The fifth and final installment of this year’s series looking back at the Michigan-Ohio State football rivalry takes us to 1922, during the “Roaring 20s.” Wall Street was flying high, and excess was in style. Prohibition was in place, so it was illegal to consume alcoholic beverages, but many Americans went to “speakeasies,” clubs that served alcohol “on the down low,” so to speak. In sports, Ohio State opened its new football stadium, and Michigan was the opponent for the dedication game.
Michigan’s football team was outstanding in 1922, winning six games and tying one, a scoreless game at Vanderbilt. The following week, Michigan shut out Ohio State 19-0, the first of five consecutive victories for Michigan. The Wolverines scored in each quarter, with future coach Harry Kipke and team captain Paul Goebel.
So after all that, Michigan won the Big Ten Championship, right? Well, that’s where things get a bit murky. Michigan finished 4-0 in the conference, but Iowa was 5-0 in the conference (and 7-0 overall). After the season, Michigan coach Fielding Yost announced that Michigan would not make any claim of sole possession of the conference championship. He also announced that he would return the following season to coach the Wolverines, just several months after rumors circulated that he would step down at the conclusion of the 1922 season.
At the end of the day, Michigan had won the dedication game at Ohio Stadium in front of a crowd that included many Michigan supporters. On a more somber note, Michigan’s All-American left end, Bernard Kirk, was injured in an automobile accident several weeks after the end of the season, and died a week later.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any video clips of this game, so I’ve attached this summary of the 1922 Michigan football season from the Bentley Library, to whom I extend many thanks. Again, I own nothing and I do not profit from this article in any way. It is strictly for the enjoyment of readers.