Easy Columbus: Beat Michigan Week

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

What have you done today to beat Michigan?

Each year, the Buckeyes gear up to beat their archrivals on the third Saturday in November, and each year their loyal fans wake up at the crack of dawn, throw on their buckeye necklaces and watch intently as Ohio State takes on that school up north.

But first there's Beat Michigan Week - seven days of rivalry-related activities, from school-sanctioned service initiatives to legendary student rituals.

It starts this Sunday morning, Nov. 15, with the Beat Michigan 5K race through the heart of Campus, a benefit for the local food and clothing pantry Neighborhood Services, Inc.

The Beat Michigan Pep Rally is Monday night at Newport Music Hall. A free concert follows special appearances from OSU athletes, coaches, cheerleaders, mascots and The Best Damn Band in the Land.

Throughout the week, students from each school will go head-to-head in several competitions off the field.

The Battle Against Hunger challenges students to see which school can donate the most nonperishable food items. At OSU, donated items will go to the Mid-Ohio FoodBank.

Dueling Dollars pits BuckeyeThon against Michigan's Dance Marathon to see who can raise the most money. In an effort to boost that amount, BuckeyeThon is giving students a chance to "Pie a Wolverine" on Thursday, Nov. 19, on the Oval.

And OSU will seek to reclaim the American Red Cross Blood Battle trophy from the Wolverines, who won it last year for the first time since 2002. The annual battle gives students a chance to donate the life-saving stuff while showing school spirit, whether they bleed scarlet and gray or maize and blue.

"The best part about this battle, and the whole week in general, is that the schools have turned this intense rivalry into an event that helps people across school lines," said Sarah Candela, a senior at OSU.

Thursday night is the Mirror Lake jump, when students armed only with buckeyes around their necks jump into the freezing water. The story is they're awakening the spirit of legendary coach Woody Hayes so he can help OSU win. Note: This is not a university-sponsored or -sanctioned event.

About 30 hours before game time, fraternity brothers from OSU and Michigan chapters of Phi Gamma Delta and Pi Kappa Alpha will cooperatively run the game ball 186 miles from the Horseshoe to the Big House in Ann Arbor. Money raised by the Rivalry Run will benefit the Coach Carr Cancer Fund and the American Cancer Society.

Finally, on Saturday, there's a chili cookoff and a pancake brunch. And, of course, The Game. The ongoing rivalry - named the greatest rivalry in all of sports by ESPN - is at its 106th game, and the Buckeyes are looking to add another victory to their longest winning streak in the history of the matchup.

Rachel Sova is a senior Journalism major at Ohio State University

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