Two of the most arrogant coaches in all of college football, football period, for that matter, will have their season defined on November 26, 2016 when the Ohio State Buckeyes host the Michigan Wolverines. The Big 10 program leaders of the Buckeyes and Wolverines, Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh respectively, lead their squads into what will easily be the biggest regular season matchup of the 2016-17 college football regular season, if both bench bosses can keep their teams perfect heading into Thanksgiving weekend. Albeit a long shot, an Alabama Crimson Tide loss, could possibly present a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup for that Ohio State versus Michigan affair at 12 p.m. ET on Nov. 26 at Ohio Stadium.
Ohio State (6-0) is currently No #2 in the Associated Press college football poll, while Michigan 6-0) is No #3.
The College Football Playoff is noisily beginning to gather steam and the winner of the Big Ten East is a virtual lock to be a part of the 2017 College Football Final Four. Both schools have played a solid schedule, they are perennial powers, and both will have earned the playoff slot by winning their way through a number of games versus quality conference opponents.
Neither the Buckeyes nor the Wolverines, when accessing the two team’s schedules, appear to have a significant edge heading into their late November showdown. Michigan readies for their Big House Homecoming contest this weekend against Illinois followed by instate rival Michigan State in Lansing, then a trio of conference tests, vs. Maryland, @Iowa, and back home to square off against Indiana. Ohio State travels to Beaver Stadium this weekend to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions, and then is back home in Ohio to tangle with Northwestern and Nebraska before once again playing two straight road tilts, @Maryland an @Michigan State before the high noon pigskin shootout at the Ohio Corral versus their arch enemy.
At this point call me crazy but I like Michigan’s chances of finding their way to the Big 10 Championship contest. Yes, there is the matter of defeating Ohio State and Michigan State to find their way to the pseudo championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 3rd. Call me nuts that I believe the Wolverines have the power offensive line to run the ball in December events and be defensively more physical than their scheduled foes over the next handful of Saturday’s. If I am right, however, this is the formula that has made Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide the best team in football over the last half decade, and it is this kind of football scheme that is best suited to challenge the Tide in this year’s College Football FBS Championship.
At the risk of offending Big 10 faithful, Michigan plays SEC-style football, and is the “Most Likely to Succeed” the rest of the 2016 campaign and square off against ‘Bama on Monday night, January 9th, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
While there is a lot of football left to play before what I believe to be the true Big Ten Championship Game on Nov 26th in Columbus, Ohio, both Urban Meyer and Jim Harbaugh’s 2016 season will be defined not by who wins the matchup next month — but who loses.
The South Point Race and Sportsbook has updated their 2016-17 College Football National Championship Futures;