November 15, 2006

'The Game' Means More Then Usual: For the first time in the 103 year history of this rivalry Ohio State and Michigan are ranked #1 and #2 going into 'The Game'.

posted by commander cody to football at 12:21 AM - 34 comments

I was a 13yo Boy Scout/usher at the 1969 meeting when Michigan upset Ohio State and it was one of the greatest sports memories of my life. This weekend's game has all of the makings of another classic and, depending on the score, might even set up a rematch for the national championship in Glendale AZ.

posted by commander cody at 12:24 AM on November 15

I personally can not wait for this game to start already. It will be a slugging match. This one is going to be hard to predict who will win. However I do hope no matter who wins there is no rematch in the national Championship game. That will put the two teams at a possible head 2 head record of 1-1 which could lead 2 co-champs, possibly, form my understanding. If I am wrong somebody let me know. I will be hosting a party for Bucs fans at my home if there any spofites in the area you are more than welcome, unless you will be wearing maze and blue and cheering for the wrong team that is.

posted by jojomfd1 at 12:52 AM on November 15

Doesn't get any better than this. I hope it lives up to the hype.

posted by mjkredliner at 01:19 AM on November 15

If the score is close and esp if Michigan wins, I don't see how there could be anything but a rematch in Glendale. I would love to see my Wolverines get the national title, but would love it more if they play Ohio State for it. It would be two classic games in one season. I can't wait for Saturday!

posted by commander cody at 01:35 AM on November 15

mjk, what the hell happened to them horns last week, I was hoping for an OSU vs Texas rematch in the National championship. Not now though.

posted by jojomfd1 at 01:40 AM on November 15

I thought Harvard v. Yale was "The Game". Oh you mean, the relevant game. Yeah. UofM v OSU s the one.

posted by psmealey at 05:09 AM on November 15

Go Rutgers!

posted by mick at 05:55 AM on November 15

Well jojomfd1, you all probably would have just whupped us again. I have really been impressed by OSU and Troy Smith this year. These two schools, along with Boise St. and Rutgers, are the story, and all are great teams. I think Tressel (and Ginn) keep the mojo going here, but they're gonna have to play well. It should be a good one either way. I agree, no rematch, Tressel's point about having to be a conference champ to play for all the beans rings true.

posted by mjkredliner at 06:43 AM on November 15

In one-on-one comparison with the other 1-loss teams, I'd say the loser of this game would "deserve" the other spot in the national championship. Hard to find another team that anyone realistically thinks is better, without bias - and hard to find a team that would have a more "excusable" loss. But, I agree with the concept that you have to win your own conference to deserve a chance. You could say it's just bad luck that the other best team in the nation this year happens to be in your own conference. They each hold their fate in their hands. Part of the "awesomeness" of this particular game is that by winning, you're actually killing 4 birds with one stone: - beat arch rival - win Big Ten championship - knock arch rival out of national championship - guarantee chance at your own nationational championship The first two items are practically par-for-the-course for this game. The last two, especially in tandem, are priceless. If not the loser of this team, I'd say the other national champ contender should probably be the SEC winner (hard to argue with Arkansas if they run the table and only loss is to USC). But, part of me would like to see Rutgers squeak in - and although they're a great story and I commend them on a great season - I'd bet the house that their resounding defeat would shut people up for a while.

posted by littleLebowski at 08:07 AM on November 15

This is one game in sports I've never missed (maybe not never, but almost never). It's always been one of the classic rivalries in sports history, and the added importance this year adds to the excitement. The record between the two teams is practically dead even, but the results were skewed by John Cooper's dismal 2-10-1 record during his tenure. The only argument to be made for these teams meeting again for all the marbles, possibly, in the national championship game, would be the question of what would the rankings be had these teams played each other early in September instead of the last game of (their) year? They quite possibly could have been back up to 1-2 by now, making the only way of determining a champ having them play again. My prediction is the winner of this game playing Notre Dame in the big one, after the other teams ahead of them falter and the Golden Domers knock off USC. Hopefully it's the Buckeyes.

