When one talks bitter sporting rivalries, Michigan vs. Ohio State has to be among the most bitter out there. The two schools, fans and players simply don’t like each other all that much. So much so, that alcohol-fueled fights are a real concern for both sides of this rivalry.
The Big Ten has made a recent push to put some of its best late-season games in primetime, and one of the games some have pointed to is the annual Michigan vs. Ohio State game to end the season. However, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith put those rumors to rest on Wednesday, saying that it simply won’t happen this year or in the future either.
“Dave Brandon, the athletic director at Michigan, and I constantly have conversations that that should not be a night game, and it will not be a night game,” Smith said, via The Columbus Dispatch. “It won’t be (at night) this year, nor in following years.”
After winning the now-defunct Leaders Division last season and going 24-0 over the last two regular seasons, Ohio State is a popular draw for the Big Ten. So much so that the Buckeyes will play no fewer than five primetime games in 2014.
OSU will take on Virginia Tech during opening week in primetime, as well as take on Cincinnati at 6pm ET on Sept. 27 and Illinois at 8pm ET on Nov. 1—all at home.
There will be two nighttime road games for the Buckeyes, as they take on fellow East Division foes Penn State (8 p.m. on Oct. 25) and Michigan State (8 p.m. on Nov. 8).
Not having the annual game with Michigan among that group is playing it very safe considering the fact we’ve seen recent incidents involving fans and players (allegedly) following these games. Moving the game to night only enhances the chances of alcohol-fueled shenanigans and major crowd control issues.