Michigan vs. Ohio State: As No. 1 Ohio State and No. 2 Michigan prepare to square off in a battle of unbeatens, we started wondering which school has the best team in the history of a rivalry that SportsNation voters ranked as the best in college football. ESPN.com senior college football writer Ivan Maisel narrowed the field to four teams from each school, but the rest is up to you. All this week, leading up to Saturday's game, your votes will determine which team is the best from each school, and ultimately, which team is the best in the history of the rivalry.
No. 3 Seed: 1948 Michigan Wolverines
Although both teams were wildly successful, the 1948 Wolverines were anything but a carbon copy of the 1947 team that won a national championship. The 1948 team had a new leading passer, leading rusher and leading receiver. And oh yeah, they also had a new coach. Bennie Oosterbaan took over for Fritz Crisler, beginning an 11-season tenure that would produce a 63-33-4 record and a national title in his first season.
Guard Dominic Tomasi was one the team's central figures during the 1948 season, even though Tomasi was a guard. The team captain, he was named the squad's most valuable player and also earned Big Ten MVP. Behind Tomasi, Chuck Ortmann led the team with 1,073 yards of total offense. Overall, the offense wasn't quite as potent as the 1947 club that averaged better than 400 yards a game, but the 1948 team scored more than enough points to support a suffocating defense.
Oosterbaan's defense allowed opponents an average of 87.7 rushing yards per game, nearly 50 fewer than the championship team of the previous season, and a record that would stand at Michigan unti 1964, when offense had become far more balanced.
After opening with a 13-7 win against Michigan State, the Wolverines won seven of their final eight games by double digits, including four wins against ranked teams, including a 28-0 shutout against a Northwestern team ranked third at the time.