Though No. 4 Michigan stands as the bigger rivalry for both schools, No. 10 Ohio State and No. 18 Michigan State have plenty of tension among themselves. The truth is that recent games between these two Big Ten programs have had a far greater impact on the conference for most of the past decade. After all, these teams met in Indianapolis for the Big Ten title back in 2013. Since 2014, when they were united in the same division, their annual meeting has helped decide the conference. Ohio State won the 2014 and 2017 games as well as the Big Ten East both seasons. In 2015, it was Michigan State that emerged victorious and went on to win the division.
While Michigan State’s Big Ten title hopes are more a fantasy than a reality right now, there’s still plenty on the line for Ohio State in this one. Since the Buckeyes lost to Purdue, the entire country has seemingly written off their College Football Playoff hopes, but the truth is this team is still alive. It needs to beat Michigan State today, Maryland next week and then there’s the Michigan game. If the Buckeyes can win those three games and then defeat the Big Ten West champion, likely to be Northwestern, they’ll be in the playoff picture.
Now, saying it is a lot easier than doing it, and Ohio State has given us all plenty of reasons to be skeptical it can. But if it’s going to, it needs to start today against a Spartans team that would love nothing more than to crush its dreams.
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