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'The Game' Canceled: When Was the Last Time Ohio State and Michigan Did Not Play?

Ohio State fans

One of college football's biggest rivalry games has been canceled.

The Ohio State–Michigan game was canceled due to rising COVID-19 cases in the Wolverines' program. 

The teams first met in 1897, and the last season Ohio State and Michigan did not play each other in any capacity was in 1917. 

The rivalry has been played every year since 1918. From 1897 to 1912, the Wolverines defeated the Buckeyes in 12 out of the 14 meetings, with two ties. Ohio State became a member of the Big Ten Conference in 1912. 

The contest didn't occur for five years (1913–1917) until Michigan rejoined the conference in 1917 after spending several years outside the Big Ten. In 1918, the teams played their first conference game, with Michigan defeating Ohio State 14–0. 

In 1919, the Buckeyes won their first game in the series, beating the Wolverines 13–3.

The Ohio State-Michigan game has been played at the end of the regular season since 1935 except for the 1942, 1986 and 1998 football seasons.  

Michigan hosts the game on odd years and Ohio State on even years. The game has been played in Ohio Stadium since 1922 and Michigan Stadium since 1927. 

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With the Michigan-Ohio State game now canceled, the Buckeyes will have to rely on the athletic directors in the Big Ten to change the rule that would allow them to qualify for the Big Ten championship game. 

The league's original rule was that Ohio State would have to play six games. While no official rule has been confirmed, the rule states that Ohio State would only be able to play for a conference title if another league team is left without a Dec. 12 opponent due to a coronavirus outbreak.

Michigan recently paused all football activities amid an increase in the number of coronavirus cases within the program. The Wolverines' game against Maryland on Dec. 5 was canceled due to positive COVID-19 tests in Michigan's program and associated contact tracing, the school announced.

Ohio State is No. 4 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. 

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