Now that the Iowa game is out of the way, I think it's appropriate time to start the countdown to what could be the most anticipated college football game in the last 25 years. No. 1 Ohio State vs No. 2 Michigan. Both team essentially have chumps the rest of the way, so they'll both enter the game 11-0 unless some sort of fluky upset happens. Michigan might have the best defense in the country, but the BUckeyes isn't that much worse. Ohio State's offense definitely trumps Big Blue's right now with Smith, Pittman, Gonzalez and Ginn. But if Michigan gets back Manningham (which will hopefully happen) the Wolverines offense is pretty dynamic as well. I think the key to the game is going to be the Michigan front four. They've got four guys on that D line who will eventually be playing on Sundays, and they've been terrorizing quarterbacks the whole year. Iowa QB Drew Tate called Michigan's D the best he's faced and the Hwakeyes have already played Ohio State. If Michigan's D line can get consistent pressure on Troy Smith, and allow the linebackers to stay back in coverage, Ohio State will be shut down. And I think, with Michigan in a hostile road environment like Ohio Stadium, that Lloyd Carr will simply pund the ball down the BUckeyes throat with Mike Hart. But I think without a healthy Manningham, Michigan's offense will not be able to produce enough points.
So that makes two keys to a Michigan win:
1. The D line has got to produce again
2. Mario manningham needs to be healthy