posted by dyams at 08:43 AM on November 15

I am unbelievably pumped for this game, which Michigan most certainly will win. As a Michigan fan, there is nothing that I hate more than Ohio State.* This is a huge game, one of the biggest Michigan Ohio State games in quite a while. While a close game would be exciting, I'd rather Michigan win in a blowout. *Except maybe Tressel's stupid sweater vest

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 09:56 AM on November 15

Muck Fichigan!

posted by JohnSFO at 10:21 AM on November 15

Crap - I had been thinking OSU might have a chance, but after being informed that "Michigan most certainly will win" and being presented with such quality arguments as to why ... I'm devastated and don't even want to watch the game because of the inevitable outcome. All in fun, YYM. But, you, Winslow Sr. and the other folks who can't find anything of substance to rip on might want to turn your focus away from Tressel's vest and direct your angst towards your real concern - that my Pop Warner coach's pet could outcoach Lloyd Carr. I'm expecting a very well-played, close game - and I hope Michigan represents the Big 10 well in whatever non-championship BCS bowl game they play in.

posted by littleLebowski at 10:54 AM on November 15

May the best team win I hope this is an instant classic and it lives up to the hype I love big ten football

posted by luther70 at 11:12 AM on November 15

Is anyone else having a ruff time working this week? How exciting! (better than the NFL)............GO BUCKS!!!!! (screw blue!!) ha ha Darla

posted by at 11:23 AM on November 15

I think it'll be an instant classic as well. But I have a tough time rooting for a rematch in the BCS title game. First of all, it diminishes the HUGENESS of this game if the losing team gets another crack at the championship after losing this game. Besides, there are several other potential one loss teams that would be stronger candidates. Let's look at strength of schedule. Michigan's Quality Wins (if it loses) Notre Dame (5 - current BCS ranking) Wisconsin - (9) Ohio State's Quality Wins (If it loses) Texas (13) I'll be charitable and throw in Penn State at (7-4) for both teams. Now let's look at other one loss teams USC (if it wins out) Quality Wins Arkansas (7) Nebraska (23) Oregon (24) Cal (15) Notre Dame (5) Florida (if it wins out) Quality Wins Tennesse (22) LSU (9) SEC title game (probably Arkansas) Arkansas Auburn (14) LSU (11) Tennessee (22) SEC title game (probably Florida) Plus, they play in the SEC, which top to bottom seems to be the best conference in football. I suppose Notre Dame has an argument, too, but my personal bias prevents me from including them. If all these teams lose again, then a rematch could make sense. But I don't think it's gonna happen.

posted by cjets at 12:37 PM on November 15

HAIL to the victor! go blue I hope this game is a great one and i hope OSU goes down. That being said The winner should face the SEC champ. The SEC is without question the best in college.(LSU, AUburn, Tenn, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas) all top 15 teams at one point this year untill they play each other. I hope there is not a BCS tital rematch. Second who made Troy Smith Heisman front runner. I could throw the ball to Ted Ginn. Without Teddy Jr., this is not even a top ten team

posted by Debo270 at 01:33 PM on November 15

My greatest fear is that Lee Corso will pick Michigan to beat Ohio State. If he does, they're doomed.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:59 PM on November 15

Rematch? Possibly, but probably not. It's going to be a great game,and I wouldn't mind seeing a round 2 for all the marbles, but I don't see that happening unless OSU wins in a real squeaker (like 2 or 3 OTs). If it's not that close, U of M doesn't end up #2. Even if it IS that close and my Wolverines win (Please! Please!), some will say that OSU was over rated at #1, which means that they are certain to drop more than one spot. USC is likely to fill the #2 spot in the BCS after this weekend. If they play well from here on out, and so does ND (now #5, but likely to go to #4), the winner of their clash is likely to wind up in the championship game. Florida hasn't been impressive, and their remaining schedule isn't going to help them. There are several other great SEC teams in line, but USC and ND aren't likely to get leap frogged unless they stumble badly. I'm afraid the SEC may not get the chance.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:21 PM on November 15

