COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It’s a members-only club that only has one way to get in: beat *ichigan in the rivalry game.
This weekend as the Buckeyes and the Wolverines face off again, this year’s players will not only be playing for a win, but also to join the Gold Pants Club.
It’s a tradition nearly as old as the rivalry itself.
“It’s something you will keep for your entire life,” Zach Boren, a former Buckeye, said.
Boren has three pairs of gold pants charms, all from beating Michigan three times during his tenure at Ohio State.
“They have the year on them, and the score,” Bored added.
He’s no stranger to the Gold Pants Club, as both his Buckeye brothers are members, and between the three of them, they have quite a few charms.
“We have ten pairs of gold pants,” Bored said.
The Gold Pants Club started back in 1934.
“It’s probably the most unique thing in college football, ” Matt Finkes said.
Finkes, also a former Buckeye, is now vice president of the Gold Pants Club.
The organization started after then-coach Francis Schmidt was asked about facing a long losing streak against Michigan.
“He replied, ‘They put their pants on just like everyone else.’ He went on to win the next four years,” Finkes said.
Ever since, the same central Ohio family-owned business has made the gold pants charms, symbolic of the yellow Wolverines pants, and gives them to winning Buckeyes. Since 1943, 43 Buckeye teams have been awarded gold pants.
It is an enduring tradition, in a larger than life rivalry, for fans and players alike.
“There was nothing better than playing in the Ohio State-*ichigan game as a player,” Zach Bored said.
The gold pants are awarded to winning players in the spring.