coleryan Posts:11966 Followers:20
On 11/24/2013 08:03 AM in NCAA Football

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines: Preview and Pick

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines: Preview and Pick

In week 14 of the college football season the biggest rivalry to some in all of sports will take place. The Michigan Wolverines will host their hated rivals the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Wolverines are not having the great type of season that they hope they would have, but if they can crush the dreams of the Buckeyes with an upset win, it would make their season. The Buckeyes need this win to prove that they should be considered as a contender for the BCS National Championship.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines Odds

The college football odds for this game will favor the Buckeyes as they have yet to lose a game this year. In fact the Buckeyes have yet to lose a game over the last two seasons. With a weaker schedule, they need a win against Michigan to try and convince the voters to move them up the college football BCS rankings. The line will move in favor of the Buckeyes leading up to kickoff, so check your top rated online sportsbook for the best odds for the team that you want.

There is no hotter team in college football than Ohio State. The Buckeyes won their 23rd straight game by hammering Indiana, 42-14, on Saturday. The winning streak is the longest in school history, surpassing the 22 straight wins the program collected from 1967-69. No FBS team has a longer winning streak, including two-time defending BCS champion Alabama. Michigan would like to change all of that.

The latest college football trends reveal some interesting betting angles for both teams. Ohio State is 4-2 straight up in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Michigan and Ohio State is 8-1 straight up in its last 9 games when playing Michigan overall. The total has gone over in 4 of Ohio State's last 6 games when playing on the road against Michigan, but the total has gone under in 4 of Ohio State's last 6 games when playing Michigan. From a betting standpoint Michigan is 1-6 against the spread (ATS) in its last 7 games when playing at home against Ohio State. Ohio State is 22-0-1 straight up in its last 23 games overall and 5-0 straight up in its last 5 games on the road, meanwhile Michigan is 19-1 straight up in its last 20 games at home and 15-7-1 SU in its last 23 games overall.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines Pick

With plenty of time before kickoff we will wait for more information to come in before we select a side on this contest. Make sure to check back on the day of the game to see who we select as our winner for this big game.

thehitman Posts:2053 Followers:4
11/24/2013 09:48 PM

Thanks for all this stuff every week, Cole

Never, ever criticize someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes........for at that point they will be a mile away. And you'll have their shoes !
coleryan Posts:11966 Followers:20
11/25/2013 01:50 PM

If you’re looking for suspense or down-to-the-wire races as the regular season reaches the finish line in college football, the Big Ten is not the place for it. The division champions and conference title game participants are set.

With one week left in the regular season, Ohio State and Michigan State have clinched a trip to Indianapolis on Dec. 7 to meet in the best Big Ten championship matchup since the playoff was instituted in 2011. Not only will a spot in the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl be up for grabs, but the third-ranked Buckeyes could wind up in the Bowl Championship Series title game with a win and either Alabama or Florida State lose.

Ohio State’s quest for perfection continued Saturday in Columbus. The Buckeyes (11-0, 7-0) established a school record with its 23rd consecutive victory, whipping Indiana 42-14 in Columbus to keep Urban Meyer’s record unblemished since he took over as coach two years ago. The previous mark spanned the 1967-69 seasons and included a national championship in 1968 under Woody Hayes.

Though the annual showdown with four-loss Michigan Saturday in Ann Arbor, Mich., will lack some of its traditional luster, the Buckeyes still have plenty of motivation. A loss would kill their BCS championship game hopes and also drop them into a tie for first in the Leaders with Wisconsin (assuming the Badgers beat Penn State on Saturday). Ohio State holds the division tiebreaker based on its win over the Badgers earlier this season.

Michigan State (10-1, 7-0) secured a chance to face Ohio State in Indy by claiming the outright Legends Division title with a 30-6 win at Northwestern on Saturday. The Spartans hold a two-game lead over Nebraska (8-3, 5-2) with one game to play at home this week against Minnesota.

Not since after the 1987 season has Michigan State gone to the Rose Bowl. If the Spartans don’t reach the Rose, they’re still in contention along with Wisconsin for an at-large BCS berth.

Wisconsin axed Minnesota’s four-game winning streak with a 20-7 victory on the road against the Gophers. The Badgers’ victory was their 10th straight in the Paul Bunyan Axe trophy series with their border rival and their sixth in a row after a Sept. 28 loss at Ohio State.

