WARREN - During Raymont Harris' four seasons as a running back at Ohio State, the Buckeyes posted a 0-3-1 record against Michigan.
You might guess that Harris has been reminded of that record more than a few times.
"That's good," former University of Michigan receiver Tai Streets said when learning of the record.
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Michigan’s Tai Streets, right, autographs a replica of a Michigan helmet for Chrissy Patrick of Hubbard during “The Game” Banquet Thursday in Warren.
When ex-Michigan linebacker Carl Diggs was given the numbers, he said, "That's not a great place to be."
You have to love the respectful way that Buckeyes and Wolverines disrespect each other long after their playing days. Some of them were able to laugh about the old days Thursday night at the annual "The Game" banquet celebrating the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry at DiVieste Banquet Rooms.
Not being able to celebrate a win over Michigan in four tries, Harris lives vicariously through the current players. It helps that he's the director of development in the athletic department at Ohio State.
"I'll definitely be at the game," Harris said of the Nov. 24 showdown between the rivals at Ohio Stadium. "I'll be on the field rooting the guys on. It's cool because I now have a relationship with the current players, and I get to know them beyond the Xs and Os. I'm truly rooting for them because I know how much time they put into it."
Streets, who played receiver for the Wolverines from 1995-98, is one of thousands of Michigan alumni happy that the rivalry appears to be back on even ground. The Buckeyes dominated during the 10-year coaching reign of Jim Tressel, winning nine times.
"I guess that's how a rivalry goes," Streets said. "Sometimes it goes in one direction and then in the other. Hopefully, we can get this rivalry back going in the right direction.
"(Buckeyes coach) Urban Meyer has them playing well. But (Michigan) coach (Brady) Hoke is the right man for the job. I'm not worried about which direction we're going."
Ohio State will take a 10-0 record into Saturday's road game against the Wisconsin Badgers. The Wolverines are 7-3, including losses to Alabama, Notre Dame and Nebraska.
Tito Paul, who played defensive back for the Buckeyes from 1991-94, believes it's time to spice up the rivalry. He likes the SEC-style energy Meyer brings to the sideline.
"Urban is a special guy," Paul said. "Not to take anything away from Tressel, but I like his (Meyer's) discipline, and I like his focus. He brings a different style of football to the Big Ten, and to watch it be executed week in and week out is something special."
Paul isn't concerned if Meyer ruffles a few feathers along the way.
"There's no more guessing," Paul said. "There isn't any more we're up by seven and let's not score anymore points. We're up seven, and let's punch this clock about 18 times. I like that about him."
Carl Diggs played running back and linebacker at Warren G. Harding High School before moving on to Michigan, where the Wolverines went 2-2 from 2000-03. Diggs vividly recalls playing in his first Ohio State-Michigan game in 2000 at Ohio Stadium.
"I remember riding the bus and looking at the crowds and seeing everything that was going on and then entering the stadium," Diggs said. "They (the Buckeyes) almost ran the first kick back to the house. I remember the noise from the horseshoe. It's something I'll never forget."
Streets has a memory that Buckeye fans would like to forget. He scored a touchdown early in the second half that sparked the Wolverines to an upset win that ruined Ohio State's dreams of winning the national championship in 1996.
"My sophomore year we were 18-point underdogs and we were down 9-0 at halftime," Streets said. "I caught a slant from (quarterback Brian) Griese and (cornerback Shawn) Springs might have slipped a little bit and I scored. We won 13-9."
You can bet Streets reminded a few Buckeyes of that game last night.