Ask the nation what the greatest rivalry in college football is and depending on what part of the country you’re in, you could get a couple different answers. But as you scour the country there is one answer you can find almost anywhere, and only one answer is known as “The Game.”
The No.9 Ohio State Buckeyes (9-2, 7-1 Big Ten) travel to Ann Arbor this Saturday to take on the Michigan Wolverines (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten).
This game means a lot to both teams but for two very different reasons.
The Wolverines are out of any championship hunt, but the opportunity to play spoiler to Ohio State would ease the pain of this season and give them a positive to end on. It also would also restore some respectability to “The Game” as they have lost five straight to the Buckeyes and 12 out of the last 13 games.
“We haven’t beat these guys in a while, nobody on this team has a win against (Ohio State),” Michigan safety Tyree Kinnel said this week. “It starts to get old when you don’t win.”
“The record is what the record is,” Harbaugh said. “Well aware of what the record is against Michigan State and Ohio State, we’re 1-4. The record [against] all other opponents is 23-3. We know what the records are.”
The best chance for Harbaugh to start to turn that record around may not even play. The Wolverines offense has started to show signs of life after making a switch to recently named starter Brandon Peters. Peters left last week’s game against Wisconsin due to a concussion. Reports say Peters is progressing and could be cleared in time for the game.
Even though Ohio State has its eyes set on a Big Ten and possibly National Championship they understand the importance of this game on its own. The week Ohio State plays the Wolverines no one utters the name “Michigan” and all “M’s” go missing in Columbus.
“The rivalry is not a one-week deal,” said coach Urban Meyer. “It’s in your blood and in your DNA.”
Senior quarterback JT Barrett will be playing his last game against Michigan and is looking forward to heading the Ann Arbor one last time.
“I don’t think it’s going to be pleasant,” Barrett said. “I’m pretty sure they’re going to hate me. You got to learn to love the hate. I like being hated sometimes. I don’t mind it. They hate us anyway.”
Ohio State center echoed Barrett’s sentiments when speaking about his leader.
“He’s a competitor. He’s one of the greatest competitors in college football right now,” Brice said. “Again, go ahead, bring on the hate. It is a rivalry.”
What: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines
When: Saturday November 25, 2017 at 12:00 ET
Where: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Spread: OSU -12
Money Line: OSU -460, UM +385