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HOFers Debate Michigan vs Ohio State: The Game and the HOF Rivalry

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11/25/2016

As two of the most storied programs in all of sports, it makes sense that the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan Wolverines have produced some of the most noteworthy players in professional football. Ohio State has the third-most Hall of Famers Hall with 10, while Michigan sits tied for fourth with eight,

We reached out to two Gold Jackets for their take on this ultimate Battle for the Hall of Famers.

Dan Dierdorf- "We might be behind but we have three in the pipeline Charles Woodson Steve Hutchinson and Tom Brady. As far as I know the race the top spot is not over yet. The world is a better place today with this great Michigan Ohio State battle between number two and three teams in the nation"

Cris Carter- Because you are behind you have to look to the future. I am here to celebrate the 10 Golden Buckeyes and the others that will maintain our lead in the future.  Now let’s concentrate on the greatest rivalry in sports, I like the Buckeyes”

Ohio State

  • Cris Carter (1984-86): After playing for three seasons at Ohio State, the wideout was selected in the fourth round of the 1987 supplemental draft. Carter, an eight-time Pro-Bowler, played for the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings--where his number is retired--and Miami Dolphins. He was voted into the hall in 2013.
  • Sid Gillman: Playing end at Ohio State in the 1930s under Sam Willamin, Gillman went on to win an AFL Championship with the San Diego Chargers in 1963. He was elected to the hall in 1983.
  • Lou Groza (1942): Though renowned for his place kicking ability, Groza also played offensive tackle at Ohio State. Groza played just one season for the Buckeyes before enlisting in the Army in support of World War II. On his return, Groza went on to kick for the Cleveland Browns, earning nine Pro Bowl bids and four NFL Championships on the way to being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.
  • Dante Lavelli (1941-42): Like Groza, Lavelli’s career at Ohio State was truncated due to World War II. After returning from the war, Lavelli was offered a chance to play receiver for Paul Brown with the Cleveland Browns, where Lavelli would spend his entire career. The three-time Pro-Bowler and NFL Champion was voted into the hall in 1975.
  • Dick LeBeau (1956-58): Lebeau played defensive back for Woody Hayes on the 1957 National Championship team before spending 14 seasons with the Detroit Lions. A three-time Pro-Bowler, LeBeau went on to become one of the most perennial defensive minds in the game, most notably with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was elected to the hall in 2010.
  • Orlando Pace (1993-96): The offensive tackle was the No. 1-overall pick in the 1997 NFL Draft by the St. Louis Rams, where he was an NFL Champion and seven-time Pro-Bowler. During his college career at Ohio State, Pace won the Outland Trophy in 1996 and two consecutive Lombardi Awards from 1995-96. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
  • Jim Parker (1954-56): The eighth-overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft, Parker spent all 11 seasons of his NFL career as an offensive tackle for the Baltimore Colts. An eight-time Pro-Bowler and two-time NFL Champion, Parker was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973.
  • Ed Sabol: An outstanding swimmer at Ohio State, Sabol went on to found NFL Films in 1962, earning 91 Emmy Awards along the way. He was voted into the hall in 2011.
  • Paul Warfield (1961-63): The wide receiver was an eight-time Pro-Bowler and three-time NFL Champion with the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins and the Memphis Southmen. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983.
  • Bill Willis (1942-44): The defensive tackle is just one of eight Buckeyes to have his jersey retired at Ohio State. A three-time Pro-Bowler with the Cleveland Browns, with whom he spent his entire career, Willis earned an NFL Championship in 1950. He was inducted into the hall in 1977.

Michigan

  • George Allen: The famed NFL coach of the L.A. Rams and Washington Redskins was inducted in 2002. He claimed Michigan as his alma mater, though he also attended Alma College and Marquette University.
  • Dan Dierdorf (1967-70): The offensive lineman played for Michigan before becoming a six-time Pro-Bowler with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 1996, and was subsequently elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.
  • Len Ford (1945-47): Initially enrolled at Morgan State, Ford returned to college after World War II to play football for Michigan. The defensive end was a three-time NFL Champion with the Cleveland Browns, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.
  • Benny Friedman (1924-26): The Cleveland native attended Glenville High School before moving on to play halfback and quarterback for Michigan. As a pro, he played for the Cleveland Bulldogs, Detroit Wolverines, New York giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. He was elected to the hall in 2005.
  • Bill Hewitt (1939-31): Hewitt played at Michigan as an end and fullback. He was a two-time NFL Champion with the Chicago Bears before moving on to the Philadelphia Eagles and the “Steagles” (the merged Philadelphia/Pittsburgh team in 1943), and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.
  • Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch (1943-44): A transfer from Wisconsin (where his number is retired), Hirsch played end and fullback, The first Michigan athlete to earn four varsity letters in a single year (in baseball, basketball, football and track), Hirsch went on to play for the Chicago Rockets and L.A. Rams, and was inducted to the hall in 1968.
  • Tom Mack (1962-65): A native of Cleveland, the offensive lineman was the second overall pick in the 1966 NFL Draft by the L.A. Rams, where he played 13 seasons and played in 184 consecutive games. The 11-time Pro-Bowler was voted into the hall in 1999.
  • Ralph Wilson, Jr.: A Columbus native and graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Wilson went on to found the Buffalo Bills in 1959. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009.
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