Wow, such diverse comments....some quite informative and relavent, some not. Although all worth reading. Ohio State will win, it's a given. Home game, better offense, comparable defense......Jim Tressel. Tressel is the Key and time will show this, he will be the eventual reason for LLoyd Carrs's ouster. His team will be better prepared and he will outcoach Carr even if OSU's athletes don't outplay Mich.!

posted by brownindian at 04:13 PM on November 15

but USC and ND aren't likely to get leap frogged unless they stumble badly. Well one of those two teams are going to get leapfrogged real fast after they play their game next week. It should be a beauty but I'm pulling for USC. I'm just too sick of hearing about Brady Quinn putting up Heisman numbers against Army.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:25 PM on November 15

YYM, that's what I meant. The winner of USC and ND will probably end up ahead of Florida (again, unless there's a stumble). The winner of UM/OSU ends up #1, the loser drops out of the hunt, USC ends up #2, ND ends up #3 or #4, and whoever wins between them ends the season at #2. The SEC gets snubbed. Florida is in a bad spot to try to hang on. They play what is an almost jr. college program and a Florida State team that nobody thinks much of at this point. Even big wins won't have a lot of impact. A huge win in the SEC championship might save their bacon, but I wouldn't count on it. USC and ND both have tougher remaining schedules, so they are in better shape. Of course, tougher schedules could bite them both and leave the door open for the SEC champs. I just don't think it's likely.

posted by ctal1999 at 04:51 PM on November 15

Let's break the argument down into pieces. 1) You have to win your conference to play in the National Championsip (NC) game. Why? In other sports wild-cards/lesser seeds get the chance to win a championship. Besides, the system in place, the BCS rules, say 1 plays 2. You may not like it, I may not like it, but thems the rules we have right now. 2) The loser of The Game, is likely to fall lower than #2. Let's break this down into 2 scenarios. 2a) UM wins (these both assume close games, hey, it's my argument) Who deserves the shot at the winner? ND? But that brings us back to a rematch (see number 1). Besides, is a rematch of an early season butt-wiping more compelling than a late-season close game? USC? They are the #3 as of right now, but squeaked by lesser opponents twice already, and are only this high in the rankings because several one-loss teams became two-loss teams this past week. Their loss was to the powerhouse of Oregon State, this is less damning than a loss to Michugan? They deserve a shot more than Ohio State? Florida? They lost to Auburn, who has two losses including a waxing by Georgia. Rutgers? A case can be made for them, but a UM-Rutgers matchup is more compelling than UM-Ohio State? 2b) Ohio State wins ND? After the loss to Michigan they deserve a shot more than the Wolverines? USC/Florida/Rutgers? See above..... Barring a blowout, can you really say that a rematch is not the most logical matchup? The BCS is what it is, and it is all that we have right now. BTW, If you think a 4-team playoff would be any better, with 1 playing 4 and 2 playing 3, provided all teams other than UM/Ohio State win-out, and the loser falling to 4 in the polls, guess what you get in round 1? UM vs Ohio State..... ((My apppologies to Mitch Albom for so blatently stealing his material, but I doubted that a linked article would get the reading that the post got))

posted by elovrich at 07:44 PM on November 15

How much sense does Debo's post make? Without Teddy OSU isn't even a top ten team? Idiot, he's on the team. Without Brady, New England doesn't win three bowls, without Montana, the Niners are ordinary. Without a defense, the other team scores a lot more. Without lithium, you have a hard time functioning?

posted by tahoemoj at 07:50 PM on November 15

Elovrich, the only problem with your argument is that it makes sense...unlike the BCS voodoo.

posted by ctal1999 at 08:17 PM on November 15

Here is a link just for some shits and giggles. Second who made Troy Smith Heisman front runner. I could throw the ball to Ted Ginn. Without Teddy Jr., this is not even a top ten team Have you ever heard of this guy, or have you even watched the buc's at all this year? Here is a look at Gonzalez and Ginn together they are 4 yds. and 1 TD apart.

posted by jojomfd1 at 09:57 PM on November 15

Barring a blowout, can you really say that a rematch is not the most logical matchup? The I would much rather see Florida vs. the winner than a replay. What are you trying to kill the National Championship game? The fact is that the loser will drop in the polls likely behind the other one-loss teams because losing early is better than losing later. And, that's perfectly logical because teams improve as the season goes on. The key is to be doing well at the end.

