Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Michigan Wolverines
Date and Time: Saturday, November 25, 2017, 12 p.m. ET
Location: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
Opening College Football Odds: Ohio State -10
Ohio State vs. Michigan TV Coverage: FOX
It's entirely possible the Buckeyes don't need any further help either. With wins over Michigan and Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game, they'll have an 11-2 record with one palatable loss and an inexcusable no-show to go with a slew of relatively good victories. Ohio State will have national appeal and a good history on its side, and though that shouldn't matter to the Selection Committee, it could be enough to sneak in at No. 4.
Urban Meyer has stressed taking care of the business that the Buckeyes can handle, and that means winning this game.
To beat the Wolverines, you have to run the football, and that means a lot of J.K Dobbins and Mike Weber.
Weber sort of fell out of favor this season for some unknown reason, but he still has 545 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 6.8 yards per carry. Dobbins, though, is one of the top freshmen in the country this year. If not for Jonathan Taylor at Wisconsin, he would be the top running back in the Big Ten with his 1,089 yards and six scores.
That 1-2 punch has given J.T. Barrett all the time in the world to stand in the pocket and pick off opposing defenses. With 32 touchdowns against seven interceptions, Barrett is one of the better quarterbacks in the country, and he'll surely still have a shot at winning the Heisman Trophy with a good showing.
Michigan's season sort of fell apart when it ran into the big boys. The Wolverines were hyped this year as being one of the teams to beat in the Big Ten, but in the end, they didn't have the goods against Michigan State, Penn State or Wisconsin.
When you really look at the body of work Jim Harbaugh's team has put together, it isn't impressive. The best win of the bunch was against Minnesota, and that isn't saying much of anything. There's a reason this team was only -7 against Indiana and was +6.5 against Wisconsin.
Matchup to Watch
Time and time again, quarterbacks have to make plays in this series to lead their team to victory. Over the course of the last several seasons, that's meant Barrett or one of the Ohio State pivots doing things to make big plays.
Brandon Peters has a concussion and may not be able to play in this one, and Wilton Speight's season is already over with. That leaves John O'Korn, the worst of the three passers on this team to quarterback the squad if that's what this comes to.
O'Korn only has one touchdown pass all season long. If he can't throw at least two touchdowns in this game, there's no way the Wolverines stick even remotely close.
Ohio State vs. Michigan Free Picks
The Buckeyes aren't exactly a runaway freight train at the moment, but we do think they've got a real shot at winning the National Championship.
Still, this is a rivalry game, and a really big one at that, and OSU is going to be one of the more public teams on the board. This series has had plenty of blowouts, but when you really go back and look at it, the Buckeyes have only really blown the doors off of the Wolverines once since 2011.
Ten isn't a lot of points that we've been given by the top college football sportsbooks, but we think it's going to be just enough to land a cover with Big Blue.
College Football ATS Pick: Ohio State -9 at BookMaker.eu
College Football Score Prediction: Ohio State 40, Michigan 27