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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ohio State vs Michigan Preview - Ticket Prices - Playoff Bubble Teams

Ohio State vs Michigan Preview

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No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Michigan
Saturday, November 26th, 2016, Noon ET
Ohio Stadium (104,955), Columbus, OH
Chris Fowler (Play-By-Play)
Kirk Herbstreit (Analyst)
Sam Ponder (Sideline)
Tom Rinaldi (Sideline)
Radio: WBNS FM (97.1 The Fan) The Urban Meyer pregame show airs 30 minutes prior to kickoff. Paul Keels will call the action with former Buckeye Jim Lachey and Matt Andrews on the sidelines. The game can also be heard nationally on ESPN Radio and Sirius/XM College Sports Nation channel 84.
  • Saturday will be the 11th meeting with each team ranked in the Top 5 of the Associated Press poll (6-3-1 in favor of Ohio State).
  • Ohio State has won four consecutive games over Michigan, which is tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in this series.
  • Twenty-one (21) Ohio State seniors will experience their final home game Saturday.
  • Ohio State is averaging 43.8 points per game, fifth-best in the FBS. The Buckeyes have totaled 482 points through 11 games this season, the fourth most in school history.
  • Ohio State has allowed an average of just 7.3 points over the past three games. The Buckeyes lead the nation in pass efficiency defense (88.05) and rank second in defensive TDs (6), third in scoring defense (13.0), third in passing yards allowed (159.5), fourth in total defense (279.8), fourth in TO margin (+1.27) and fifth with 17 total interceptions.
  • Ohio State’s defense has given up just 12 touchdowns this season and has allowed only four rushing touchdowns, both tied for the second fewest in the FBS.
  • Mike Weber became just the third Ohio State freshman to rush for 1,000 yards after his 111-yard performance at Michigan State. Robert Smith (1990) and Maurice Clarett (2002) are the other two.
  • J.T. Barrett, who holds the Ohio State career record for touchdowns responsible for (99), is seven shy of the conference record of 106 held by Purdue’s Drew Brees. Barrett leads the Big Ten with 24 passing TDs.
  • Urban Meyer is 18-1 in the month of November at Ohio State and is 4-0 all-time vs. Michigan at Ohio State.
  • Meyer has the highest career winning percentage (.854) among active coaches with at least 10 years at an FBS school.
Ohio State vs. Michigan is always one of the great sports weeks in all of sports and that week is upon us. No. 2, 10-1 and 7-1 Big Ten East Ohio State hosts No. 3, 10-1 and 7-1 Big Ten East Michigan Saturday at 12 noon in Ohio Stadium. This is the 11th time the teams are playing with each team ranked in the Top 5 of the Associated Press poll (6- 3-1 in favor of Ohio State). This is the 113th game in a series that began in 1897. ABC will televise the game – as it almost always does – to a national audience with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Sam Ponder describing the action.
Expect the Ohio Stadium record attendance of 108,975, set last year against Michigan State, to fall this week. And, since Ohio Stadium will actually decrease in attendance with the removal of 2,600 less-than-ideal seats in 2018 as part of a renovation project that will preserve and upgrade parts of the stadium, this could be an attendance record well into the foreseeable future.
Large Times in Ohio Stadium
Record crowd: 108,975 vs. MSU in 2015
Largest OSU/UM crowd: 108,610 in 2014
ESPN’s College Game Day will be in Columbus, neatly nestled in the area in the southeast corner outside Ohio Stadium and beneath the bell tower. That location is just for the first three-and-a-half hours, though. An extended, five-hour Game Day is scheduled for this week with the final 90 minutes to be aired at field level inside of Ohio Stadium near the southwest corner.
This will be the 37th time Ohio State has played a game situated at a College Game Day site. Saturday will also mark the 15th time Ohio State has hosted Game Day. The Buckeyes are 10-4 when hosting.
  1. Michigan controls its Big Ten championship fate. Win and the Wolverines represent the east division for the first time in the Big Ten title game against the west representative, either Wisconsin or Nebraska.
  2. Ohio State needs a win Saturday and a Penn State loss at home to Michigan State to advance to its third Big Ten title game.
  3. Penn State is also looking for its first Big Ten championship game experience and needs a win over the Spartans in a 3:30 p.m. game plus an Ohio State victory to advance.
The Ohio State/Michigan game this week represents the 113th meeting between the teams and the 99th consecutive year the teams have played. While Michigan leads the all-time series with 58 wins against 47 losses and six ties, Ohio State has been victorious in 12 of the last 14 meetings. Note: all Ohio State records vs. Michigan exclude the vacated, 2010 victory in Columbus.
Michigan won 19 of the first 24 games (with two ties) in this series, which dates to 1897, but since the 1951 season and the arrival of Woody Hayes, Ohio State leads the series 35-27-2.
Ohio State has won four consecutive games over Michigan, which is tied for the fourth-longest winning streak in this series. Michigan owns the longest such streak: nine games between 1901-09.
OSU/UM Series Win Streaks
9 – Michigan, 1901-09
6 – Ohio State, 2004-09
6 – Michigan, 1922-27
4 – Ohio State, 2012-current
4 – Michigan, 1988-91
4 – Ohio State, 1960-63
4 – Michigan, 1945-48
4 – Ohio State, 1934-37
  • Since Ohio State’s first win over Michigan in 1919, the series tilts in Ohio State’s favor by a 47-45-4 margin.
  • Ohio State vs. Michigan has ended the regular season every year since 1935 except one: in 1942 Ohio State ended the season vs. the Iowa Seahawks.
  • In 1950 the famous “Snow Bowl” game with Michigan was played in Columbus. Michigan won, 9-3, scoring a safety and a touchdown off blocked punts. Michigan’s Chuck Ortmann punted 24 times; Ohio State’s Heisman winning Vic Janowicz punted 21 times.
  • In 1963 Ohio State defeated Michigan in Ann Arbor, 14-10, in a game that was delayed a week while the nation mourned the death of President John F. Kennedy.
  • The Ohio State vs. Michigan rivalry was named the greatest rivalry of the 20th century by ESPN.com in 1999. Ali vs. Frazier was No. 2.
  • Michigan has a Big Ten-best 42 conference championships; Ohio State is second with 35
Ohio State is 25-27-2 vs. Michigan in Columbus and 22-31-4 vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor.

