Ohio State-Michigan: The (fourth-biggest) Game
1. National championship
2. National semifinal
3. Big Ten championship
4. Michigan (aka The Game)
We're not in the 1970s anymore, are we?
In two years, Ohio State could still beat Michigan to get to the Rose Bowl. Or it could lose to Michigan and go to the Rose Bowl. Or it could beat Michigan, then beat Michigan again in the Big Ten title game and go to the Rose Bowl. Or it could beat Michigan, be eligible for the Rose Bowl and go to a national semifinal instead. Or other scenarios.
It's enough to make Woody Hayes want to rip up his hat.
The Game will always be important because unlike the other the first three on the list, its spot on the calendar is marked, and fans can schedule appropriate festivities in advance.
But beginning in 2014, it will be one down, three to go after Michigan if the season goes the way the Buckeyes want it to.
- Howard Primer