At the opposite end of the standings, Illinois is winless no more in the Big Ten. The Fighting Illini ended a 20-game conference losing streak with a 20-16 victory at Purdue on Saturday that took some heat off embattled second-year Illinois coach Tim Beckman.

Purdue and Northwestern remained winless in conference play, and both are staring at 0-8 finishes with road games left this weekend at rivals Indiana and Illinois, respectively.

The best matchup outside of Ohio State-Michigan in the final weekend could be Iowa-Nebraska on Black Friday. Both teams enter the game with a chance to move up in the bowl pecking order with a victory.

coleryan Posts:11966 Followers:20
11/26/2013 01:23 PM

In Brady Hoke's first season, Michigan won 11 games, which included defeating Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.

Last year, it was 8-5. Now the Wolverines are 7-4 heading into their final game of the season, and the offense seems to be going backward each week.

Can Michigan's problems be fixed by another offseason?

Welcome back to the Wolverines' "Issue of the Week," an MLive weekly feature where we identify a hot topic within the Michigan football team.

And we welcome some feedback from you, the reader, with some of the best comments slated to be used in an item later this week.

- Nick Baumgardner
It's hard for me to gauge whether or not this is a complete aberration, because in reality, it isn't. Michigan's offensive line has been the biggest problem this season, just as it was a year ago. Al Borges' gameplans have been suspect at times this season. Just like they were a year ago.

Is some of this about youth? Sure it is. But at the same time, the real question here centers around player development. And not team-wide, just on offense. Defensive players are progressing. They're getting better. But on offense? They aren't. It can't be a non-factor on one side and a factor on the other. I don't think Michigan can just plow ahead into the offseason with the mentality of "just keep doing what you're doing."

On some level, something has to change. And that's for Hoke to figure out.

It's clear now, but Michigan peaked in September against Notre Dame. Devin Gardner looked like an NFL draft prospect and offensive line's issues, while known, were masked by the big-play abilities of guys like Jeremy Gallon and Devin Funchess. But, then, reality set in. The Akron scare would have been able to be dismissed if the trend didn't continue, and Michigan really hasn't regained its confidence since squeaking out a road win against lowly Connecticut.

The simple truth is Michigan is a worse football team than it was two months ago, and that's disturbing for Hoke. But just look at the growth teams like Michigan State, Minnesota and even Iowa have made this season. The Wolverines have scored just 67 points in their last four games, including 19 in overtime. It makes that 63 points and school-record 751 yards against Indiana look like the aberration.

The talent is there, on paper. It's time for the development to match.

coleryan Posts:11966 Followers:20
11/26/2013 01:24 PM

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said Monday that the No. 3 Buckeyes expect to get two defensive starters back for Saturday's rivalry matchup at Michigan.

Linebacker Curtis Grant and cornerback Doran Grant should suit up against the Wolverines after missing time with injuries, Meyer said.

Curtis Grant missed the past two games, wins against Illinois and Indiana, with lingering ankle and back problems.

"We didn't feel like he was quite ready, and we've got to get him back," Meyer told the newspaper. "I think Curtis Grant will be good to go, which we'll need him in this game."

Doran Grant suffered an unspecified injury in the first half of Saturday's 42-14 win over Indiana and did not return. However, Meyer told the Plain Dealer that he held the cornerback out of the second half primarily as a precaution and that he is expected to play at Michigan.

Meyer also said No. 3 cornerback Armani Reeves is expected to return from injury.

"The positive is I think Armani's going to be fine for this week," Meyer said.

coleryan Posts:11966 Followers:20
11/27/2013 12:21 PM

Ohio State defensive lineman Noah Spence is from Harrisburg, Pa.

He wasn't steeped in the enmity that grips fans of the Buckeyes and Wolverines about this time every year.

But in his second season in the heart of Ohio, he has a good grasp of it now.

''It's a huge rivalry even if you're a guy from out of state like me,'' he said.

Then he added, ''It's everything.''

Ohio State and Michigan clash for the 110th time Saturday, at Michigan Stadium. It's already been a long, grueling season. But, as it should be, the best and biggest game has been saved for last.

Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 Big Ten), which moved up to No. 3 in all major rankings Sunday, won its school-record 23rd straight game and earned a spot in the Big Ten championship game with a 42-14 victory over Indiana in snow-globe conditions at Ohio Stadium on Saturday.

Almost immediately, the Buckeyes' thoughts turned to Michigan (7-4, 3-4).

From a distance, it might look like a trap game: The Buckeyes have little to play for beyond holding on to what they've already got - an unbeaten season and conference and national title aspirations. On top of that, the Wolverines have been struggling mightily.