LOOK: Michigan-Ohio State tickets going for more than seats to Auburn-Alabama

The annual regular-season finale between Ohio State and Michigan is always one of the most anticipated games of the college football season, and with so much on the line in this year's game, things are ramped up a bit more.
For instance, if you're thinking of purchasing tickets to the game, it will cost you more for your ticket on the secondary market than any other college football game of the 2016 season so far. Even more than this weekend's Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn in Tuscaloosa. A ticket to that game will set you back $400.
A ticket to Ohio State and Michigan will cost you $595 -- nearly $200 more.
According to Ticket City, the next highest median price for a ticket to any game this season was $372 to see Oklahoma and Ohio State in Norman.
This isn't just the highest price for a game this season, it's also the most expensive ticket in recent history for this rivalry game. The $595 price is $370 more than last year's game ticket cost, and the most since 2012 when tickets were $299.
For what it's worth, watching it at home won't cost you anything.

Andrew Vailliencourt
Monday November 21st, 2016
It should be a pretty easy week for the College Football Playoff selection committee, as Louisville was the only team in the top 10 to lose over the weekend. Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and Clemson all picked up wins leading into rivalry week. 
There are only 10 teams left with plausible paths to the playoff: the eight teams below, Colorado and Florida.
Before the rankings are released, here’s a look at the cases for and against eight teams in playoff contention, ordered by their likelihood of appearing in the top four this week. (We're using this week's AP Top 25 Poll for rankings of opponents, since last week's playoff rankings are now outdated.)

Alabama (11–0)

Strength of schedule (via Sagarin ratings): 15
Last week: Won 31–3 vs. Chattanooga
This week: vs. No. 16 Auburn
Best wins: vs. No. 12 USC, at No. 25 LSU, vs. No. 22 Texas A&M, at No. 24 Tennessee
Losses: None
Case for: It's easy, Alabama is the only undefeated Power 5 conference team in the country and has been dominant in almost every game. The Crimson Tide make the playoff by winning one of their final two games against rival Auburn or against Florida for the SEC championship. Winning both will lock Alabama in as the No. 1 seed.
Case against: None. The only way Alabama doesn't make the playoff is by losing to both Auburn and Florida. That would potentially open the door for Florida, but only if the Gators also beat Florida State
Consensus: In. Doesn't get any easier for the committee.

