Who: No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0) vs. No. 10 Michigan State Spartans (11-1)
What: Big Ten Championship
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
When: Saturday, December 7th at 8:17 PM ET
TV Channel: FOX
Without Auburn upsetting in-state rival, and then-No. 1, Alabama last week, Ohio State wouldn’t have jumped from No. 3 to No. 2 in the BCS rankings. The Crimson Tide’s loss helped put the Buckeyes in the National Championship talk. But before OSU books their flight to Pasadena for the title game, they must beat Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game.
One of the main reasons the Spartans haven’t lost since September is due to their top-ranked defense. MSU’s defense ranks No. 4 in the country allowing 11.8 points per game. Michigan State tops the Big Ten in rushing defense and passing defense. They have held opponents to 14 points or less in eight out of 12 games this season.
On the other hand, the Buckeyes bring one of the best offenses in the country to Lucas Oil Stadium. Ohio State ranks No. 3 in the nation, scoring 48.2 points per game. OSU’s offense has been successful all season long because of their top five ranked rushing attack, running for 321.3 yards per game. Quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde have over 2,100 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns, combined.
Will Michigan State beat the Buckeyes and spoil their championship hopes? Or will Ohio State continue their winning streak under Head Coach Urban Meyer? Let’s check in and see what some of our favorite bloggers have to say.
“This B1G title game is as good as it gets. You have national college football implications on the line. BCS National title hopes and Rose Bowl determination is at stake. So as much flak and critique as the B1G receives, and it’s well deserved at times, you can’t ask for a bigger and better B1G title game than #2 Ohio State vs #10 Michigan State.”
“Michigan State finished with a perfect conference mark for the first time since their famous season of 1966. The Buckeyes are on a school record 24 game winning streak, tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in Big Ten history.”
Prediction: Michigan State 27, Ohio State 17
“It’s the unstoppable force versus the immovable object, and as cliche as that phrase has become, it will essentially be the overriding storyline of No. 2 Ohio State playing No. 10 Michigan State in the Big Ten championship game Saturday.”
“Statistically, Michigan State (11-1, 8-0 Big Ten) ranks No. 1 in total defense (237.7 yards per game), No. 1 in rushing defense (64.8 yards per game) and No. 1 in pass efficiency defense (91.79 rating). The Spartans rank No. 2 in third-down conversion defense (28.7 percent).”
“And then in the red corner, led by Heisman Trophy QB candidate Braxton Miller, there’s the Buckeyes’ offense.Ohio State, traveling to Indianapolis with a chance to clinch a spot in the BCS national championship game, ranks No. 6 in total offense (530.5 yards per game), No. 2 in rushing offense (321.3 yards per game), No. 7 in pass efficiency (164.00 rating) and No. 9 in third-down conversion offense (52.1 percent).”
“This game is why people love football. It pits two philosophically different teams that impose their will on the opponent: Michigan State through its grinding defense; Ohio State through its counters and dives until a big play opens. In order for the Spartans to win this matchup, they must remain patient. Their defense must limit Ohio State’s big plays, as well as spy Braxton Miller at all times.”
“Michigan State is not a team designed to come from behind. They rank 13th in the Big Ten in passing, and can not afford a large deficit early in the game.”
“If this game is close in the second half, watch for Urban Meyer to grab momentum through special teams. His best teams have excelled in the game’s third phase, and Meyer reads the pulse of a game better than, perhaps, any active coach.”
“The Big Ten Championship Game is squaring up to resemble a boxing match where both competitors trade body blows for 12 rounds. It should be an excellent contest in what can truly be considered Meyer’s first big game as Buckeyes head coach.”
The two top Big Ten teams will clash on the field to continue their successful seasons. There are lot of BCS bowl implications on the line for both teams, depending on who wins and who loses. Ohio State needs to win or else their National Championship dreams are lost. On the other hand, a Michigan State victory would take them to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1988. Not to mention, the Spartans would end the Buckeyes’ nation-leading 24-game winning streak. No matter what happens, it’s safe to say OSU and MSU will give it their all on Saturday in a pivotal conference championship game.
Aaron Siegal-Eisman (@ASiegalEisman) is a regular contributor of NCAAM, NCAAF and NFL coverage to the movoli blog.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in movoli blogs are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of movoli.
Want to be featured in a future post? Send your predictions to @movoliSports!
Movoli connects you with people around the sports events you care about most. The big game. The highly-anticipated matchup. Experience the game with friends. Come join us at movoli.com, where sports meets social media.
- Big Ten Championship Game: Key players (bloguin.com)
- Ohio State vs. Michigan State: Big Ten Betting Odds Analysis and Prediction (bleacherreport.com)
- Dienhart: Finally, a big B1G title game (btn.com)