You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 3:14 p.m.

Blood battle? University of Michigan and Ohio State square off in a different kind of competition

By Kellie Woodhouse

Wolverines fans bleed maize and blue, according to a common saying at the University of Michigan.


Nurses from the Red Cross take blood from University of Michigan students during a past Blood Battle competition. file photo

But in an effort to beat a longtime rival (and save some lives), U-M officials are asking students and faculty to make that saying a reality by competing in a "Blood Battle."

Fierce rivals U-M and Ohio State University are in the midst of their 30th annual competition to see which campus can collect more blood donations in the weeks leading up to their big Nov. 26 match-off on the football field.

U-M has bested OSU for four years in a row. Last year, the school collected 2,615 pints of blood, while OSU collected 2,515 pints.

The competition takes place from Nov. 3 to Nov. 18. This year, U-M has a goal of 2,500 pints, which could save more than 7,500 lives.

Red Cross worker Cornelia Fry came up with the idea to capitalize on the U-M/OSU rivalry 30 years ago.

"Michigan and Ohio State have one of the most intense rivalries in college sports, " Fry, now deceased, told The Ann Arbor News in 1995. "Why can't we build on this tremendous competition by extending it to blood."

OSU has a slight competitive advantage over U-M. There are more than 56,000 students at OSU's Columbus campus, while U-M has about 41,000 students at its Ann Arbor campus.

A week after the blood battle ends, the Wolverines will host the Buckeyes in one of the most anticipated U-M football games of the season. The Blood Battle winner will be announced at halftime.

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

"But in an effort [to] beat a longtime rival (and save some lives)…" Of course this should read But in an effort to save some lives (and beat a longtime rival)… I do hope that ALL donors reflect on the huge benefits of regular blood donations while they note just how easy it is give that pint. I hope you all consider making it a regular part of your routine YEAR ROUND. As a regular donor I have been called countless times with the plea, "There is an urgent need for blood..." According to the AMA there are 8 million donors in the US. That's 8 million donors out of 300 million people; or less than 3%. With a small change in these numbers the American blood supply could be a lot more stable. So if you donate once a year, consider donating twice. Blood and blood products are very important resources but they are not resources like many others where you go and find them; blood is only a resource if YOU agree to donate.


Sat, Nov 5, 2011 : 12:44 a.m.

Neil Fry was an amazing woman. Thank you so much for remembering the woman whose idea has since saved thousands of lives. She is missed by many.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

So why doesn't UofM take the fight to Flint and Dearborn.


Fri, Nov 4, 2011 : 9:29 p.m.

Its good to hear that Michigan can beat Ohio State in something. How many years has it been since they beat OSU in football? It has been so many I forgot.