Ohio State (10–1)

Strength of schedule: 23
Last week: Won 17–16 at Michigan State
This week: vs. No. 3 Michigan
Best wins: at No. 5 Wisconsin, at No. 7 Oklahoma, vs. No. 17 Nebraska
Losses: at No. 8 Penn State
Case for: It's simple for Ohio State: beat Michigan and it's in the playoff. A one-loss Ohio State with wins over Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Nebraska could end up the No. 2 seed in the playoff even without a Big Ten championship. Clemson doesn't have a strong enough opponent left on the schedule to jump the Buckeyes. Beating Michigan, however, is no easy task. The Buckeyes luck out being the host, and Michigan may be starting John O'Korn at quarterback again instead of Wilton Speight due to injury. Michigan's defense is still one of the best in the country and anything can happen in rivalry games. 
Case against: Ohio State didn't play well against Michigan State. You actually can make the case for Michigan being No. 2 this week, as the Wolverines beat a better team in Indiana. If Penn State beats Michigan State this week and Ohio State wins, the Nittany Lions win the Big Ten East. It shouldn't be an issue, but the thought in the back of every Buckeye fan's mind is whether the committee could actually leave out a one-loss OSU because it wasn't a conference champion. It remains a very slim possibility, but never say never. 
Consensus: In. Ohio State has a great résumé. 

Michigan (10–1)

Strength of schedule: 51
Last week: Won 20–10 vs. Indiana
This week: at No. 2 Ohio State
Best wins: vs. No. 5 Wisconsin, vs. No. 8 Penn State, vs. No. 9 Colorado
Losses: at Iowa
Case for: Michigan knocked off Indiana in a snowy affair to move to 10–1. The Wolverines started slow, but played much better in the second half against a much improved Indiana defense. Michigan will win the Big Ten East with a win at Ohio State. This alone would put Michigan in very good position to make the playoff as Michigan would be the only team in the country to own four top-10 wins. A win in the Big Ten title game would assure the Wolverines the No. 2 seed in the playoff. 
Case against: Beating Ohio State on the road will be quite the challenge. Michigan hasn't played well on the road this season, and might be starting its backup quarterback again. Michigan may well miss the playoff if it loses to Ohio State.  
Consensus: In. Michigan is the only team in the nation with three top 10 wins right now, and is more than deserving of a top four ranking.

Clemson (10–1)

Strength of schedule: 34
Last week: Won 35–13 at Wake Forest
This week: vs. South Carolina
Best wins: vs. No. 11 Louisville, at No. 15 Florida State, at No. 16 Auburn
Losses: vs. Pittsburgh
Case for: Clemson will play for the ACC title after beating Wake Forest. The Tigers will be heavily favored in that game, and assuming they beat a struggling South Carolina, will make the playoff with a win. Clemson hasn't been particularly impressive, but it has taken care of business and has earned its straightforward path to the national semifinals.  
Case against: Clemson probably will miss the playoff if it loses another game. A two-loss Clemson likely would get jumped by both a two-loss Big 12 champion Oklahoma and two-loss Pac 12 champion Colorado (should it beat Washington). It also likely would also be jumped by a potential 11–2 Michigan and a two-loss Big Ten champion. Simply put, don't lose and Clemson is safe.
Consensus: In. Clemson still has a stronger resume than Washington, for now.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Washington (10–1)

Strength of schedule: 65
Last week: Won 44–18 vs. Arizona State
This week: at No. 23 Washington State
Best wins: at No. 21 Utah, vs. Stanford
Losses: vs. No. 12 USC
Case for: Washington got back on track with a win over Arizona State. Next up is a huge road test against rival Washington State for the division title. Pac 12 playoff hopes rely on the Huskies winning this game. Obviously, the league's best chance is if Washington wins out, something that is certainly possible and would probably land the Huskies in the top four. However, should Colorado wish to have a chance, the committee would value a conference title win against the Huskies far more than the Cougars.
Case against: Washington's best win took a hit when Utah lost on Saturday, and with Washington State losing, there's a possibility it could fall out of the rankings, meaning Washington would have to wait until the conference title game to pick up another ranked win. Strength of schedule is still very poor. Another loss would knock Washington out of playoff contention and open the door for two Big Ten teams, Colorado, Oklahoma or Florida. 
Consensus: Out. With a win this week, Washington should jump ahead of the Michigan-Ohio State loser. 

