Nov. 14, 2016
Latest AP Rankings set the stage for epic showdown[NCAA College Football]
The rankings are out. After what was a wild weekend in college football that saw a lot of moving and shaking, the Associated Press released their new rankings on Sunday Truth be told, if the season ended today, the fresh rankings would give way to a scenario I have been dreaming of: A Michigan- Ohio State College Football Playoff matchup. Before I get into that, here are the Top Five rankings as follows. For the full rankings, click the link above.
2. Ohio State
Michigan was undefeated until Saturday, when they lost a gritty battle to the Iowa Hawkeyes by a 13-14 margin. In the meantime, Ohio State was perfect, up until they lost to Penn State 24-21 in front of a boisterous Happy Valley crowd. Both teams come into the game with flash. Don't believe me? Just take a look at their head coaches.
Urban Meyer while not necessarily loud in the press lets his rings do the talking, having won one in Columbus in 2014, and posting an overall record of 59-5 as Ohio State head man. Jim Harbaugh has yet to win a ring, but his bravado may make you think otherwise. That is not to say the numbers don't speak for themselves. Lat season he took a Wolverine program from the doldrums to the Citrus Bowl, finishing with a 10-3 mark and a 41-7 win in the bowl game. He is known for his passion for recruiting and the game, often being seen on the sidelines expressing his displeasure with officials.
Both teams come in the game tied for the top spot in the Big Ten East Standings. Michigan has been a perfect 3-0 against teams in the Associated Press and USA Today polls (3-0) while the Buckeyes have suffered only one loss against a ranked team. They are pretty similar in points too: The Buckeyes haves score 465 while giving up only 127, while the Wolverines have scored 445 and surrendered only 110.
Similar too are the offenses in terms of point production. Led by quarterback J.T. Barrett, Ohio State has scored 56.5 points per contest while letting up a stingy 12.7 points per contest. The Wolverines too can hang their hat on offensive explosion. With 44 points scored per game in comparison to only 11 given up, it is safe to say that , led by quarterback Wilton Speight, they are a force to be reckoned with.
Now, it all comes down to November 26 at the Horseshoe, where barring anything crazy, both will be in position to make the College Football Playoff. Whichever team wins will presumably put their foe on the outside looking in while also having an accelerated track to January football. The loser may have to watch from their couches in January. All eyes will be on the flash, the glitz and the glamour. After all, the moniker "The Game" evokes the echos of Bo Schembechler and Woody Hayes.
It has been a while since 'The Game" has been this big: 10 years to be exact. It is better for college football when both Ohio State and Michigan are elite, and that is certainly the case here. If you are a college football fan, you have to watch this game.
You may just see one of the greatest games ever played.