Michigan, ranked as high as 11th in the nation during a 5-0 start to the season, was held scoreless in the second half of its 24-21 loss Saturday at Iowa, its third defeat in four games. The Wolverines scored nine points the previous week in regulation before going on to beat Northwestern in triple overtime; they were limited to six and 13 points in losses to Michigan State and Nebraska.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke says he's confident Michigan will be consistent for a change on offense against Ohio State.

"This game has always been different in some ways," Hoke said. "Are they a good football team? Yeah. They're a very good football team. Do we have to play better than we've played? I don't think there's any doubt."

That's because they'll need to keep pace with an Ohio State offense that has averaged 55.3 points and 597.0 yards in its last four games.

Quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde lead an offense that is powered by a ground attack that ranks fifth in the FBS at 314.7 yards per game.

Miller ran for 144 yards last Saturday after rushing for 184 at Illinois the week before. Hyde has put up eye-popping numbers over his last six games, with 938 rushing yards and 14 TDs while averaging 8.1 yards per attempt.

''It's just striving for the best,'' Miller said. ''We ended the season 12-0 last year and we weren't able to play in a bowl game or the Big Ten championship game (because of NCAA sanctions). That's what we were striving for. (We want to) accomplish that and keep going forward, keep winning games and just make Ohio State proud.''

Devin Gardner has broken Michigan marks this season, accounting for 584 yards of offense and 503 yards passing against Indiana on Oct. 19. In four games since, however, he has averaged 182.5 yards passing and lost a total of 47 yards rushing.

"He's had some really good moments and some moments that he would rather redo if he could," Hoke said. "I think we all have that; I do as a head coach. There are always moments that you think about and say, 'Maybe we should've done this.' He's been pretty resilient. He's a guy who comes to work every day to get ready to play."

Urban Meyer won his first Michigan-Ohio State game as a head coach a year ago, 26-21, by shutting out the Wolverines in the second half and edging past them on two field goals by Drew Basil. It avenged a loss to Michigan the year before and marked the Buckeyes' eighth win in the last nine meetings.

''I have great respect for this rivalry - it almost makes me in awe,'' Meyer said. ''The respect we have comes with incredible responsibility that sometimes can be overwhelming (when it comes) to what we have to do next week. So we take it very seriously."

Jack Mewhort, one of Ohio State's captains and a starter on the offensive line, disregarded Michigan's recent hard times.

''That makes no difference because of the tradition and history that go into this rivalry,'' he said. ''It's always a tough, smash-mouth game. We're prepared to get their best shot, and they're going to get ours, too. The records aren't really a big deal this week.''

The Buckeyes have been on a roll, but all of that doesn't mean a whole lot if they can't win the game that's most important to their fans.

''This is the whole season, really,'' safety C.J. Barnett said. ''Everything is out the window, records, everything we've done, haven't done - it's all about this week.''

coleryan Posts:11966 Followers:20
11/28/2013 12:11 PM

Bitter Big Ten Conference rivals get together on the final day of the 2013 regular season, as the third-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes pay a visit to the Michigan Wolverines.

Ohio State dismissed visiting Indiana last weekend, 42-14, to record its 23rd consecutive win, which is a new school record. It also assured the team of an appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game to be played in Indianapolis on Dec. 7, where it will take on Michigan State for the league's automatic BCS berth. OSU has never lost a game under current head coach Urban Meyer, who is about to complete his second season at the helm.

Michigan's campaign started with a ton of promise, as the team streaked out to a 5-0 start. Unfortunately, the wheels fell off from there as it dropped four its next six to tally a 7-4 overall record, and 3-4 ledger in league play. The Wolverines suffered a 24-21 loss at Iowa last weekend, and a victory over the hated Buckeyes will not only do wonders for their psyche, but also propel them into a significantly better bowl game.

UM head coach Brady Hoke spoke recently about the air of excitement surrounding this week's matchup with Ohio State."It's such a great rivalry that we are fortunate to be able to play and to be able to coach in. This week is a week that gets everybody involved: media, fans, all those people. Everybody has an opinion, which is good. It's good for the game because the game is talked about. It's going to be a lot of fun on Saturday to play the football game.

"Meyer echoed Brady's sentiment and talked briefly about his own personal feelings on the rivalry."It's a really great game. Where I grew up in the ten year war, and I learned to dislike Michigan at a very young age. But, no, you never really appreciate it until you're behind the walls here and find out how serious it is."

