Ohio St at Michigan 11-21-09

November 21, 2009

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No. 9 Ohio State (9-2, 6-1) has already assured itself of its first spot in the Rose Bowl in 13 years after clinching at least a share of the Big Ten title and the conference’s Bowl Championship Series automatic berth with Saturday’s 27-24 overtime victory over 15th-ranked Iowa.

The Wolverines (5-6, 1-6) have lost four in a row and six of the last seven and remain tied for last in the Big Ten after Saturday’s 45-24 beating at the hands of Wisconsin.

The Buckeyes have beaten two top-15 teams in as many weeks, knocking off then-No. 11 Penn State 24-7 in Happy Valley two weeks ago. Those two wins gave them the Rose Bowl bid—and a Jan. 1 date against the Pac-10 winner. No. 11 Oregon (8-2, 6-1) currently leads that race, with Stanford (7-3, 6-2), Oregon State (7-3, 5-2) and Arizona (6-3, 4-2) hot on the webbed feet of the Ducks.

Michigan needs a win to salvage its season, but that’s sort of like putting lipstick on a pig. A victory would give the Wolverines, who are coming off a 3-9 season a year ago in Rich Rodriguez’s debut in Ann Arbor, the minimum requirement for playing in a bowl game—a non-losing record. The Wolverines could also avoid the Big Ten cellar, hardly a blood-boiling bit of motivation, in addition to knocking their neighbors to the south down a peg or two.

But this year, the Buckeyes have accomplished so much already—and the Wolverines have struggled so much—it’s not surprising that the focus might not be there.  Take Ohio St on the road.

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Free Pick Ohio St -11.5

By Lawrence Tate Associate Freepick1.com Editor


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