(9)Ohio State @ Michigan
(Favorite: Ohio State - 12 1/2)
Bam Childress (2001-04): OSU 24-10 Big Ten championship here we come. Can somebody tell Dontez L Sanders and the honey badgers let's get it on in Indy!!!!
Cornelius Green (1972-75): Ohio State wins again
Bbaver: The Pick: Ohio State - On paper, this is a mismatch. If you haven't, check out Michigan's offense stats on the season...absolutely abysmal. But this game of course isn't about stats, there is a lot of truth to the proverbial "you can throw the record books out the window" saying. I think Michigan will come out with a lot of emotion and the Buckeyes need to respond. If Michigan gets on the board first with an early TD, this could be a nail-biter. But I think the Buckeyes have too much talent and will be ready to go, and it helps facing Michigan just off their trip to Madison. I like Ohio State 35-20.
Cory: With Ohio State clinging to the hope of a trip to the playoffs, the Buckeyes must win this week against their rivals up north, Michigan. Ohio State is rolling right now having put up a combined 100 points in their last two games. The defense has also looked much better since the team's blowout loss to Iowa three weeks ago. Michigan enters the game with a big question mark at the quarterback position. Wilton Speight hasn't played since he suffered cracked vertebrae against Purdue. John O'Korn started after that injury, but played poorly and lost his spot to Brandon Peters. Peters was good, but not great, until he left last week's loss to Wisconsin due to a head/neck injury. Peters is in the concussion protocol, and Speight has not been practicing fully. It seems O'Korn is the best bet to start, and that's not good news for Michigan. To really stop Michigan all the Buckeyes need to do is stop wide receiver and returner Donovan Peoples-Jones, as well as running back Karan Higdon. The big question for the Buckeyes is what team will show up on Saturday? Urban's message following the Iowa loss has been "laser-like focus" and assuming the Buckeyes keep that focus, they should be able to edge out Michigan. That said, I don't believe this will be a blowout even if O'Korn starts. This is going to be another close game, and one that could come down to the final minute yet again. Ohio State 28, Michigan 24
Dave: Ohio State 42 - Team up North 24
Gregg: No matter how you measure success, JT Barrett has had a great career at Ohio State. With a win he will tie Art with the most wins as a starting quarterback. With a win he will become the first quarterback to win 4 games as a starter in the greatest rivalry in all of sports. He is at the top or near the top of almost every passing record at Ohio State and in some cases, for the Big Ten conference. I will not forget how he put the team on his shoulders in Happy Valley in overtime to delivery a big win. I was there in East Lansing when JT had perhaps his best game as a Buckeye, getting the road win and putting OSU back in the playoff talk. He completed his last 16 passes against the Lions this year to secure the comeback victory. And I remember in 2014, when after getting injured in 'THE' game, he slipped out of the locker room and watched the rest of the game in the stands in front of Josh and I. This is someone that will always mean a lot to Buckeye fans and he knows the importance of this game. I think he delivers in a big way and secures a win in his last regular season game. It will also be interesting to see how Mike Weber performs as he plays for the first time in Ann Arbor, but JT is the key. Ohio State 31 TBGUN 10
Jason: It’s rivalry week and this is one of the biggest in all of college football and maybe in all of sports. Ohio State is deep and talented and when focused there isn’t a team in the country that they can’t beat. The playoff is still in sights for Ohio State but they must be impressive in Ann Arbor Saturday and against Wisconsin next week in the Big Ten Championship. Michigan is looking at another 4th place finish in the Big Ten East regardless of the outcome in this one but a win over their archrival could ease many pains. Michigan QB Brandon Peters is in concussion protocol and may not go which, even if he did play, could be a difficult day for the lackluster Wolverine offense. In the three games at above .500 teams that they have played, they gained just 234, 269 and 300 yards offensively. The defense they play Saturday may be the most athletic and certainly the most talented they will have faced all season. While the Buckeyes haven’t always played to their capability on defense, when they have, it’s something to behold. The Wolverine defense has had some success this year, even against their quality opponents and they will need a big performance in this game if they want a chance to win. They will need to key on the run game and force Ohio State to hit through the air, but if JT Barrett is finding his myriad of WR options, it could mean a long day for the Maize and Blue faithful. The issue to stopping the run is the fact that Ohio State can hit you with a 3 headed monster in the backfield including JK Dobbins, Mike Weber and Barrett, who can create an explosive play at any time. Ohio State is just too talented and will be too focused for the young Wolverines. I expect the Buckeyes to come out clicking on all cylinders and take the crowd out of it early, dominating the line of scrimmage and controlling the tempo. Buckeyes roll to Indy, defeating their rivals for the 6th straight year. Ohio State 41 Michigan 17
Joe-S-U: OSU over UM - TBGUN will play their best game of the year, they always do. It won't be enough. Turn JK and Weber loose and get ready for the Badgers
