Michigan vs. Ohio State prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen between the Wolverines and Buckeyes.
Let’s be clear – I hate both of these teams, but only in the nature that I attended Michigan State and am I required to do so. I certainly respect both programs, and I really believe both of them deserve to be in the Playoff should this game come down to the final possession. I think it will, and I’ll take Ohio State because of it being at home. I hope the committee realizes that these are two of the best four teams in the nation, and that them playing in the same division shouldn’t diminish that.
If Wilton Speight was healthy, I’d take Michigan. Uncertainty at the quarterback position, on the road no less, is enough to tip the scale in Ohio State’s favor. The Game lives up to its billing, with the Buckeyes coming up with a late score to, if nothing else, make things very, very interesting for the CFP committee.
What a season it has been for the Big Ten. Not only does the league have Ohio State and Michigan squarely in the College Football Playoff mix, but Wisconsin and Penn State still could have a say in things as well.
As for the Buckeyes and Wolverines, Jim Delany wouldn’t have it any other way: this game having national implications on Thanksgiving Saturday. J.T. Barrett has been interception-free over his last three games, and he remains a dangerous rusher and complement to Mike Weber on the ground. But the Buckeyes allowed 207 rushing yards to Michigan State, and that’s a concern considering Michigan’s De’Veon Smith scored touchdowns of 34 and 39 yards late in the game against Indiana last week to help him record a season-high 158 yards.
I can’t help but think that we will see plenty of Curtis Samuel for the Buckeyes and Jabrill Peppers for the Wolverines on offense in this one. The game is in Columbus, which gives an obvious edge to OSU. Despite picking the Buckeyes in my preseason CFP projections, a big special teams play by Peppers offsets any issue the Wolverines have at quarterback in what should be a close, defensive struggle. Jim Harbaugh is made for these moments, and his team steals one in Columbus as I scarf down my fourth helping of leftover Thanksgiving stuffing.
It is good to see that this rivalry matters again after so many years of Ohio State wiping its hands on the Michigan uniforms while stepping over them on the way to yet another win. It is too bad that Speight is dinged up, but it isn’t as if the Buckeyes have been lighting it up lately. If this was in Ann Arbor, I would give Michigan a shot, but playing on the road against an extremely good Ohio State squad will prove too much. O-H-I-O my God get a new cheer. Buckeyes win.