Wisconsin (9–2)

Strength of schedule: 18
Last week: Won 49–20 at Purdue
This week: vs. Minnesota
Best wins: vs. No. 24 LSU, vs. No. 17 Nebraska
Losses: vs. No. 2 Ohio State, at No. 3 Michigan
Case for: Wisconsin continues to have the best résumé of all two-loss teams. For Wisconsin to make the playoff, it needs to win the Big Ten championship game, preferably against Michigan as that would look better than a win over Penn State. The Badgers would also benefit greatly from either Clemson or Washington losing. Washington falling is more likely simply based on strength of opponents left. First things first, however, Wisconsin must beat Minnesota. 
Case against: If Wisconsin loses another game, it will miss out on the playoff. There will not be a three-loss team in the final four (sorry, USC). The only likely scenario that a Big Ten champion Wisconsin doesn't make the playoff is if Alabama, Clemson, Washington and Ohio State all win out (and Penn State handles Michigan State). This would create a toss-up between Wisconsin and Washington. Both are conference champions, Wisconsin has a better strength of schedule, but also has two-losses. 
Consensus: Out. Despite it's advantage in strength of schedule, I don't think Wisconsin will jump Washington. 

Penn State (9–2)

Strength of schedule: 35
Last week: Won 39–0 at Rutgers
This week: vs. Michigan State
Best wins: vs. No. 2 Ohio State
Losses: at Pittsburgh, at No. 3 Michigan
Case for: Penn State gets the nod over Oklahoma for the same reason as last week: a better win. That win against the Buckeyes continues to hold Penn State up in the playoff race. If Ohio State beats Michigan and Penn State beats Michigan State, Penn State wins the Big Ten East. This likely would allow the Nittany Lions a chance to beat Wisconsin in the league title game. For Penn State to get in, it will have to do just that and get some help.
Case against: Penn State has a weak résumé if you take out the win over OSU. The Nittany Lions were obliterated by Michigan in Ann Arbor in the only other game against a ranked team they have played. If Oklahoma wins next week, the Sooners would likely jump over Penn State in the rankings as could Colorado with a win over Utah.  
Consensus: Out. Penn State needs some help to move up.

Oklahoma (9–2)

Strength of schedule: 17
Last week: Won 56–28 at No. 19 West Virginia
This week: vs. No. 10 Oklahoma State
Best wins: at No. 19 West Virginia
Losses: vs. No. 2 Ohio State, vs. No. 18 Houston
Case for: The Sooners picked up their first ranked win of the season after beating West Virginia on the road in blowout fashion. They also got a lift from Houston, who not only knocked Louisville out of the way, but boosted Oklahoma's strength of schedule in the process. Oklahoma will have a battle with Oklahoma State this weekend for both in-state bragging rights and a Big 12 championship. Oklahoma can make the playoff by winning out and a series of losses by teams currently in the top seven. 
Case against: One ranked win over an overrated West Virginia team isn't going to make me go crazy over the Sooners. They are still a team that needs significant help to make the playoff and can still be jumped by other teams. The best chance Oklahoma has of making the playoff is if the Pac 12 implodes, meaning Washington and Colorado each lose another game and Michigan wins out. This would knock Washington, Colorado, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State out of playoff contention, leaving Alabama, Michigan, Clemson and Oklahoma. If Washington and Colorado both win this week, and Colorado then beats Washington to win the Pac 12, Colorado should jump Oklahoma. If Ohio State beats Michigan and Wisconsin beats Penn State in the Big Ten title game, both Ohio State and Wisconsin likely would be in ahead of Oklahoma. 
Consensus: Out. Better put your maize and blue on, Sooners fans. 

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