We’re getting close to kickoff time and with the start of the regular season comes anticipation of The Game.
So with that in mind, let’s celebrate the No. 3, the margin of victory in The Game of the Century: OSU 42, Michigan 39 on Nov. 18, 2006.
OSU came in No. 1 in every poll. Michigan came in at No. 2. The winner would be assured of a spot in the BCS National Championship Game.
Like the game needed more hype, right?
Well, former Michigan head coach (and former OSU assistant) Bo Schembechler unexpectedly died the day before the game.
It was the first time The Game featured two undefeated teams ranked 1-2 in the country.
OK, enough hype.
Tied 7-7 midway through the first quarter the fun started. Chris “Beanie” Wells scored on a 52-yard run and Ted Ginn Jr., hauled in a Troy Smith pass for a 39-yard score and a 21-7 Buckeye lead.
OSU led 28-14 at halftime and Michigan quickly cut it to 28-24 before Antonio Pittman broke free for a 56-yard score and a 35-24 lead. Michigan answered that touchdown in the fourth quarter and had appeared to stop the Buckeyes on a key third-down play.
However, a helmet-to-helmet penalty against a Wolverine extended the drive and Brian Robiskie caught a 13-yard pass from Smith to give OSU a 42-31 lead.
The Wolverines scored a TD and 2-point conversion with 2:16 left in the game but were unable to complete the comeback as OSU recovered an onside kick.
This was a big play day as the teams combined for five TD’s over 20 yards.
Smith threw for 316 yards and four TD’s and won the Heisman Trophy. He became the first OSU QB in 70 years to beat Michigan three times.
But that wasn’t the end of it.
Debates started as to whether or not the Wolverines deserved another shot at OSU in the NCG. Initially, the voters decided Michigan did enough to get a rematch. But after USC beat Notre Dame, the Trojans jumped ahead of Michigan. Then UCLA upset USC the following week limiting the choices to Michigan and Florida.
The computers said Michigan. The human polls (Coaches and Harris) favored Florida.
OSU played the Gators in the title game. Yuck.