Michigan owns a 58-45-6 advantage in the all-time series with Ohio State, but the Buckeyes have won eight of the last nine, and 10 of the last 12 meetings overall.

Braxton Miller ran for 144 yards and two TDs, while throwing for 160 yards and two scores to power the OSU offense in last week's trouncing of Indiana. The Buckeyes also got a solid effort from Carlos Hyde, who rushed for 117 yards and two scores. Hyde is the first RB in Urban Meyer's 12 years as a head coach to go over 1,000 yards in a season.

Ryan Shazier had a monster game in the frigid conditions, logging a staggering 20 tackles, five of which took place in the Indiana backfield. The OSU defense did not force a turnover in the game, but had four sacks and held the Hoosiers to just 7-of-21 success on third-down conversion attempts.

Ohio State owns the Big Ten's most productive offense, as the unit generates 530.9 yards per game and tallies 48.7 points per outing. Miller, who missed a few games due to injury earlier in the campaign, has thrown for 1,626 yards, 19 TDs and only four interceptions, with both Corey Brown and Devin Smith logging at least 40 receptions for a combined 1,187 yards and 16 scores. Hyde paces the rushing attack with 1,064 yards and 13 TDs, and Miller is also active on the ground with 738 yards and five scores.

Shazier is making a strong case for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year as he has 108 total tackles, 19.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. Noah Spence has seven of the team's league-leading 36 sacks. Overall, the Buckeyes are permitting just 18.4 points and 333.4 yards per tilt, with their effort against the run yielding a mere 95.3 ypg and only five TDs.

Despite an anemic offensive performance, the Wolverines held a 14-point halftime lead over Iowa last Saturday, but from there it was all Hawkeyes as the hosts scored 17 unanswered points to earn the three-point victory. When the final second ticked off the clock, Michigan had managed to total just 158 yards (60 rushing, 98 passing), as Devin Gardner completed only 13-of-28 passes. Two of them however, went for TDs, one each to Jeremy Gallon (six rec., 47 yards) and A.J. Williams.

Raymon Taylor tried his best to keep the Michigan defense clicking on all cylinders, but even his nine tackles (eight solo), fumble recovery and interception couldn't keep the Hawkeyes from gaining more than 400 yards on the day.For the season, the Wolverines are putting up 33.1 ppg in amassing 362.8 ypg. Their weapon of choice has been the pass (234.0 ypg), as Gardner has hit the mark on 58.7 percent of his passes for more than 2,500 yards, 17 TDs and 11 picks. Jeremy Gallon has proven himself to be one of the Big Ten's top pass catchers, reeling in 71 balls for 1,109 yards and eight TDs, while Devin Funchess has 43 grabs for 686 yards and five scores. Fitzgerald Toussaint spearheads the rushing attack with 613 yards and 10 TDs, while Gardner has earned 473 yards while crossing the goal line 10 times.

Michigan is giving up 353.0 ypg, but has been pretty stingy when it comes to allowing points (25.1 ppg). The team has done a solid job against the run (116.4 ypg, nine TDs), and James Ross III paces the unit with 81 tackles. Taylor is next with 75, and his four interceptions sit only one behind the Big Ten leader in that department, Blake Countess.

Any time these two teams get together, you can throw records out the window. The Maize and Blue aren't about to let the Buckeyes run roughshod through the Big House, but there is absolutely no way Meyer is going to let his team let down its guard as it is not only playing a bitter rival, but also for possible spot in the BCS National Championship Game.

coleryan Posts:11966 Followers:20
11/29/2013 03:00 PM

When Ohio State plays at Michigan here are five things to watch:

HOW CAN MICHIGAN WIN?:
Hoke said if he wasn't very confident his team could win, he'd call the game off. So, what does Hoke think the keys to victory are? "We have to stay away from negative plays offensively," he said. Michigan hasn't been able to do that all season, ranking 123rd and last among major college football teams with more than 100 plays stopped behind the line of scrimmage. "Defensively, we've got to do a great job in the rushing game," Hoke added. That will be tough, too. Hyde has run for 1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns in eight games. The senior has 100-plus yards rushing in six straight games

HISTORIC UPSETS:
By beating Indiana last week, the Buckeyes broke a school record they shared with the 1967-69 teams. Ohio State won the final four games of the 1967 and went undefeated the next season, including a 50-14 victory over Michigan. Buckeyes coach Woody Hayes went for a 2-point conversion late in the rout. When Hayes was later asked why he did it, he supposedly said, "Because I couldn't go for three!" The following year, with a team Hayes thought was his best in 28 years, the Schembechler-led Wolverines won 24-12. Since then, Michigan's biggest upset was a 13-9 win in 1996 as a 17-point underdog.

