Tradition: Ohio State-Michigan

The fate of the Big Ten usually comes down to Michigan-Ohio State.

Script Ohio

First performed during the 1936 season, Script Ohio is the most identifiable trademark associated with Ohio State football and the Ohio State marching band. The script is an integrated series of evolutions and formations. The band first forms a triple Block O formation, which will slowly unwind to form the famous letters. The drum major leads the outside O into a peel-off movement around the curves of the script, every man in continual motion. The middle Block O revolves counter-clockwise as the other two rotate in a clockwise manner. Slowly the three blocks unfold into a long singular line which loops around, creating the band's trademark. A sousaphone player in their fourth year in the marching band receives this distinguished honor of dotting of the "i" each time Script Ohio is performed. The member marches from the top of the "O" to the top of the "i", performs a kick, turn and bow, completing the Script Ohio.

Michigan's Winged Helmet

The design dates back to 1938, when Fritz Crisler arrived from Princeton. Until then, Michigan had plain black helmets. Crisler added "maize and blue" and used the same basic design as Princeton's. Crisler also thought the colorful helmets would help his QBs spot receivers downfield.

OSU Victory Bell

Ohio State's victory bell has rung after every home victory since 1953. Located in the southeast tower of Ohio Stadium, the bell was a gift from the Class of 1943. The sound of the bell was absent following Ohio State's 38-0 win over Iowa in 1965 when it was discovered that the bell's clapper had been stolen. Some students hit the bell with a hammer, but the sound was too faint to be heard outside the tower. The following week, the clapper was discovered hanging from a rope around the William Oxley Thompson statue in front of the main library.

The Big House

Michigan Stadium, completed in 1927 at a cost in excess of $950,000, originally had seating available for 72,000 fans. Numerous renovations and additions over the years have increased the seating to the current 107,501 capacity. The Wolverines played their first game at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 1, 1927, defeating Wesleyan, 33-0. The stadium dedication game was played on October 22, 1927, with UM defeating Ohio State 21-0.


The Ohio buckeye is a tree whose name had become a nickname for people from Ohio, Ohio State students and alumni and OSU athletes. The buckeye tree is related to the horse chestnut and has a mahogany-colored seed the size of an olive. For years, football players were rewarded for big plays with "buckeye leaves" on their helmets.

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