When Urban Meyer coached at Ohio State, no game was more important to him than leading the Buckeyes to a victory against Michigan.

Meyer, who spent seven seasons at OSU, never lost to the Wolverines in “The Game.” However, Meyer’s success against Michigan did not come by happenstance. His plans to defeat the Wolverines were strategic, and even included quirky things like preventing former ESPN broadcasters Todd Blackledge and Brad Nessler from wearing blue shirts while attending Buckeyes’ practice.

Beating Michigan was Meyer’s obsession. As Ohio State (11–0, 8–0) prepares to battle Michigan (11–0, 8–0) for the Big Ten East crown this week with College Football Playoff implications on the line, Meyer perfectly summarized what the rivalry game means to the program.

“It’s not a big week. It’s not a big month. It’s not a big game. It’s a way of life,” Meyer said.

The Buckeyes enter Saturday’s game coming off a dominant 37–3 win against Minnesota while the Wolverines left College Park, MD, with a 31–24 victory. 

Meyer may be infatuated with the Big Ten clash, but it will be up to his successor, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day, to lead Ohio State to a victory against Michigan. The Wolverines have won the last two meetings between the two programs after previously losing eight consecutive matchups to the Buckeyes.