Since 1897, the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry has represented a tradition of intensity far greater than a single season football game. Considering Ann Arbor's current 3-8 standing, however, many have questioned whether or not this year's battle in Columbus will provoke the same fan fervor that's defined the game in the past. But despite the icy record, coach, and temperatures to match, it seems that Wolverines of all ages haven't run for cover, but rather, have bundled up in the hopes that the storm will pass and the sun will shine on maize and blue once again.
For most of his life, 69-year-old
Despite this season's difficulties, Jaffe's devotion has yet to falter, and Saturday morning, the Michigan alum -- and his grandson -- will once again be present to watch the event up close.
But it's certainly not just alums that are holding out hope. For Michigan junior
Although she recognizes the reality of Saturday's game, the fourth generation Wolverine believes that even the smallest margin for victory could amount to a win against the Buckeyes. "Rivalries often bring out the best in both teams, especially this rivalry, so if there is a game that Michigan could win against a top 25 team, this is it," said Kohn.
Even amidst such optimism, though, it's no secret that the new coaching staff has given Michigan football fans reason for concern. Between last year's departure of
Like many others, 21-year-old
"He hasn't reached out to the Michigan community as much as he should have," said Borovitz. "He hasn't done what
Still, Borovitz and 20 of his friends will join Jaffe and so many others on the trek to Columbus. Kohn, on the other hand, plans to watch the game from Ann Arbor and says that although many of her peers have lost hope and interest throughout the season, those same students will come back out Saturday to cheer on their school.
As Saturday morning gets closer, Michigan students, faculty and alums anxiously await the arrival of the year's most anticipated event. While some will go the distance to see the game in person, others are content to watch humbly from campus and their homes nationwide. And while the Wolverine's may not be in a position to match the rivalry's original score of 34-0, the true Michigan fans know that infamous encounter is about so much more than tacking on another season win.
"Forget about their record," said Kohn, "They're just fighting for their pride."