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The Ten-Year War


Published November 18, 2006

In a classic case of a student surpassing his teacher, Michigan coach Bo Schembechler led Michigan to a 5-4-1 record over his mentor, Ohio State coach Woody Hayes.

Schemebechler played football for Hayes at Miami (Ohio) and spent seven seasons as an assistant coach under Hayes at Ohio State.

While Schembechler brought Michigan football back to national prominence, his biggest contribution may have been intensifying one of sports' greatest rivalries.

In 1969, his first year at Michigan, Schembechler ended the regular season with a stunning 24-12 upset of Hayes's top-ranked Buckeyes, who were considered one of the best teams in college football history.

That game vaulted the rivalry into legendary status. Coupled with the next nine games, the vicious battles between the "Big Two" of the Big Ten would later be called the Ten-Year War.

Those ten games gave a new identity to an already storied rivalry. Without the epic clashes between two coaching Goliaths, today's matchup wouldn't mean nearly as much to millions of Buckeye and Wolverine fans.