Saturday, November 19, 2005

Game of the Year

Michigan vs. Ohio State - Enough said. It's another beautiful day here in Ann Arbor.

Almost every major sporting website has the Michigan-Ohio State matchup featured as their front page article:

Well, except for those that somehow feel that discussing the anniversary of the Pistons/Pacers brawl from last year is somehow more important:

There seems to be no consensus on this game. Vegas has settled on listing Ohio State as three point favorites. Three out of four of CBS Sportline's "experts" have picked Michigan to come out on top. One of the staff on the Michigan's own school paper, the Michigan Daily, went against his own school, although four out the five picked Michigan. USA Today has Ohio State winning easily, 24-10, while Fox Spots has Michigan listed as their favorite.

As you can see, there is no consensus on this matchup. Both teams are coming into this game brimming with confidence, and all you can really predict with confidence is an exciting football game. I expect to see huge games from both Steve Breaston and Ted Ginn, Jr, with 175+ All Purpose Yards and a touchdown from each of them. The return of Michael Hart is going to be huge - I fully expect a 100+ yards rushing from Hart. I believe Michigan's defense in the second half of the season has been underrated, and I fully expect them to be ready for this game. Michigan has handled mobile quarterbacks much better this season, and I don't expect Troy Smith to be as big of a factor as he was last year. In the end, I'm predicting a 38-34 win for Michigan.

People have been giving Michigan State a lot more respect this week than I expected. Vegas has Michigan State listed as 8-point underdogs. On paper, this one looks like a blowout. I would've expected Penn State to be listed as 24-point favorites. All along, I've though that Michigan State has what it takes to pull out a win.

Michigan State did not end up bowl eligible last year, and needs a win today to become bowl eligible. John L. Smith has all kinds of tricks up his sleeve, and I expect him to pull out every trick play you can imagine today. With home field advantage, I believe a hungry Michigan State has what it takes to eke out a win. Expect a huge offensive battle. Final score: Michigan State 41-Penn State 38