The Game deserving of the hype

Not every Ohio State-Michigan game is worthy of the hype it gets.

If you asked me what I remember from the three OSU-Michigan games when Rich Rodriguez coached at Michigan from 2008-2010, I would say, “Other than the fact Ohio State won two of them by big scores and the other one was kind of close, I’ve forgotten everything else.”

Michigan fans probably wish they could forget those games, too. Much like some Ohio State fans wish they could erase the memory of several OSU-Michigan games from the 1990s.

By all indications, this year’s Ohio State-Michigan game deserves all the hype and all the attention it will get.

This season is the first time since the No. 1 against No. 2 match-up in 2006 that both teams have been undefeated going into The Game, as it’s known.

The winner of Saturday afternoon’s game will go to the Big Ten championship game as the undefeated East Division champion. And, considering the overall mediocrity of the Big Ten West Division this season, it would appear Saturday’s winner will be headed to the College Football Playoff as an undefeated team after that.

What happened last year when Michigan broke an eight-game Ohio State winning streak in the rivalry with a 42-27 win in Ann Arbor also adds something extra to this year’s game.

“We’ve been licking our wounds for 365 days,” OSU quarterback C.J. Stroud said after a 43-30 win over Maryland last Saturday.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy said, “We’re better than last year, we’re hungry and we want it more than anything,” when asked after a 19-17 win over Illinois last week if the Wolverines could make it two in a row.

Ohio State is hungry. Michigan is hungry. And two hungry fan bases await a football feast.

Jim Naveau has covered local and high school sports for The Lima News since 1978 and Ohio State football since 1992. His OSU coverage appears in more than 30 newspapers. Naveau, a Miami University graduate, also worked at the Greenville Advocate and the Piqua Daily Call. He has seen every boys state basketball tournament since 1977. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0414.