2023 Ohio State University
This weekend the Buckeyes will prepare to take on the Wolverines of That Team Up North for the 119th in yet another undefeated matchup between the sports two winningest programs of all time. However, this 2023 meeting may go down as one of the most important games in the rivalry’s history and will mark the end of an era for "The Game" as we know it.
Starting next season, the Big Ten is removing divisions and the top two teams from the conference will face in the championship game to decide the Big Ten Champion. Meaning that there is a chance that the Buckeyes could potentially take on their rivals in back-to-back weekends. The College Football Playoffs is also expanding to twelve teams and that creates a scenario where the Buckeyes could take on their rival three times in a single season.
The winner of this year’s game will finish the regular season and move on to the Big Ten Championship game and will likely find themselves playing for a national title in the playoffs. The loser of "The Game" this year will find themselves in a New Years Six bowl game, but will no doubt be disappointed with the outcome of their season.
With Ohio State having lost back-to-back games to their rivals, the Buckeyes Head Coach Ryan Day finds himself on the edge of a potential hot seat going into next season if he falls to his rival for the third straight year. Day's counterpart on the sidelines in Jim Harbaugh was suspended for the final three games of the season by the Big Ten and that put Offensive Coordinator Sherrone Moore in charge of gameday operations. This should give Day a massive advantage and if he were to lose than his ability to lead this team in the future will no doubt come into question.
Check out this week's game preview with Alek Koberna and Derek Dimit on Believeland Prep's "Buckeye Breakdown!"
Score Prediction: OSU defeats TTUN 27-24
Betting Line: Opened - [ OSU +5.5 | O/U 46.5 ]
As of Nov. 22nd - [ OSU +3.0 | O/U 45.5 ]
Ohio State heads into Ann Arbor as an underdog to their rival who has beaten them in each of the last two years. While there is some controversy on the legitimacy of those wins due to the ongoing scandal sweeping the NCAA this season, the Buckeyes still choked hard in the second halves of their last two games against their rivals. Both times the Buckeyes were close in the second half and a couple of big plays later they were out of the competition and embarrassed in front of college football's largest audience. This game is one of the hardest games to bet this season as neither team has faced an offense that is as good as the one they will face this weekend and neither team has faced a defense that is as good as the one they will face this weekend.
However, historical data from the last five matchups suggest that the over is one of the best bets to take this weekend. Over the last five renditions of "The Game" the two teams have combined for a score of 74.4 with a high of 101 combined points in 2018 and a low of 51 points in 2017. My predicted score would match that low over the last five meetings at 51 points but would still be enough to clear the over.
The spread in this game is virtually useless as the odds currently sit about the same as the moneyline. Take whichever team you think is going to win. With a margin of error so tight this week there is virtually no way to predict which way this will go. Only one of the last eight games has ended with a point differential less than ten.
How to Watch & Listen:
TV: 12:00 p.m. ET, FOX Big Noon Kickoff
- Gus Johnson (Play-by-Play), Joel Klatt (Analysis), Jenny Taft (Sideline)
Radio: WBNS-FM/AM (97.1/1460)
- Paul Keels (Play-by-Play), Jim Lachey (Analysis), Matt Andrews (Sideline)