Welcome to Hate Week.
Ohio State has done away with its first 11 opponents of the 2022 season. Now it can focus on the one that really matters: Michigan.
It's been almost 1,100 days since the Buckeyes last defeated the Wolverines – a 56-27 beatdown in 2019 courtesy of Justin Fields and J.K. Dobbins' combined eight touchdowns in Ann Arbor. In 2020, a COVID-19 outbreak within the Michigan program caused The Game's cancellation, and last year, the Buckeyes were run off the field by the Wolverines, losing 42-27 and suffering their first defeat to their bitter rivals in a decade.
But that's all in the past.
This season, Ohio State and Michigan are two of the best teams in the country. The Buckeyes are ranked No. 2, and the Wolverines are ranked No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings. A trip to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship and CFP hopes are on the line as the programs battle in Columbus next weekend.
The magnitude of this year's matchup has drawn comparisons to the 2016 battle between the teams, where a No. 6-ranked Ohio State team took down a No. 10-ranked Michigan, 30-27, in double overtime courtesy of a Curtis Samuel walk-off touchdown. Looking back further, the 2006 meeting between the No. 1 Buckeyes and No. 2 Wolverines duked it out in the "Game of the Century," with Ohio State coming out victorious with a 42-39 win.
Even more, a Heisman Trophy winner could be decided from the results of The Game this season, as C.J. Stroud and Blake Corum, whose status for next week's matchup is now in question, are among the favorites to take home the award. Stroud has been sensational for the Buckeyes this season, as has Corum for the Wolverines. Should a solid performance from either player lead to a win for their team, the Heisman could be all but decided in Ohio Stadium on Saturday.
This year's meeting will be the 118th between Ohio State and Michigan in a rivalry that dates back to 1897. It is the most bitter rivalry in all of sports. It is the greatest rivalry in all of sports. As it has been many times during The Game's history, everything is on the line in this one.
It's Ohio State. It's Michigan. It's time for war.