November 15, 2006
It's impossible to get around talking about this.
This town is about to explode. No, not from terrorists, despite the Democrats winning in the last election.
This city has football fever, and if The Game wasn't big enough already, this season made it double in size. You can actually taste the excitement in the air, and it tastes kind of sweaty, really. Not only does the winner get bragging rights for a year, but they go undefeated in the regular season, win the Big 10, and go to the BCS National Championship Game.
The football experts called this back in the first weeks of the football season. They said that both Michigan and Ohio State have the capacity to go undefeated this season. I was skeptical. I knew the Ohio State team would be fantastic on offense, and good enough on D, but I had no idea Michigan was up to the same caliber. They proved themselves many times over, such as when they played Notre Dame, just as OSU toppled Texas.
It's next to impossible for a fan of either team not to hold at least some reservation or doubt about this Saturday's game. With two teams this good and neither having been seriously challenged this season, this game is too close to call. We all know it has the capability to go either way.
Both teams have a solid defense and some major playmakers on offense. The Buckeyes' spread offense has performed extremely well this season, but the availability of the pass may hinge on whether they can simultaneously get the ball moving on the ground. Michigan's offense is more balanced, with more focus on Mike Hart's running abilities, as well as multiple deep threats.
A lot of the sports pundits are suggesting that the national championship could end up being a rematch between these two teams. While a few more cards would have to fall into place in order to make that happen, I'd say it would make for an interesting Fiesta Bowl. The bottom line for the BCS title game is that I want to see a good match-up. A championship game should not be a blowout, but a close fought game between two teams who dominated other opponents all season. If The Game is a close one, then it would be worthwhile to see these two contend once more. After all, this rivalry is about as big as it could ever hope to be. What's a few more flipped cars, couches on fire and a few hundred more arrests? They'd be a drop in the bucket at this point.
It's hard not to get psyched for The Game with the atmosphere in Columbus. I can't turn my head 30 degrees without seeing Ohio State paraphernalia. I just gotta remember that it's still 3 days, 4 fours 34 minutes and 12 seconds away.
Go Bucks! Beat Michigan! My score prediction: Ohio State 24, Michigan 17