“The Game”, a rivalry that needs no other name. A rivalry that goes further than just a football game and bleeds into both states’ cultures. Though “The Game” has massive implications on its own, it means more this year. This season’s Michigan-Ohio State match-up will be for a trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten championship and a potential College Football Playoff berth.
No one has won more Big Ten titles than Michigan football and Ohio State in college football’s long and storied history.
Ohio State, which has dominated both the Big Ten and its rivalry with Michigan, will be looking for its third Big Ten championship and third Playoff berth under third-year head coach Ryan Day.
The Wolverines, however, have not had much luck. Michigan is 3-17 against the Buckeyes since 2000 and has not won a Big Ten title since 2004, meaning the Wolverines are yet to appear in a Big Ten championship game, as it was introduced in 2011.
Since the arrival of Jim Harbaugh in 2015, Michigan is 0-5 against Ohio State (the two teams did not face off in 2020), with four of the five losses were decided by 11 or more points. This year’s match-up will mark the third time that the Wolverines will come into “The Game” with a 10-1 record, along with a trip to the Big Ten championship game and potential playoff appearance on the line.
A Michigan win would see the Wolverines finish the regular season 11-1 and send them to Indianapolis to play for a Big Ten championship, plus an opportunity to play in the College Football Playoff.
For the Buckeyes, a win would be business as usual. For Michigan football, however, a win could change their fortunes both in the rivalry and with recruiting.
Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines need to prove that they can win big games, beat their rivals, and compete for championships sooner rather than later, and later is coming fast.