Jack looks back | First time in 44 seasons Buckeyes face an opponent twice

Jack Park For The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs the ball on a 34-yard run during the third quarter of a NCAA Division I college football game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday, October 26, 2019 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

Ohio State completed its regular football season at 12-0 after an impressive 56-27 triumph last week at Michigan. The Buckeyes have now won eight straight against the Wolverines and 15 of the last 16. The longest winning streak in the series by either team is nine by Michigan from 1901 through '09. Ohio State is 52-58-6 in the series.

Ohio State and Michigan have met every season beginning in 1918. The last 109 contests are even at 52-52-5 (1906 through 1912 and 1918 through 2019). Ohio State has outscored Michigan by a mere single point over these 109 games, 1,789-1,788. The Buckeyes scored a total of 118 points against Michigan during the last two games. This total is the most ever by Ohio State against Michigan in consecutive seasons. Michigan's highest total in consecutive years is 122 points (86-0 in 1902 and 36-0 in 1903).

The Buckeyes have won four consecutive games in Ann Arbor for the second time (2013-15-17-19). They also won four straight in 1961-63-65-67. Against the Wolverines, J.K. Dobbins rushed for a career-high 211 yards and tied his most touchdowns in a game with four. Dobbins now has 4,113 rushing yards, second highest in Ohio State history to Archie Griffin's 5,589 yards (1972-73-74-75).

On Saturday, Ohio State will face Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis. The Buckeyes defeated the Badgers 38-7 at home on Oct. 26. This is the first season Ohio State will twice face an opponent since 1975. That year OSU defeated UCLA 41-20 at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Oct. 4, then lost to the Bruins 23-10 in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, 1976.

Ohio State has never before played another Big Ten team twice during the same season. In addition to 1975, OSU has only four times faced an opponent more than once. The Buckeyes were defeated twice by Oberlin in 1892, lost two games to Kenyon in 1893, and in 1894 were beaten twice by Wittenberg. Ohio State was 1-1-1 during three meetings with Ohio Medical College in 1896.

Ohio State and Wisconsin have each played in the Big Ten championship game more than any other conference teams since the first contest in 2011. The Badgers are 2-3 during five appearances and the Buckeyes are 3-1 over four games. Either or both of the schools have appeared in all but one of the eight previous title contests. Michigan State defeated Iowa 16-13 in 2015. The Spartans have played in three championship games. Penn State, Iowa, Nebraska and Northwestern have each appeared once.

Ohio State lost to Michigan State 34-24 in 2013 when the league was divided into the Legends and Leaders Divisions. This was the Buckeyes' first loss under coach Urban Meyer after 24 consecutive victories over two seasons.

The league was re-aligned into the East and West Divisions in 2014, when Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 59-0 in the title game. The Buckeyes also defeated the Badgers 27-21 in the 2017 meeting. Penn State defeated Wisconsin 38-31 in 2016 and last season Ohio State upended Northwestern 45-24.

Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Purdue and Rutgers have yet to appear in a Big Ten championship game.

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