Week 14 preview: It's Michigan vs. Ohio State week

And, we’ve reached the finish line! That’s right, my early week-by-week look at the 2013 Big Ten football slate has hit Week 14, a week highlighted by the annual end-of-the-year Ohio State-Michigan rivalry game. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 14 in this post.

[ MORE: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 ]

Game of the week: Ohio State at Michigan. This could be a preview of the Big Ten title game. If it is, it will be the only time these rivals will play in the Big Ten championship game, as they will be in the same division beginning in 2014. The Wolverines have been on the short end of this series lately, dropping eight of the last nine. Michigan did win the last time the game was in Ann Arbor in 2011. Before playing the Buckeyes, the Wolverines must avoid a trap game on Nov. 23 at Iowa, where Michigan has lost the last two times it has visited.

Ranking Week 14 games
1. Ohio State at Michigan
2. Penn State at Wisconsin
3. Iowa at Nebraska (Nov. 29)
4. Minnesota at Michigan State
5. Northwestern at Illinois
6. Purdue at Indiana

Quarterback matchup to watch: How great could the clash be between Michigan’s Devin Gardner and Ohio State’s Braxton Miller? Heck, the winner of this battle could end up being the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. Each is a classic dual-threat quarterback capable of making a big play at any time.

Coordinator matchup to watch: I wanna see Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges match wits with Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell. It’s the sage old Borges vs. the young and bright Fickell. This could be the battle that determines which team wins “The Game.”

Upset alert: Penn State may be trying to cap another strong season when it visits Leaders Division power Wisconsin in the season finale. The Nittany Lions topped the Badgers last season in the finale, taking a 24-21 overtime decision in State College. Penn State has won four of the last six meetings vs. a Wisconsin program that has gone to three Rose Bowls in a row.

Storylines: It’s rivalry week, with lots of trophies and bragging rights on the line. And all 12 schools are in action for the final weekend. … The Hoosiers need to turn the tide vs. rival Purdue in the Old Oaken Bucket battle. Indiana has lost four of the last five meetings, and is 3-13 in the last 16 meetings. One win came in a driving rain storm (2001); another on a last-second field goal (2007); the third took overtime (2010). … Illinois needs to find a way to get the upper hand vs. Northwestern, which visits Champaign in the season finale. The Fighting Illini have lost three of the last five meetings and seven of the last 10 to their in-state rival. Tim Beckman has made beating NU a point of emphasis. … Once again, Nebraska will play Iowa on a Friday in what figures to continue to blossom into a nice season-ending rivalry. The Huskers have won five in succession in the series. The Hawkeyes haven’t scored more than 13 points in any of those five games. In fact, Nebraska has outscored Iowa, 159-41, during the five-game winning skein, winning by an average score of 32-8. … Michigan State has won three in a row vs. Minnesota. Before that, the Golden Gophers won three in succession vs. the Spartans.

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8 Comments

Your Opinion?
Show Comments (8 Comments)
common sense on 6/27/2013 @ 12:23pm EDT Said:

Of course its all about Michigan vs Ohio State is there any question, all the other games are the warm up card. Deep down even my buddy Doug knows that, before he rooted against me in 99 I know that he grew up every year looking forward to the big showdown for all the marbles with Bo and Woody.

reality check on 6/27/2013 @ 1:57pm EDT Said:

You know that young man still has 60 days to become a Wolverine fan and all will be forgiven.

Jonathan on 6/27/2013 @ 4:39pm EDT Said:

I, as an MSU fan, do look forward to the OSU-Michigan game, since it’s always fun to watch Michigan get pummeled.

Big Brother on 6/27/2013 @ 11:10pm EDT Said:

Jonathan, too bad you have to rely on them to beat us instead of yourselves seeing as how we’ve dominated your Spartans for the past 40 years. now Hoke will continue the wonderful work of Bo who completely owned you, Lil Bro

Frank on 6/28/2013 @ 1:21pm EDT Said:

Jonathan–OSU has repeatedly pummeled MSU. Gonna be tough times for Lil Bro in the future as they’ll be in the same division as UM and OSU in 2014.

Reality check on 6/28/2013 @ 7:10pm EDT Said:

That’s correct Frank as you and Jim both know little brother is in for a dozen years in the Wolverine woodshed

OSU 12-0 on 6/30/2013 @ 9:27am EDT Said:

OSU is going to play MSU in the 2013 B1G football championship game!

Jonathan on 6/30/2013 @ 12:37pm EDT Said:

Frank- last year OSU barely escaped a terrible MSU squad. Big Brother- Msu has won, what, four of the last five? To both of you- in this modern era, recent history is the only history that matters.

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