All in 'The Game:' Top OSU moments

July, 19, 2013
7/19/13
10:00
AM ET
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There were looks back, forward and even into a fictional fantasy land where rivals could trade players.

To wrap up a week of "The Game," though, the focus is once again on the past. BuckeyeNation is taking a look at five of the most memorable moments in the storied history between Ohio State and Michigan. They will have a chance to provide yet another chapter on Nov. 30 with what figures to be plenty on the line.

Of course, that's hardly an exception for the Buckeyes and Wolverines. And there's no shortage of evidence even on an abbreviated list to prove that point.

2002: Ohio State 14, Michigan 9

Jim Tressel turned the tide a year earlier, famously setting the tone for his successful tenure by backing up his claims that Ohio State fans would be proud of their team in his first meeting with Michigan in 2001 with an upset victory. But it was his narrow victory the next year with freshman Maurice Clarett supplying one of only two touchdowns in the game that propelled the Buckeyes to the national championship game against Miami -- ultimately bringing a crystal football back to campus to rub a little extra salt in Michigan's wounds.

1975: Ohio State 21, Michigan 14

The memories still come back easily to Cornelius Greene, but even if there were some details now of the 80-yard, 11-play drive to tie the game during a fourth-quarter comeback, he'd surely get plenty of help from the Ohio State fans who sweated out a heated meeting with then-unbeaten Michigan. The multipurpose quarterback didn't do all the work in clawing back to edge the Wolverines, though, and Ray Griffin's late interception and return to the 3-yard line helped set up the go-ahead score and clinch a Big Ten title.

1972: Ohio State 14, Michigan 11

In another low-scoring slugfest, an Ohio State defense that bent for most of the game refused to break near the end zone, and some clutch defensive stands tipped the scales for Woody Hayes, clinching a share of the Big Ten title and keeping Michigan out of the Rose Bowl. The Buckeyes were outgained by more than 150 yards by the Wolverines, but when what appeared to be a fourth-quarter touchdown for Harry Banks was ruled short of the goal line, and a run of rattling off at least a piece of six consecutive conference championships began.

[+] EnlargeMike Hart
Gregory Shamus/Getty ImagesMichigan's Mike Hart and Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins battle in the 2006 showdown, when Ohio State and Michigan were unbeaten and ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the country.
2006: Ohio State 42, Michigan 39

In one of the most anticipated meetings ever in the series and among the most hyped college football games ever, the Buckeyes rode an incredible performance from Troy Smith into another bid for a national title -- and the Ohio State quarterback locked up a Heisman Trophy in the process. The No. 1-vs-No. 2 matchup lived up to its competitive billing, with both offenses supplying fireworks and the hated rivals trading punches until the closing minutes. But it was Smith who supplied the knockout, throwing four touchdowns to set off a raucous celebration at Ohio Stadium.

2012: Ohio State 26, Michigan 21

Maybe everything that came before the final game of the regular season wouldn't have been for naught, but with a perfect record on the line and no chance of competing for the national title because of NCAA sanctions, there was certainly more than bragging rights on the line last November. Urban Meyer's appreciation for the feud with the Wolverines only heightened the stakes in his first shot leading the Buckeyes in the rivalry, and he launched another massive celebration at The Shoe with a victory that locked up an undefeated campaign and gave the program plenty to feel good about even while having to watch the postseason from home.

Austin Ward | email

Ohio State/Big Ten reporter

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