posted by bperk at 08:52 AM on November 16

I can't see the loser of the game dropping below Notre Dame unless Ohio State gets absolutley destroyed by Michigan (and even then it wouldn't make much sense). Michigan gave a sound thrashing to Notre Dame, and to drop them below them after a loss would make no sense. Even if Ohio State gets absolutly destroyed, they still deserve a spot over Notre Dame. Besides a win in a squeaker against Georgia Tech, the only quality team they've played is Michigan. And they got crushed. Ohio State has a more impressive victory over Texas (one must remember Texas lost Colt McCoy in their second loss). Therefore, no matter who loses, I think they deserve it over Notre Dame. Of course, Notre Dame can render my entire analysis obsolete if they beat USC next week. If USC beats California on Saturday and Notre Dame a week later, I can't see why one wouldn't put them in the national championship game. They have a ton of quality wins, and margin of victory shouldn't matter. Almost losing shouldn't mean anything in the standings.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 10:00 AM on November 16

No offense, bperk or anyone else, but I'm so tired of the "losing early is better than losing later. And, that's perfectly logical because teams improve as the season goes on. The key is to be doing well at the end." The only way that's "perfectly logical" is if you make the insane assumption that every other team in the nation improves as the season goes on EXCEPT for the team that WINS in that late-season game. Keep in mind that earlier in this thread, I semi-voted against an OSU/Michigan remtach ... BUT, I don't care when the two games are played, you can't seriously be telling me that a loss by USC to Oregon State (or ANY of the other 1-loss teams) is more excusable than a loss by Michigan to Ohio State. Good grief. USC or someone else might be somewhat deserving, but it sure as hell won't be because of WHEN they lost. That argument is only used by people who want to justify the lack of effort they want to put into ranking teams ... "All I know is that Michigan just loss, so they must not still be as good as that there Notre Dame team that lost to 'em a couple months ago".

posted by littleLebowski at 10:20 AM on November 16

As a Notre Dame fan, let me say I have no interest in seeing them in this discussion. They are too inconsistent. Even when they're on I don't think they could play with the class of the college football world this year.

posted by yerfatma at 10:21 AM on November 16

The only way that's "perfectly logical" is if you make the insane assumption that every other team in the nation improves as the season goes on EXCEPT for the team that WINS in that late-season game. Sure, the losing team improved as the year went on, but they still lost. So, why on earth would you put the losing team in the national championship game when we already know the outcome of that game ('cause we just saw it)? Other teams with one-loss might match up better against the winning team and win.

posted by bperk at 01:28 PM on November 16

I have to agree with littleL on this. Historically, the voters have tended to penalize a team for a late season loss to a greater extent than an earlier loss. It's never made sense to me, and the lunacy is apparent when a late season loss puts a team behind a team it beat earlier in the season. This happens every season. To me, it makes the polls a less accuarate indicator of the strengths of the various teams, though it does make for interesting and sometime humourous discussion. I always wondered how the polls would react to a team with a two game lead incurring a late season loss. Regarding a rematch...I'd rather not see it, only because I don't believe a team should have to beat another team twice in a row to be crowned Champion. I'm all for a playoff, though. I guess Saturday's game will just have to be the first round.

posted by glmpllc at 02:33 PM on November 16

Bperk, the only possible excuse would be if the game was so close that it truly could have gone either way. You know, it goes to OT (or further) and is finally decided when a freak bounce or huge wind gust or something else that's completely out of the hands of the players happens and gives one team the edge. In a case like that, if you assume that the winner really is the best team in the country, the loser HAS to be so close that nobody else is likely to compare. In a situation like that, the "any given Sunday" theory applies. The loser of game 1 could just as easily get the break in game 2 and win it all. Having said that, I'd still be surprised to see the BCS calculations work out that way.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:45 PM on November 16

I wouldn't mind seeing OSU vs Rutgers, but No one will give Rutgers a chance and OSU would kill them anyway so they wouldnt put them in the National Championship game.

posted by Clevelander32 at 09:04 PM on November 16

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