The Buckeyes take the field in Ann Arbor in hopes of making further progress towards the end of history: the death of Michigan. A win for the Buckeyes accomplishes many things. First, it’d give them 8 wins this decade, completely flipping the results from the 1990s, where the Wolverines went 7-2-1. Second, it’d give the Buckeyes outright ownership of the Big Ten crown. Lose, and they’re in what will likely be a four way tie with Iowa, Penn State and Wisconsin (who I don’t anticipate will lose to Minnesota, Michigan State and Northwestern respectively). Third, it’d make the Wolvereenies bowl-ineligible for a second straight year. It might even make more TSUN fans cry on TV. This would be swell.
My preview went up earlier. The Buckeyes are commonly thought to be a favorite to win this game. Michigan has a host of problems on defense, and they’ve been outscored 99-19 in the second half of the past four games. The Buckeyes, on the other hand, have won out since their inexplicable loss to Purdue earlier in the year. However, I take nothing for granted with our team. I’m expecting the Wolvereenies to come out with their best effort, much like I expected from the Hawkeyes last week. How Tressel has prepared the Buckeyes should be interesting to see. It’s a unique set of circumstances facing Tressel and the Buckeyes. They already know their bowl fate. A win or loss does not affect their trip to Pasadena. Ostensibly, there’s nothing material to play for; there’s only Hate. Michigan, on the other hand, is playing for their postseason lives and trying desperately to prevent their losing streak against their rivals from extending to 6 straight. The Buckeyes are favored, and Michigan’s defense has serious issues, but it’s not like we’re an explosive offense or anything. This is still the same team responsible for the Purdue game earlier in the season.
The Game is always The Game and NO season where the Buckeyes lose their regular season finale is a season worth remembering. I’m hoping the Buckeyes can quickly erase all hope and crush Wolverine optimism in the first half and third quarter, ensuring victory and an outright conference championship. So let’s fight, to the end, for O-HI-O.
Live blog is below. I won’t be joining, being in between meetings in North Carolina.