went on to win the national title. Jim Harbaugh started to turn Michigan's program around and brought lots of excitement to his first match up with the Buckeyes but couldn't break Meyer's streak as Ohio State cruised to a 42-13 win. It was #2 Ohio State vs. #3 Michigan in 2016. In the first overtime game in series history, Meyer extended his streak to five games. He joined Fielding Yost as the only coaches to win their first five rivalry games. Meyer continued his winning ways with a 31-20 victory in Ann Arbor in 2017, giving the Buckeyes an undisputed division title, capped by a another conference title with an easy win over Wisconsin. Meyer closed his tenure at OSU with a dominating 62-39 win at Columbus in 2018, making him the first coach with more than one season to go undefeated in the series. His seven wins matched Tressel for the longest OSU winning streak, still two behind Fielding Yost.

In 2019 Ryan Day joined the list of coaches who won their debut rivalry game, though he has shared in few as an assistant OUS coacch, handing UM its 8th straight loss with a 56-27 thrashing. Jim Harbaugh got his first win in 2021 as the #6 Wolverines dominated in a 41-27 win in Ann Arbor. In 2022 an undisputed division title was on the line in Columbus as #2 OSU and #3 U-M were both undefeated. OSU was a slight favorite and took a 20-17 lead at hafl-time, holding Michigan to just ten yards rushing. Michigan's scores came on a pair of J.J. McCarthy to Cornelius Johnson TD passes covering 69 and 75 yards. McCarthy scored on a 3-yard run in the third quartet and connected with tight end Loveland Colston for a 45-yard score. Donovan Edwards sealed the game with TD runs of 75 and 85 yards. Jim Harbaugh was not at the 2023 game at Michigan Stadium (serving out a three-game suspension for a sign stealing violation), but assistant coach Sherrone Moore led the Wolverines to a third straight win. Blake Corum ran for two TDs, Roman Wilson caught a disputed TD pass and James Turner hit three field goals for a 30-24 win. The Wolverine defense held TreVeyon Henderson to 60 yards rushing and limited All-American receiver Marvin Harrison to one TD.

Michigan Coaches' Records vs. Ohio State
Coach Years Overall vs OSU
[No Coaches] 1879-1890 23-10-1 Gustave Ferbert
Gustave Ferbert

Fielding Yost
Fielding Yost

Fritz Crislert
Fritz Crisler

Frank Crawford 1891 4-5-0
Frank E. Barbour 1892-1893 14-8-0
William McCauley 1894-1895 17-2-1
William D. Ward 1896 9-1-0
Gustave Ferbert 1897-1899 24-3-1 1-0-0
Langdon "Biff" Lea 1900 7-2-1 0-0-1
Fielding H. Yost 1901-1923,
165-29-10 16-3-1
George Little 1924 6-2-0 1-0-0
Elton E. Wieman 1927-1928 9-6-1 1-1-0
Harry Kipke 1929-1937 46-26-4 3-6-0
Herbert O. "Fritz" Crisler 1938-1947 71-16-3 7-2-1
Bennie Oosterbaan 1948-1958 63-33-4 5-5-1
Chalmers "Bump" Elliott 1959-1968 51-42-2 3-7-0
Glenn "Bo" Schembechler 1969-1989 198-48-5 11-9-1
Gary Moeller 1990-1994 44-13-4 3-1-1
Lloyd Carr 1995-2007 121-40-0 6-7-0
Rich Rodriguez 2008-2010 15-21-0 0-3-0
Brady Hoke 2011- 2014 29-19-0 1-3 -0
Jim Harbaugh 2015-2023 89-25-0 3-5-0
Ohio State Coaches' Records vs. Michigan
Coach Years Overall vs UM
Alexander S. Lilley 1890-1891 3-5-0 John Eckstorm
John Eckstorm

Albert E. Herrnstein
Albert E. Herrnstein

Francis Schmidt
Francis Schmidt

Paul Brown
Paul Brown
Jack Ryder 1892-1895,
Charles Hickey 1896 5-5-1
David F. Edwards 1897 1-7-1 0-1-0
John B. Eckstorm 1898-1901 22-4-3 0-1-1
Perry Hale 1902-1903 14-5-2 0-2-0
E.R. Sweatland 1903-1905 14-7-2 0-2-0
Albert E. Herrnstein 1906-1909 28-10-1 0-4-0
Howard Jones 1910 6-1-3 0-0-1
Henry Vaughn 1911 5-3-2 0-1-0
John R. Richards 1912 6-3-0 0-1-0
John W. Wilce 1913-1928 78-33-9 4-7-0
Sam S. Willaman 1929-1932 26-10-5 2-3-0
Francis A. Schmidt 1934-1940 39-16-1 4-3-0
Paul E. Brown 1940-1943 18-8-1 1-1-1
Carroll C. Widdoes 1944-1945 16-2-0 1-1-0
Paul O. Bixlar 1946 4-3-2 0-1-0
Wesley E. Fesler 1947-1950 21-13-3 0-3-1
Woody Hayes 1951-1978 205-61-10 16-11-1
Earle Bruce 1979-1987 81-26-1 5-4-0
John Cooper 1988-2000 111-43-4 2-10-1
Jim Tressel 2001-2010 105-22-0 9-1-0#
Luke Fickell (interim) 2011 6-7-0 0-1-0
Urban Meyer 2012-2018 83-9-0 7-0-0
Ryan Day 2019-2023 56-8-0 1-3-0
# - Tressel's 12 wins in 2010, including a 37-7 win over U-M at Columbus, were vacated for NCAA violations