by Beau Bishop
Listen to Beau’s “Kegs & Eggs” show every Saturday morning during college football season from 10 am to noon on 92.3 The Fan
1) Mark Dantonio brings out the worst in Urban Meyer. I can’t explain why, it’s just how it is. And yet, Ohio State snuck out of Spartyland with a win and I that’s about all I have to say about that because well … its The Game Week.
2) Ohio State and Michigan have played football against one another 112 times. This Saturday will mark just the second time both have come into The Game ranked in the top 3 in the country.
3) Saturday’s showdown will mean just as much as it did in 2006 when then top ranked Ohio State beat then 2nd ranked Michigan 42-39 in what was at time called ‘The Game of the Century’. That afternoon in The Shoe a spot in the BCS National Title Game was on the line, this Saturday most believe a spot in the College Football Playoff is on the line. In light of everything that has transpired the last two weeks in a wild finish to the college football season, I’d say ‘most’ would be right.
4) Isn’t this more fun? This will be just the 3rd time since the 2006 classic that Michigan has come into The Game with 2 losses or fewer. For all those who claim they want Michigan 0-11 coming into the Ohio State game pay attention to what it feels like this week when both teams matter a bunch.
Furthermore, for The Game to be called ‘The Greatest Rivalry in all of Sport’ this is how it has to be. I covered a bunch of bad Ohio State Michigan games and I assure you it wasn’t special to anyone who didn’t root for the two schools involved. The nation will be paying attention Saturday, just you watch.
Quickies nuts and bolts: The Game Edition…
1) Curtis Samuel is Ohio State best and most dangerous offensive weapon, he touched it 8 times on offense in Saturdays escape in East Lansing. That number needs to be around 25 against Big Blue. His match-up with the Michigan linebackers could very well determine the outcome.
2) It’s a shame Wilton Speight won’t likely be at 100% on Saturday. John O’Korn was pretty pedestrian in Michigan’s win over Indiana last weekend and something significantly more than pedestrian will be mandatory Saturday if Michigan is going to spring the upset. Jim Harbaugh said Sunday that Speight is ‘day to day’ and that ‘we’ll see’ if he can play Saturday. It could be a long afternoon for the Maize and Blue if he can’t.
3) De’Veon Smith’s play should give Michigan fans cause for optimism. The senior from Warren has 8 touchdowns in his last 5 games and is coming off a 158 yard performance against Indiana. You saw what LJ Scott did to the Buckeye run defense Saturday, you know that if there is a weakness to an excellent OSU defense that is it.
4) Its Urban Meyer vs. Jim Harbaugh, people! Two coaches seemingly bred to coach at these two schools, both with teams that were crafted in their personalities. If you are of a certain age you remember Bo vs. Woody, if you are not this is your version of that. Enjoy every damn second of this week and The Game, perhaps your version ‘Ten Year War’ will begin to play out this weekend.