Ohio State Rivals

Who Are Ohio State Rivals? A Closer Look at the Buckeyes’ Fiercest Football Rivalries

A Storied History: The Origins of Ohio State Rivalries

Who Are The Biggest Ohio State Rivals?

The Ohio State Buckeyes are a formidable force in NCAA Football.

They have a rich history of success, but with that success comes intense rivalries.

These rivalries are the lifeblood of college football, generating immense excitement and passion among fans, players, and alumni alike.

This article will look closely at some of the most notable rivalries of the Ohio State Buckeyes.

So buckle up because the games we’re about to discuss are the ones that make or break seasons!

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Ohio State vs. Michigan Wolverines

“The most important day in the Big Ten calendar is when Ohio State takes on Michigan.” – Anonymous Fan.

Undoubtedly, the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines are the most famous and intense rivalry.

This is one of the oldest rivalries in college football, dating back to 1897.

Dubbed “The Game,” this annual showdown usually occurs in late November and often has conference or national title implications.

The atmosphere is electrifying as fans from both sides descend upon either the Michigan Stadium or Ohio Stadium, making it one of the most highly anticipated games in college football.

You can feel the tension in the air as the teams clash in what is often a decisive battle for supremacy in the Big Ten Conference.

Historical Significance:

The first game was played in 1897.

Michigan leads the all-time series, though Ohio State has dominated in recent years.

The match has often decided the Big Ten Conference champion.

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Memorable Moment:

One of the most memorable games in this rivalry took place in 2006 when both teams were ranked #1 and #2 in the nation.

The Buckeyes edged out the Wolverines 42-39 in a thrilling contest that is still discussed today.

Ohio State vs. Penn State Nittany Lions

Another rivalry that carries significant weight is the one between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Penn State Nittany Lions.

This rivalry is relatively younger than the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry but has grown in intensity over the years.

Why is this rivalry important?

It is often a clash between two top teams in the Big Ten.

The winner gets the upper hand in the race for the conference title.

The teams have been evenly matched in recent years, making for some thrilling games.

Quote from a Fan:

“When Ohio State and Penn State play, it feels like every play could be the one that decides the game. There’s nothing like it.” – Anonymous Buckeyes Fan

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Stay tuned as we uncover more about the Buckeyes’ football rivalries in the next section, including the clash with the Illinois Fighting Illini and what makes them so special.

Ohio State vs. Illinois Fighting Illini

As we delve deeper into the list of rivalries, let’s not forget the historical clashes between Ohio State and the Illinois Fighting Illini.

While this rivalry might not have the same national attention as Ohio State-Michigan, it’s steeped in tradition and history.

The Illibuck Trophy:

Interestingly, the Illibuck Trophy, which we mentioned earlier as contested between Ohio State and Penn State, originates from the Ohio State-Illinois series.

The trophy was first awarded in 1925 and is the second oldest trophy exchanged in the Big Ten.

Illibuck Trophy

Trivia: The Illibuck was originally a live turtle, but as turtles don’t have the longest lifespan, it was eventually replaced with a wooden replica.

“The Illibuck Trophy is a symbol of not just a football rivalry, but a bond that has been formed over almost a century of competition between Ohio State and Illinois.” – Anonymous Buckeye Alumnus.

Notable Games and Moments:

In 2007, Illinois upset top-ranked Ohio State in Columbus, a major shock and a classic game in this rivalry’s history.

The 1980 game featured an Ohio State team led by legendary coach Woody Hayes against an Illinois squad that hadn’t beaten the Buckeyes in 25 years.

Illinois won 17-0, marking the end of an era for Ohio State.

Emerging Rivalries

Besides the traditional rivalries, Ohio State has had competitive games against various other teams that might grow into full-fledged rivalries.

Ohio State vs. Wisconsin Badgers

The Buckeyes and Badgers have had several meaningful clashes in recent years, especially with Wisconsin consistently being one of the top teams in the Big Ten.

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Ohio State vs. Michigan State Spartans

Michigan State has spoiled Ohio State’s season on more than one occasion.

Michigan State – Ohio State games are often closely contested and have major implications in the Big Ten.

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Ohio State vs. Alabama

The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Alabama Crimson Tide will continue to be compared as long as Urban Meyer remains the head coach for the Buckeyes and Nick Saban remains the head coach for the Crimson Tide.

Although the Buckeyes are currently ahead in this rivalry, it’s more about the rivalry between two head coaches who are both highly competitive and used to being in charge.

The fact that these two schools are among the top college football programs in history adds to the excitement of their rivalry, which also has the added dynamic of North vs. South (SEC vs. Big Ten).

Rivalries are essential to college football, and the Ohio State Buckeyes are no stranger to them.

From the legendary showdowns with Michigan to the Illibuck Trophy clashes with Illinois and emerging competitions, these games offer fans some of the most thrilling moments in sports.

In the final part of this article, we’ll look at how these rivalries impact the culture of Ohio State and the way forward.

Plus, we’ll give you some pointers on how to get your hands on Ohio State Buckeyes football tickets to experience these epic rivalries in person.

The Cultural Impact of Rivalries

The rivalries in which Ohio State participates are not only athletic competitions; they’re woven into the fabric of the community.

The passion and enthusiasm that these games bring to the Ohio State fanbase are palpable.

Tailgates, watch parties, and friendly banter among fans are just ways these rivalries enhance the culture around Ohio State.

Traditions and Celebrations:

For instance, during the week leading up to “The Game” against the Michigan Wolverines, it’s a tradition for Ohio State fans to cross out the letter “M” wherever it appears around the campus.

This tradition, known as “Beat Michigan Week”, includes rallies and events to boost the spirit among students and fans.

Educational and Charitable Impact:

These rivalries often produce positive outcomes, such as scholarships and charity events.

Alumni and fans engage in fundraising competitions, contributing to the community and fostering unity despite the on-field rivalry.

“Rivalries like Ohio State-Michigan not only create a thrilling atmosphere in football but also drive the community together for greater causes.” – A long-time Ohio State Fan

The Way Forward: Future of Ohio State Rivalries

As college football evolves, so do the Ohio State rivals.

While the traditional matchups like Ohio State-Michigan will always be at the core, new rivalries might emerge.

The dynamism of college football with conference realignments and changes in team strengths can lead to new exciting matchups for the Buckeyes.

Developing Talent and Continuing Legacy:

Ohio State’s continued commitment to recruiting and developing top talent ensures that they remain competitive.

This competitiveness is essential in sustaining the intensity and significance of these age-old rivalries.

Be Part of the Excitement: Get Your Tickets!

Ohio Stadium Ohio State Buckeyes Football

Nothing compares to the electric atmosphere of a stadium during these rivalry games.

Whether you’re an Ohio State alumni, a lifelong Buckeye fan, or a college football enthusiast looking to experience one of the best atmospheres in sports, attending an Ohio State rivalry game is a must.

You can be part of the thrilling experience by getting Ohio State football tickets.

Be sure to book early, as these games, especially against rivals like Michigan and Penn State, often sell out quickly.

The Ohio State Buckeyes’ rivalries are some of the most storied and intense in college football.

These games are not just about what happens on the field; they encompass traditions and community.

From the legendary Ohio State-Michigan rivalry to the Illibuck Trophy games and beyond, the Buckeyes have a rich tradition that is sure to continue for generations to come.

Be part of a Ohio State Rival football game is a tradition; experience the passion, the excitement, and the Ohio State football community.