SEEKING REDEMPTION:
Ohio State has won eight of the last nine meetings with the lone loss coming two years ago in Ann Arbor. When Miller was a freshman on a team that had seven losses under interim coach Luke Fickell -- the most since 1897, the quarterback overthrew a wide-open DeVier Posey in the final minute for what could have been a game-winning 76-yard touchdown.

"It was heartbreaking," safety C.J. Barnett said. "We let the great state of Ohio down."

Now the Buckeyes get another chance to win at Michigan.

DISTRACTED BUCKS?:
Ohio State has already clinched a spot in next week's Big Ten championship game. A loss to Michigan would knock the Buckeyes out of the BCS title picture, but they could still earn a conference championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl by beating the Spartans in Indianapolis. Meyer, though, insisted it hasn't been difficult to get his players to focus on only the Wolverines. "Our motto this week is 'All lasers pointed at one dot,'" Meyer said. "That dot represents the focus we have on beating these guys."

MICHIGAN MEN:
Devin Gardner has scored five touchdowns in two different games this year, including against Indiana, who let him account for a school-record 585 yards of offense. The Hoosiers also gave up a Big Ten-record 369 yards receiving to Jeremy Gallon. Even though Michigan has struggled to consistently block well for the pass or run, its occasionally spectacular quarterback has gotten Meyer's attention. "He was unstoppable against Indiana," Meyer said. "I remember thinking, That's as good a quarterback as there is in America.'"

coleryan Posts:11966 Followers:20
11/29/2013 03:01 PM

There may never have been a Michigan-Ohio State game with so little sizzle.

Okay that's a bit of hyperbole, but it's not totally devoid of truth. Saturday marks the 110th rendition of The Game; in reality it's little more than Ohio State's tuneup for the Big Ten Championship. As important as these two programs will spin this game and for the sanctity of the rivalry, the game against team from East Lansing bares more importance― this year at least.

It wasn't that too long ago, thought it seems like a lifetime, that Michigan visited Michigan State with its division championship hopes still very much― fraudulently― in tact. Since the 29-6 loss, the Wolverines have entered a tailspin chock-full of identity-questioning, offensively-inept, whole-sale disappointment.

On the other end stands unbeaten Ohio State, comfortably locked in at No. 3 and needing impressive wins over Michigan and Michigan State in the Big Ten title game on Dec. 7 to harbor any chance of playing for a national championship. The Bucks certainly have been playing for attention, averaging 55.3 points per game over their last four―a span in which Michigan is just 1-3.

Essentially, Michigan has ben reduced to the role of sparring partner before the prize fight.

Sure the Wolverines have an opportunity to play spoiler at home with the unlikeliest of upsets. Though, given recent events and the way Michigan has played to date, there can't be many outside the locker room that gives them much of a shot.

By the program's own admission, missing out on the conference title makes this team and this season a failure. At 7-4 after Saturday's fall-from-ahead loss to Iowa, Michigan's campaign for a 10-win season is officially off the table. Conjure up all the Maize and Blue propaganda you want, but the Wolverines are playing to avoid embarrassment Saturday.

And perhaps to preserve jobs, too.

Reiterating a sentiment from earlier this season, calls for Hoke's firing are premature. Though nothing fuels the rabid like dysfunction. Three years into Hoke's tenure, this team should be further along complete with a clear-cut indication of what this team is about.

Instead, Michigan enters Ohio State week appearing destined for the chopping block. It's less about whether or not the Wolverines suffer the nearly-inevitable, but instead how they appear.

Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, without a doubt, will be looking to make a statement, not only to impress the pollsters but also leave a lasting impression as to the state of the rivalry. Ohio State won't be interested in showing mercy Saturday; they have entirely too much to play for.

Namely, finishing off Michigan's eulogy in route to Indianapolis.

The biggest knocks on Team 134 have been their apparent lack of toughness and lack of preparation. Those are not acceptable excuses against Ohio State.

If nothing else, the Wolverines owe this rivalry more. They owe the Buckeyes more. They owe the Spartans more.

They owe the Big Ten more.

Michigan has one final chance to settle its debt, before it's time to cut their losses on the season that was.