Skip to main content
Publish date:

Nothing Short Of Poetic: It All Comes Down To No. 6 Michigan, No. 4 Ohio State

The Big Ten East will be decided by Michigan and Ohio State on the final weekend in November, just as the college football gods intended.

Less than a week away from the latest defining moment of the Jim Harbaugh era, No. 6 Michigan stands at the doorstep of a trip to Indy and a spot in the College Football Playoff - with just one game left. 

The Game.

Unlike previous years, the Wolverines didn't shy away from the elephant in the room heading into the the 2021 season. In fact, they spent a considerable amount of time discussing it openly - beginning with Big Ten Media Days.

 "I've invested so much of my energy - mental energy, physical energy - into giving this all I've got," said senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. "I'm back for my last ride here. When I tell you that I've given everything - from in spring ball in coaching guys up, working out in summer conditioning, winter conditioning, rehabbing this ankle - I mean I've done everything for my body and what I put in it to insure that we have success this season. I'm just...I'm willing to die for this. I swear. I want it more than anyone, I promise you that."

Reflecting on all of the work he had put in, Hutchinson turned his attention to Ohio State specifically.

"I'm 0-2 against Ohio State and we didn't play them last year, so it's going to be two years when we play them in November," said Hutchinson with an eagerness in his voice. "We prepare for Ohio State every single day. In the weight room, in the walk-through's - every day we've got one thing on our mind and that's Ohio State, and what are we going to do to beat them.

Read More

"When you're working out and you're grinding out that last rep, when you think you can't go anymore, all I think of is 2019 sitting on that bench, being down two touchdowns and not being able to do a damn thing about it. That allows me to do two or three more reps, something that I think I wasn't even capable of. So having Ohio State there in the back of my mind every day is something that drives me."

Hutchinson's 'do it or die trying' mentality was clearly shared by his head coach, as evidenced by Harbaugh's time at the podium in Indy.

“I'm as enthusiastic and excited as I ever am. To have it, to win the championship, to beat Ohio (State),” Harbaugh said. “(To win) our rivalry with Michigan State. Everybody.

“That’s what we’re trying to do. And we’re going to do it — or die trying.”

The declaration by Harbaugh on that day in Indy has now come full circle, with only the Ohio State Buckeyes left standing in the way. It's nothing short of poetic.

The narratives, the storylines, the doubts, the failures - none of it will matter to the folks in Ann Arbor with a W on Saturday. 

Get your popcorn ready.