A grey sky, a biting cold, a barren wind and a touch of snow: fitting weather for THE Game. With both teams functioning at more or less full capacity for the first time since 2007, it will be just like old times, except for Nike outfitting Ohio State for combat. Brady Hoke, with a wind chill of 20 degrees, is wearing short sleeves. Will these t-shirts be worn in Columbus or donated to a third-world country?
Stakes: Besides the obvious…Ohio State can split the national title, being the only undefeated team while a one-loss team wins the BCS. Michigan, with some help, could climb the BCS rankings and be eligible for selection at 9-3. This is “Ohio State’s bowl game” though it’s not as though Michigan will be looking ahead.
Injuries: Michigan is short-handed in the backfield without Fitzgerald Toussaint. It’s also unclear how healthy Denard Robinson is. Being able to throw would make him a far bigger handful for Ohio State’s defense. For the Buckeyes, the major question is John Simon. Ohio State’s defensive leader has not practiced all week and will be a game time decision. (Update: Simon is out)
This should be a division game. The Big Ten may realign its divisions when Maryland and Rutgers are added. Hopefully, the conference does the right thing and places Michigan and Ohio State together.
Touchdowns: In three starts at quarterback, Devin Gardner has been responsible for 13 touchdowns, the same number Braxton Miller has in seven Big Ten starts this season.
Soiled Perfection: Michigan has soiled a perfect Ohio State season four times since Bo Schembechler arrived: 1969, 1973, 1995 and 1996.
Prediction: Should be a field goal game. We like Michigan to cover…and win 17-13. Go Blue.
[Photo via Presswire]
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