Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. The Game is upon us.
It may seem a bit anticlimactic, given Michigan’s fall from an AP-ranked top-15 team in the preseason to a three-loss squad which mathematically cannot displace Ohio State’s spot in the Big Ten Championship. But in reality, The Game is never anticlimactic. Even in down years, each side manages to live up to the competition. And keep in mind that this game--which, again, has no implications whatsoever for the Big Ten title--is a must-win for the Buckeyes, who still have an outside shot at a spot in the College Football Playoff.
Michigan currently owns a 58-48-6 all-time record against Ohio State, but that lead has come under attack in the last 13 years as the Buckeyes have gone 12-1, with the only loss coming in 2011 in Luke Fickell’s interim year as head coach. This year, J.T. Barrett has a chance to be the only Ohio State starting quarterback to lead his team to four wins against Michigan. Urban Meyer, since taking the helm at Ohio State, holds a 5-0 record against the Wolverines.
Though Michigan sits at 8-3 on the season, with losses to Michigan State, Penn State and, most recently, No. 5 Wisconsin, they continue to boast an outstanding defense, including the nation’s best passing defense allowing just 144.4 yards per game. Their rushing defense isn’t far behind, giving up 116.8 yards per game on the ground. On the flip side, Ohio State is averaging more than 252 rushing yards per game behind J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, and the success of the two backs has been able to open up the passing game for Barrett.
This year, the Game doesn’t have implications for a conference title, it might not be against the best Wolverine team the Buckeyes have faced over the years, but when it comes down to it, beating a rival on their home turf--for a sixth year in a row--is something that will motivate this Ohio State team today. Go Bucks.
When is the game and how can I watch?
Game Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 25, 12 p.m.
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Online: FOX Sports GO
Radio: 97.1 FM/1460 AM
Where is GameDay today?
The GameDay crew is heading to No. 6 Auburn ahead of the Tigers’ Iron Bowl matchup with top-ranked Alabama. The winner of the game will win the SEC West, earning a trip to Atlanta to face Georgia in the SEC Championship for an almost-assured spot in the College Football Playoff. College Gameday has not been to Aurburn since 2013, when the Tigers famously knocked off Alabama on Chris Davis’ “Kick Six,” when the cornerback returned a blocked field goal 108 yards for an Auburn touchdown and the win as time expired.
What’s the rest of the Big Ten up to this weekend?
This week is one filled with matchups for all of the Big Ten’s favorite trophies. Along with Ohio State and Michigan at noon, Indiana and Purdue will face off for the Old Oaken Bucket on ESPN2.
At 3:30 p.m., No. 5 Wisconsin heads to Minnesota to battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, while No. 10 Penn State travels to Maryland on BTN.
At 4 p.m., No. 16 Michigan State heads to Piscataway to face Rutgers on FOX, while No. 22 Northwestern faces Illinois for the Land of Lincoln Trophy on FS1.
Join the conversation
Below is your Ohio State-Michigan GameThread. Be respectful, be kind and as always, keep it classy. If you like GIFs, lay ‘em on us. In all, be good fans, cheer for your teams, be cool to each other (even if somebody else isn’t) and everyone wins. Let’s end this season on a high note.