It's here. The big one. The rivalry. The Game. As any Ohio State fan knows, it's the purest, simplest metric for measuring how good a season the Buckeyes had; did they beat Michigan? Thanksgiving has passed, and Christmas isn't until next month. Today, it's all about the greatest rivalry in sports. Don't miss a second.
When and where is The Game today?
Today's battle will take place in the Big House up in Ann Arbor. As is customary, kickoff will be at noon.
You couldn't pay me to drive to Ann Arbor. How can I watch?
When the biggest rivalry ever features two Top 25 teams, you know it's going to get some national attention. The Game will be on ABC and WatchESPN. While the Big Ten East title is almost assuredly Michigan State's, that fate isn't set in stone yet, and the outcome of today's game could factor into determining who buys tickets to Indianapolis next week. (We'll get to that later.) Our TV crew this afternoon will be Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge, and Holly Rowe. You can also listen in on 97.1 FM The Fan or your local Ohio State radio network affiliate.
What about GameDay?
Had the Buckeyes won last week, you could have made a pretty good argument for the ESPN crew to follow us from Columbus to Ann Arbor. Instead, they're headed out west for the other, less awesome OSU rivalry game. No. 11 Oklahoma State will host No. 3 Oklahoma today at 8pm ET on ABC and WatchESPN. Not only are the Sooners' playoff hopes on the line, but both teams are tied for first in the Big Twelve, a conference that does not have a conference championship game.
So what have the Wolverines been doing all season?
Coach Harbaugh's inaugural season got off to a rocky start with a loss on the road to Utah. They went on to win every game since then except one, a hilarious last-second (literally) loss to Michigan State. Between weeks 2 and 6, Michigan outscored their opponents 160-14, holding the first two teams to just one touchdown a piece and shutting out the next three before their punter's bobbled snap gave the Spartans the game. Minnesota and Indiana both came close to taking down the Maize and Blue—both games were won by 7 points or less—but so far, the Wolverines are undefeated in November.
How is the rest of the Big Ten shaping up?
We still have five teams in the Top 25: No. 4 Iowa, No. 5 Michigan State, No. 8 Ohio State, No. 10 Michigan, and No. 16 Northwestern. The Hawkeyes took on the Nebraska Cornhuskers yesterday and won 28-20, clinching the Big Ten West and earning Iowa's first 12-0 start in the program's history. (They've been playing since 1889.)
As for the East, things are still a bit up in the air. Everything comes down to the Penn State-Michigan State game. If the Spartans win, then they're the Big Ten East Champions. If the Nittany Lions can pull off the biggest win of their 2015 season, though, then the winner of our game will win the East. While that may seem pretty unlikely (Penn State has lost to all three of its ranked opponents this season, and also Temple, who was unranked at the time), crazier things have happened, like that time Michigan lost to Appalachian State.
At noon today, in addition to The Game, we have Indiana at Purdue and Maryland at Rutgers.
At 3:30 p.m., it's No. 16 Northwestern at Illinois, Wisconsin at Minnesota, and Penn State at No. 5 Michigan State. I think it's pretty obvious which game we'll be watching in each time slot.
If your plan is to sit on the couch all day and eat Thanksgiving leftovers, then the chart below will help you find everything you need.