John: Rivalry games are always harder to predict. Emotion plays such a huge part in the college game (much more so than in the NFL). I see this one playing out one of two ways: 1) Bad Urban shows up, OSU abandons the running game and Michigan keeps it close or 2) Good Urban shows up, the O plays loose, and OSU runs away and names their score. Michigan’s D has been stout against the run this year, but Wisconsin showed the blueprint – stick with the run and the Wolves eventually will wear down. Iowa showed how to beat OSU – have a quarterback and O Line play out of their mind and have a D Back play like an all pro. O’Korn isn’t Tom Brady Jr., Peters and Speith are a walking M*A*S*H unit and there is no Peppers on this years Michigan D. Ohio State wins, but closer than many might think. Ohio State 28 Michigan 20
jOShUa: The Game. Thanks to a loss at the hands of Wisconsin, Ohio State, regardless of the outcome, is playing in Indy for the Big Ten championship. Now, this game didn’t have the same impact for both teams as last years match up did, however, this is a game we cannot afford to overlook, especially with playoff aspirations. I think Ohio State is focused right now, and knows what it needs to do to keep those playoff hopes alive, even if Urban has said they haven’t discussed it. Its the reason why he brought in JT Barrett last week against Illinois when the Fighting Illini returned the fumble for a touchdown. He knows he needs to win, and look good doing it. With the quarterback in question for TTUN, we will see if Peters is healthy enough to play or if O'Korn steps back in again. Either way, I am not concerned about the Wolverine offense. I think this game will be similar to the 2015 edition, and Ohio State will run at will, and JT will make enough passing yards to keep zone 6 happy in this cold game. Looking forward to seeing the uni's and hearing Gus Johnson and Chris Spielman call this one. Go Bucks! Ohio State 42 - TTUN 13
Dr. Mark: OSU 27-17 I remain concerned about the Pass D. Michigan former starter QB now starting again- He will either play great or press too hard and have a lot of turnovers. I would blitz early and often to see if he gets rattled in the first qtr- If he doesn’t’ then go to a more balanced rush. Would like to see some throws down the seam to the tight ends to open up the running game.
PJSBuck: This is it - Christmas for adults!!!! I am sure my partners here at the Buckeye 50 Yardline will provide great analysis, detail and insight - far better than I can. However, I want to offer a different take on THE GAME based on 47 years of experience. Most Buckeye fans see a TBGUN team that has major problems and depth issues at QB, a highly inconsistent and anemic passing game and what "appears" to be a slightly over-rated defense based upon their game against Wiscy. Most fans will look into the "water" and see a relatively "clear" pool ahead for the Bucks. I see fins in the water. Nothing that has happened this year to either team matters for THE GAME, except how each team thinks and prepares for THE GAME. Ohio State is in a must win situation and has EVERYTHING TO LOSE. TBGUN has NOTHING TO LOSE. Our worst and most disappointing losses have happened with this same exact scenario in place. TBGUN is a cornered animal who is barely wounded, BUT KNOW they are in for the fight of their lives. This is a VERY, VERY dangerous situation for Buckeyes. This also will be the foundation for what I think will be drama equal to last year but played differently by the Bucks - far better play throughout the game this time vs last year under Ed Warriner & Beckman, our offensive coaches. After much, thought, I think this year's installment of THE GAME will come down to coaching preparation and how well our front seven play on defense - it MUST be aggressive, proactive and geared to stop the run. So, take another look into the water: Are you sure you can't see the fins?????? Ohio State 31 TBGUN 28
Pia Pete: TBGUN’s offense is as bad as their defense is good and get behind early. OSU doesn’t look back. BUCKS 45 – TBGUN 14
Coach Rick: This for me is an easy pick when you look at how the season has played out so far. But this is rivalry week which means we throw out everything so far this season. Neither team has anything to gain with a win or lose with a loss, other then pride that is. I am going with experience and the leadership of the seniors, which favors OSU. It is going to be a battle and a great game to watch, but OSU wins by 21 points.
Steven: TBGUN are in disarray offensively. They are down to their third QB, and your guess is as good as mine what we may see on Saturday. The defense has been solid, but unless we have a complete meltdown like we did at Iowa, there should be little doubt who wins this game. Of course, that is assuming that OSU plays up to their potential. Nothing ever seems to go that way in The Game. Everyone plays so tight that blowouts rarely happen. It should in this game. OSU should stack the box and make the Rushman package the de facto standard. Blitz on first, second and third down. Rotate D lineman liberally and wear them down. Watch out for the wheel route, though. It seemed that was one of the few things working for them last week in their loss against Wisconsin. Again, on paper, this is a blowout, and if we want a shot at the CFP, we need to play all out and not let up until the game is well out of reach. OSU 44-17.
Trout: I think OSU will win the game, but it's going to be a nail biter. The Buckeyes are clearly the better team, but records usually don't matter in this game. Both teams are going to be fighting with everything they have. I think in the end, the Ohio State offense will be too much for Michigan's defense. Although it will be closer than most Buckeye fans would like it be, Ohio State will win the game and JT will get his 4th victory against the Wolverines. (Ohio State, 28-24)
GameDay: Desmond Howard and guest picker Charles Barkley go with the Wolverines. Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit go with the Buckeyes
Final Score: Ohio State 31 Michigan 20