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Are struggling Wolverines sobering up Buckeye fans?

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The history of the Ohio State versus Michigan football rivalry is one of epic proportions. And what is a game at Ohio Stadium without some alcohol?

On Nov. 18, 2006, the Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 and the Wolverines No. 2, the first time the teams went into the game atop the national rankings. The game drew Buckeye-loving fans and alcohol-loving fans. The head coach of the Wolverines was still Lloyd Carr, and the game was very close. In the end, the Bucks pulled ahead with a 42-39 win. In the stands, crowds went wild.

According to OSU Police reports, 188 people were arrested or cited for open-container or other alcohol violations at tailgate parties that year. Of those 188, seven were OSU students.

Two years later, when the rival teams met again at Ohio Stadium on Nov. 22, 2008, there was a new Wolverines coach, Rich Rodriguez, and the rivalry was not a good match. The Bucks were ranked No. 10, and the Wolverines were not even ranked. Without much question, the Bucks won 42-7. The crowd was still unruly — they didn’t know what to expect from the new coach — and the rivalry still strong, despite the mismatch. There were 83 arrests or citations for alcohol-related charges. Only two OSU students were arrested or cited.

This year’s game drew a typical crowd, and with Rodriguez still as head coach of the Wolverines, and no ranking, the alcohol-loving crowds seem to be dying out. There were only 28 arrests or citations Saturday, and no students were involved in those.

Could the Wolverines be sobering up the crowds at Ohio Stadium?

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