TOLEDO, OH — There’s a good chance more blood has been shed during Ohio State-Michigan football games than during the actual war which started the rivalry. But the Ohio vs. Michigan hatred continues to run strong, nearly 200 years after their fight for land began.
The Toledo War unfolded in the mid 1830s as a dispute over the Toledo strip, a roughly 470 square mile piece of land along the Ohio-Michigan border. Eventually, Michigan agreed to turn control of the land over to Ohio, under pressure from Congress, in exchange for property in what would become the upper peninsula of Michigan.
That dispute created the tension between the states which became famous in the gridiron battles between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines. And Toledo remains a land very much divided over the rivalry. It’s so divided, they have their own store based on the division.
In Sylvania you’ll find the BuckeyeWolverine Shop, a store split into two equal halves between Ohio State and Michigan merchandise. With Ohio State’s recent success over Michigan it’s likely they’ve found a few more Toledo-area fans, but UM still has quite a presence in Toledo.
And then there’s the head coaches in the game, OSU’s Urban Meyer and UM’s Jim Harbaugh, who were both born in the same hospital in…. you guessed it… Toledo.