CFB: The Game Is Finally Here! Ohio State vs. Michigan

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NCAA Football Sports News


  • Michigan hosts Ohio State at noon on Saturday with a spot in the Big 10 championship game at stake -- among other things.
  • Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh will not be coaching the Wolverines as he serves the final game of a three-game suspension handed down by the Big 10.
  • This is meeting No. 118 between the two schools. According to Michigan, it leads the all-time series 60-51 with six ties (there are disputes as to the exact number).

Call it The Game, scratch out the letter M if you live in Ohio, but whatever side you lean on, know that the college football game of the year is here.

It’s Michigan and Ohio State, Saturday at the Big House. Enough said.

American sportsbooks have been waiting all year for this one. DraftKings has Michigan opening a four-point favorite at home. More markets will be added all week at Caesars and BetMGM and the action will be hot.

Michigan has won the last two meetings, including a 45-23 beatdown last year, but before that Ohio State had reeled off eight in a row. Did we mention these teams don’t exactly like each other?

Let’s break it down.

Eyes On Michigan 

The No. 3 Wolverines did have their trap game Saturday, holding off Maryland to win 31-24 in a game that was close in the fourth quarter. The Wolverines are 11-0 and going for a third straight Big 10 title – whoever wins Saturday will be big favorites in the Big 10 title game over Iowa.

Quarterback J.J. McCarthy can reinsert himself back into the Heisman race with a big day against the Buckeyes. He’s thrown for 2335 yards and 18 scores. Last year he threw three TD passes and ran for another.

Remember, last year, Michigan star running back Blake Corum was hurt and didn’t play against the Buckeyes. He’s looked good all year with 20 TD.

Hey There Buckeyes 

Ohio State is No. 2 in the College Football Playoff ranking and 11-0 with its closest win a 17-14 triumph over Notre Dame on the last play of the game.

The Buckeyes have a legit Heisman candidate in wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. the son of the former NFL star. Harrison Jr. will be the best player Michigan has faced all season with 1,093 yards and 13 catches. Running back TreVeyon Henderson has emerged as the Buckeyes lead back with 794 yards and 10 TD.

Quarterback Kyle McCord will be making his first start in The Game. Sorry to say it Michigan fans, but his numbers are way better than McCarthy with 2,899 yards and 22 TD passes.

The X Factor? 

There’s the emotional side. Michigan has adopted the Us vs. Everybody mantra with the scouting controversy still making national news, and Ohio State is hungry to prove themselves after two bad losses to the Wolverines.

What about the kickers? Michigan senior kicker James Turner is 9-11 this season, while Ohio State sophomore kicker Jayden Fielding has gone 14-16. In games like this, it could come down to the end and a last-second field goal.

Michigan maybe better up front, but Ohio State is probably more athletic. Michigan will want to establish Corum and the running game to open things up for McCarthy, while Ohio State will want to feed Harrison Jr. as much as possible. The atmosphere will be electric. The early forecast is cloudy with temperatures in the upper 30s. The countdown is on.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.