RELATED: 7 numbers to know about the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry
This is something that has trended toward Columbus since 2009.
Before that, Michigan actually signed higher-rated classes. From 2002-08 (or right about the time Rich Rodriguez replaced Lloyd Carr), Wolverine classes averaged a 8.4 ranking nationally compared to 11.3 for Ohio State.
During that period of time, Jim Tressel was regularly credited with perfecting the Buckeyes' approach to The Game (correcting the mistakes of predecessor John Cooper) while Michigan players were hesitant to declare the Buckeyes their biggest rival because of fear of disrespecting Notre Dame or Michigan State.
Since then, however, Ohio State has caught and flown by Michigan on the recruiting trail while drawing the rivalry closer than it has been in more than 100 years.
(*Since I used to work for a Scout.com site, my records rely on their rankings from 2002-16. I switched to the 247Sports Composite upon their acquisition of Scout and merging of databases.)
Also it's probably worth mentioning Michigan played above itself more often than not (with Ohio State perhaps not been at its best, either) since Urban Meyer became Ohio State's coach.
The 2012, '13 and '14 games should not have been close, and Ohio State failed to cover the spread last season in Ann Arbor.
Heisman winner thinks Wolverines haven’t made The Game a big enough deal