Woody Hayes, the legendary Ohio State football coach hated the Michigan Wolverines with a passion. He hated them so much that he refused to say their name and usually just called them ‘that school up north’.
In 1968, the Buckeyes had one of their most famous national championship teams. In their annual rivalry game with Michigan, they were pounding the Wolverines and they had 44 points on the
scoreboard. They scored another Touchdown making the score 50 to 14. The game was basically over and Woody elected to go for 2 points. The 2 point conversion failed.
But, after the game a sports writer asked him about running up the score and why he decided to go for 2. Woody Hayes in a classic line came back with “because I couldn’t go for 3”.
Woody Hayes and the Super Sophomores went to the Rose Bowl and beat USC and won the national title.
But, going for two caused more problems in the long run that didn’t really need to happen.
That 1968 version of the Buckeyes were one of the great all time teams. They beat the top ranked Purdue Boilermakers in their 3rd game. They beat 16th ranked Michigan State and then they crushed 4th ranked Michigan.
After beating USC this team looked like a team that could win the next two national championships as well. This team was dominated by sophomores and these guys were good.
1969 came around and the top ranked Ohio State Buckeyes just blew out everybody. They averaged 46 points per game while giving up only 8 points per game.
Then, along came Michigan and their brand new coach, former Ohio State assistant Bo 10 Year War
Schembechler. The Wolverines dominated the Buckeyes and stole their Big 10 title in what would become the beginning of the famous 10 Year War
That upset win allowed the Texas Longhorns to pass the Ohio State Buckeyes in the rankings and then win the national championship on their way to a 30 game win streak.
The feelings were already intense between Ohio State and Michigan. They have always been incredibly obsessed with one another. But, going for 2 when Ohio State had already embarrassed and humiliated Michigan with 50 points on the board just further increased the hate.
But, now, some 48 years later, I would have to assume that even the more hardcore Michigan fans have to find the comment made by Woody Hayes really funny.