Ohio State is a 9-point favorite over the Wolverines, which is pretty substantial given that Michigan is the home team and how well U-M has played in recent weeks. That just speaks to how good the No. 1 Buckeyes are. This is the classic head vs. heart matchup, but it's really starting to feel like Michigan has a pretty good shot to upset OSU at home. Here's how we see it playing out...
As a person who used to cover recruiting exclusively for more than five years, I simply can't ignore the fact that Ohio State landed a TON of players that Michigan would love to have on its roster. I'm not taking anything away from the players that are in the maize and blue, I just think Ohio State has too much talent for most teams to deal with, including U-M.
I give Michigan a shot in this one, but it's slim. That's better than how I felt several weeks ago, but I still think Ohio State would win about seven or eight times out of 10 against Michigan. Maybe this weekend is one of those two or three times that U-M can put it all together and beat the Bucks, but I'm playing the odds here.
I think several big players, including Shea Patterson and Michigan's receivers, Justin Fields and Chase Young are all going to rise in a big, big game, but at the end of the day it's about the Jimmies and the Joes and Ohio State simply has more of them. It pains me to type it, but I just think Ohio State is still the better team. I'd love to be wrong, wrong, wrong on this one.
Ohio State 31, Michigan 21
I don’t agree with those claiming there are only emotional reasons to pick Michigan. There are three fact-based reasons that have nothing to do with emotion.
1) this will be Ohio State’s first, true road test. And Harbaugh hasn’t lost a home game in two years.
2) in the last five games the analytics for these teams are virtually identical. And it’s not because the Buckeyes have slumped, but Michigan has risen. If Michigan had played this way all season, it would probably be a field goal spread at most, either way. Ohio State isn’t playing the Michigan team we’ve seen all season, its playing the Michigan team that’s playing so well right now. And if Michigan had played Ohio State’s schedule, the Wolverines probably would have the exact same record. Or 10-1 and ranked about 7th at worst.
3) the Buckeyes one weakness is pass protection, especially in must pass situations. They’re one of the worst in the nation. Meanwhile, Michigan is second nationally in pressuring the QB.
No emotion for me. Just data and logic.
Michigan 28, Ohio State 21
Scott Brown (Brandon's dad) is a savant and he predicted that Quinn Nordin will beat Ohio State with a game-winning field goal. Every ounce of your brain is telling you no way against the Buckeyes, and maybe credibility takes a hit for this, but I’m going with Michigan simply because I want to. Nordin hits the 45-yarder as time expires for a victory after OSU had gone for two to try for the win a possession earlier.
Michigan 38, Ohio State 36
What say you? How do you see the game playing out and what's your score prediction? Comment below!!!