(Featured image courtesy of Eric Upchurch)
A Decade Ago
On November 17, 2006, we lost Bo, which was also the eve of “The Game of the Century” in Columbus. At that time, Michigan and Ohio State were also undefeated, ranked as the top two teams in the country, and about to play one of the most anticipated rivalry games in the last century.
For those old enough, I am sure you can think back and remember how you approached that special weekend filled with emotions. I remember this weekend vividly because that was also the day I got married that Saturday. I remember going to the airport and picking up my buddy who was in my wedding and well connected with the athletic department. He got a text that morning saying Bo passed away and our jaws dropped. We had a great weekend celebrating our wedding and in the days before social media, we taped the game and watched it at the after party with an open bar for all our close family and out of town guests.
History of “The Game”
Meeting Totals: 112
Overall Series: Michigan leads, 58-47-6
First Game: 1897, Michigan won 34-0
Longest Win Streak: Michigan, 9 (1901 to 1909)
Largest Victory: Michigan, 86-0
The last 10 years have given us some great highlights, but nothing like it was in 2006. College football is better when they are good and play in a close game at the end of the season because everyone loves to see them play undefeated with so much on the line.
Over the last 10 years, both teams have hired different coaches, endured many ups and downs with more for Michigan, a National Championship winner. Both are now highly ranked going into the second half of the season.
Michigan’s Path to 11-0
Michigan’s remaining schedule includes two tough road games that are definitely manageable in East Lansing and Iowa City, with no ranked teams until the showdown in Columbus. Several other teams outside the Big Ten have important games as well and are must wins to stay in the playoff conversation. If this game on November 26 is close and the loser has one loss, some also see both still getting in the College Football Playoff. We may end up with a handful of teams with one loss to determine where they get ranked in the end.
Michigan’s Most Recent Win Probabilities per S&P+:
at MSU: 97%
at Iowa: 92%
at OSU: 61%
Will both be undefeated? I took this question to Twitter and below are the final results with 85% saying yes.
Fan Poll: Will Michigan and Ohio State both be undefeated when they play on Nov. 26?
— David Noe (@DavidRNoe) October 18, 2016
It’s still only October and I know there are many games still on the schedule until Thanksgiving weekend. Knowing there’s a scenario brewing similar to 20o6, it would be THE biggest game of the year in college football if both are undefeated and ranked at the top with so much at stake.
Follow me on Twitter: @DavidRNoe