Article published Thursday, August 28, 2008
The annual football matchup between the Ohio State University Buckeyes and the University of Michigan Wolverines is often called “THE game” for a good reason. The rivalry — stretching over 105 seasons — is one of the most intense in the nation. Never was it more exciting than during the decade popularly known as the “Ten- Year War” from 1969 to 1978, when the teams were coached by legendary competitors — Wayne Woodrow “Woody” Hayes at OSU and Glenn Edward “Bo” Schembechler at Michigan. A new set of DVD films pay tribute to these coaching giants: Woody Hayes’ Ohio State Buckeyes and Bo Schembechler’s Michigan Wolverines (A&E Home Video, $24.95 each), both released to stores earlier this week. The films chronicle the success of these two men whose lives were intertwined on and off the football field for three decades. In all, Hayes’ Buckeye teams won three national championships, 13 Big Ten titles, and four Rose Bowl games, while Schembechler’s Wolverines also won 13 Big Ten championships and played in 17 bowls in his 21-year tenure as coach. Between them, the two coaches racked up an astounding 399 victories. The tribute to the volatile, controversial Hayes includes interviews with such Buckeye legends as Archie Griffin, Rex Kern, Daryl Sanders, John Hicks, and Dick Schafrath. The film on beloved “Michigan man” Schembechler includes segments narrated by such Wolverine greats as Dan Dierdorf, Jamie Morris, and Jim Brandstatter (later a broadcaster), and also by commentator/columnist Mitch Albom and former Wolverine coach Lloyd Carr. Both DVDs explore the unique relationship of Hayes and Schembechler. Hayes was the mentor, coaching at Miami University of Ohio when Schembechler was a player. Later, when Hayes took the top coaching job at Ohio State, Schembechler became an assistant coach there. He then went on to be the head coach at Miami himself. The Bo-Woody rivalry started when Schembechler took over the Michigan program in 1969, the season after the Buckeyes beat Michigan 50-14 on the way to winning a national championship. OSU was heavily favored, but Schembechler’s team won an upset 24-14 victory. During the 10 years they faced each other, Schembechler’s teams won five times, versus four wins for Hayes’ teams — and there was one tie, 10-10 in 1973. That game ended with controversy, when the Big Ten voted to send Ohio State to the Rose Bowl because of the fear that Michigan quarterback Dennis Franklin might have been badly injured. A snippet in the DVD shows Schembechler fuming: “We earned the right [to play in the bowl] and they took it away from us ... I am bitterly resentful.” Another controversy erupted in 1971, when Hayes got national attention for his tirade — that included throwing yard-line markers after a disputed official’s call. The rivalry came to an end in 1978, when OSU fired Hayes at the end of the season, after he punched a Clemson University player during a Gator Bowl game the Buckeyes lost. Hayes died in 1987 at the age of 74. Schembechler retired from coaching in 1989 and died in 2006, at age 77, on the eve of the 103rd Michigan-OSU game. Whether their teams played at Ohio State’s “Horseshoe” at Michigan’s “Big House,” Woody and Bo always produced great entertainment for their loyal fans. The coaches also shared a relentless work ethic and a commitment to mold football players into men. Contact Homer Brickey at:email@example.com 419-724-6129.