Ohio State and Michigan, come on down.
Arguably the greatest rivalry in all of sports hit the spotlight in Los Angeles for America’s daytime game show staple, “The Price is Right.”
Former Buckeyes and Wolverines were just two groups of several schools featured in the program’s College Rivals edition of the show, which airs at 11 a.m. Wednesday on CBS.
The special was taped on Oct. 22 in Hollywood, California, at “The Price is Right” studio. The event welcomed 21 other schools, including the rivalries of Oklahoma and Texas, Alabama and Auburn, Southern California and Notre Dame, and Army and Navy.
Last year, Ohio State was invited to the show, but didn’t have anyone called on stage. Instead, Michigan versus Michigan State was the chosen rivalry and the Ohio State alumni felt slighted.
So this year, Craig Little, director of alumni societies and regional engagement in the Ohio State Alumni Association, decided to directly call some alumni he knew in the Los Angeles area, in addition to the Orange County alumni base that was tapped into for contestants on last year’s show.
“The Price is Right” reached out to Little and he promoted it on Facebook. “It just kind of fell in my lap,” he said.
“Our two groups didn’t have the most positive experience the year before, and so they weren’t all that crazy about doing it again,” Little said. “So that’s why we went about getting word out to folks in that area in a different way.”
One alum he reached out to was Megan Denison, who graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and in 2012 with a master’s degree in higher education.
Denison was one of 10 to 12 alumni that appeared on the broadcast and was the Ohio State alumna selected to “come on down” as a contestant.
She and her husband, Jonathan, met the rest of the team at the site at 11 a.m., per the request of team leader Mary Haines.
The taping didn’t start until 4 p.m. and lasted two hours.
“I was so impressed with the kids from Ohio State that came,” said Haines, whose only connection with the university is by proxy through her son and husband. “They all have great jobs, all are nice, outgoing and being interactive with other schools. Like a proud mother is what I felt with all of them.”
Denison said the all-day affair involved an interview session with the producers for a pre-screening of who would be a good personality on the show.
“It was really one of those shows I only watched when I was home sick as a kid,” she said. “I was familiar with Bob Barker but I hadn’t really watched any since Drew Carey took over. But prior to the taping, I watched a few of the shows so I didn’t make a fool of myself.”
She said Carey, the former comedian and Ohio native who is in his 11th year hosting the show, did small stand-ups in between commercial breaks.
The rivalry aspect of the show is exemplified by the opening bidding round. In Ohio State’s case, if Michigan were to win the bidding round but lose the next round, the Ohio State representative would win $1,000.
Overall, the experience Denison had during the show seems to be quite an improvement from last year’s group.
“We had maybe two friends out here already, and we knew them from undergrad,” she said. “I hadn’t met those folks before, so it was kind of nice to chat with them about their Ohio State experiences.”