The Ohio State football team has the biggest non-national championship game to play in the last 20 or so years on Saturday when they head up for The Game in Ann Arbor. A lot is riding on it, including Ryan Day’s livelihood. But let’s talk about how much Michigan has riding on it.
Quite frankly, a lot is riding on this game for them too. A loss would knock them out of a chance to win the Big Ten and make the Colleg Football Playoff. It very well could end their season as well if the NCAA gets their investigation finished by December as was rumored.
A loss for them would cost them more than that though. It would cost them the narrative that their fanbase has created that Jim Harbaugh turned things around in this rivalry suddenly two years ago. Losing to the Buckeyes would shatter that narrative because of the cheating scandal.
Ohio State winning this game in Ann Arbor would prove that the only reason Michigan won the last two years in the first place is because they cheated. Jim Harbaugh would still have never won a legitimate game against the Buckeyes and he could plunge the program into deep sanctions.
Reports have come out that Harbaugh didn’t know about the plot Connor Stalions had to steal signs. I may not necessarily believe that, but fine. Trust the reporting. He still could reportedly be suspended for most of next season, and that’s if he stays with TTUN.
Harbaugh is probably going to try to bolt for the NFL. Michigan will likely get hammered with vacated victories and loss of scholarships. I wouldn’t put a bowl ban out of the question either considering this is an integrity of the game issue at hand.
Adding that all up, the Ohio State football program could break Michigan by winning on Saturday afternoon because they might not have anywhere left to turn to win it all. This year is their best chance to do so. 44 seniors are on this team. If they lose to the Buckeyes, they won’t contend for a long time.
I really hope it happens.