There are lots of things that make the Ohio State-Michigan football rivalry great.
There’s great tradition in it. It’s played in great classic stadiums on the campuses of the two schools.
So many great players and legendary coaches have been a part of it. It’s great fun when the games are competitive. It’s great fun for one of the fan bases when its team dominates the series, as the guys in scarlet and gray have lately and the guys in maize and blue did in the 1990s.
And there’s one more way the Ohio State-Michigan game is great. It has a great name. It is simply The Game.
Harvard and Yale also call their football game The Game. They were probably there first. But even with two law schools which have produced three presidents of the United States between them, nobody thought to copyright it.
Some of the other great college football rivalry games can’t compete with The Game in the name department.
The fans of Mississippi and Mississippi State, who play The Egg Bowl every year, would disagree, but can that name compete with The Game?
Or how about The Apple Cup, the name of the rivalry game between Washington and Washington State? Any way you slice it, bake it, fritter it or sauce it, it’s not as sweet as The Game.
Bedlam (Oklahoma-Oklahoma State), The Iron Bowl (Alabama-Auburn) and The Big Game (Stanford-California) might be worthy challengers. But there aren’t many who could think about taking on The Game.
Also, the long history of The Game has a game so unusual in it that it has its own name. In 1950, Ohio State and Michigan played the Snow Bowl.
Who knows why they thought it was a good idea to play a football game in a blizzard, but they did.