The time has come. This is the most important week of the football season for many teams, and that certainly applies to the Michigan Wolverines as they take on their nemesis, the Ohio State Buckeyes. It will be a competition that will determine a lot for the rest of the season. The winner gets a place in the Big Ten championship and probably in the college football playoffs.
Let’s take a deep dive into the week of rivalry and Michigan vs. Ohio State on Saturday.
Number 3 Michigan Wolverines vs. No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes
- TELEVISION: FOX
- Broadcast: Sling TV
- Time: Noon
- Location: Columbus, Ohio
- Weather: 47 degrees overcast
- DraftKings odds: OSU-7.5, OU: 56, ml: OSU -295, MIS +245
- Best bet (15-18): OSU -295
This is one of the toughest games this season. In the attack, the Wolverines and the Deer were no different. Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud is one of the best long-range ball throwers in the country, and Marvin Harrison Jr. is arguably the best in the country. They like to start football and increase the score by playing in the air.
Then there is Michigan, a ground and pound team that dominates possession and outruns their opponents. Heisman-hopeful Blake Corum is having one of the best running seasons this millennium, outpacing former Heisman defenders like Reggie Bush, Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram. The Wolverines rely on curves, don’t break defenses, limit opportunities and return the ball.
The problem is that both sides get injured and who knows who is playing this game? Corum left the competition last week due to a knee injury. His status is up in the air, but many assume that he plays some role. The same can be said for Donovan Edwards, who has missed the last two games and has been capped several times this year. Michigan’s top rusher Mike Morris also missed last week after hitting Nebraska. The offensive line, while a semi-finalist for the Joe Moore Award, went through several different starting rotations.
As for Ohio State, Jackson Smith-Njigba, his top wide receiver in 2021, has been low on the field this season. Can he return to The Game? In addition, both running backs, Mian Williams and TreVion Henderson, were recently beaten.
Michigan hasn’t won in Columbus since 2000, his win last year snapping an eight-loss streak against the Buckeyes. My heart cries out for Michigan, but in my head I lean towards Ohio. I’ll insure my happiness by investing some money in the Buckeyes on Saturday.
No. 5 LSU Tigers against. Texas A&M Aggis
- TELEVISION: ESPN
- Broadcast: Sling TV
- Time: 19:00 ET
- Location: College Station, Texas
- Weather: 57 degrees overcast
- DraftKings odds: SML-10, OU: 47.5, ml: LSU -390, AiM +320
- Best bet (15-18): AiM +10
Saturday night I’ll be working on two screens, starting with a really intriguing game between LSU and Texas A&M. The Tigers climbed to No. 5 after playing a conference opponent in the penultimate week of the season. They are the highest-ranked team with two defeats in the college football playoff era.
The Tigers lost to Florida State in the first week and then lost at home to Tennessee by 27 points. Another crazy fact is that this is LSU’s fourth and final road game of the season, in which it has taken on some of the worst teams in the SEC. Two weeks ago, Arkansas was on the verge of a touchdown, Florida came back to turn the game into a game, and Auburn even started a 17-0 game against the Tigers before LSU came back to win.
Texas A&M has been one of the biggest college football upsets this season after entering the No. 1 class in the nation. His 20-3 win over UMass last week snapped a six-game losing streak, but here’s what’s important – Jimbo Fischer is getting his teams ready for these ranked games. The Aggies are 2-2 up against top 25 opponents this season and lost just four points on the road to Alabama in early October. Ole Miss then came to College Station and ran away after winning only three points.
I think this Saturday game has the makings of a tiger trap game. All their focus is on Georgia and the glitz and glamor of a college football playoff venue. I have a feeling this could be a lot closer than expected and Aggie might well get upset if LSU isn’t careful.
No. 15 Notre Dame is at war with the Irish vs. no. 6 USK Trojans
- TELEVISION: ABC
- Broadcast: Sling TV
- Time: 7:30 pm ET
- Location: Los Angeles, California
- Weather: 66 degrees, partly cloudy
- DraftKings odds: USK-5.5, OU: 64.5 ml: ND +180, USK -210
- Best bet (15-18): USK -5.5
Notre Dame has quietly had a hell of a season under freshman head coach Marcus Freeman. It was like a roller coaster as he lost to Marshall at home and a bad team from Stanford earlier in the season. However, the Irish have three defeats against ranked rivals – BYU and Clemson at home and Syracuse away.
For USC, meanwhile, freshman head coach Lincoln Riley took a team that had gone 4-8 last season and made it a collegiate playoff contender with a handful of transfers. Quarterback Caleb Williams deserves more credit talking to Heisman, and he just threw for 470 yards in a big win over UCLA last week. The Trojans’ only defeat came on the way to Utah, one of the toughest places to play in the country.
The two collide at the best time for both programs. Notre Dame could use another win to help move them towards a big 2023 season, while USC could use the same sentiment this year. A win and a tight game or loss for LSU could be enough to push the Trojans to 4th place this weekend. For underdog Michigan/Ohio State, this is probably the most important game to watch on Saturday night.