ESPN analysts split on which B1G team will go undefeated
We’ve already come to the conclusion that this year’s game between Michigan and Ohio State is going to have some major implications for the first time in a decade. It’ll likely determine who plays for a B1G title and could be the deciding factor for which team reaches the College Football Playoff.
Six weeks into the season, both teams have been impressive and are building quite the resume before that final Saturday in November.
Michigan is coming off a 78-0 win over Rutgers and took down a tough Wisconsin team two weeks ago. Ohio State has an impressive win over Oklahoma on the road under its belt. You could argue points for each team as to who has been more impressive through the first month-and-a-half of the season.
That’s exactly what ESPN did.
In a roundtable discussion, five B1G and college football analysts discussed who they believed was the most likely team to finish undefeated based on what they’ve seen this season.
3-2 in favor of Michigan.
Writer Josh Moyer explained why he picked Michigan:
Ohio State is obviously a talented team — but it’s also a talented team whose offense hasn’t really been tested. The Buckeyes haven’t played a single top-45 defense, and the Wolverines have arguably the best defense in the nation. Plus, Ohio State still has No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 12 Nebraska on the schedule. Michigan has a much easier path from here on out since it doesn’t play a ranked team until meeting the Buckeyes. I picked the Wolverines in the preseason to win the Big Ten — and I see little reason to change that now. I still think Jim Harbaugh’s team has the best chance at perfection.
And Brian Bennett gave his thoughts on why Ohio State is likely to go unbeaten:
The Buckeyes will have their hands full in Madison this week. But this question really boils down to who will win The Game at the end of the season, doesn’t it? I wrote just last week that Michigan wasn’t yet at Ohio State’s level, and I’m not changing that opinion based on the Wolverines’ utter dismantling of Rutgers, a team the Buckeyes also embarrassed the week before. I still think Meyer’s team is more talented and has better options at the skill positions. As I wrote last week, however, Michigan’s defense will give it a chance. Barrett and the Ohio State passing game struggled to get going against Indiana. Imagine the challenges it will have against All-America cornerback Jourdan Lewis and Channing Stribling, who’s playing like an all-conference corner as well. Ultimately, though, the game will still be played in the Horseshoe in a series Ohio State has dominated for more than a decade. That’s why the Buckeyes have the edge at this point.
Both teams still have plenty to prove before they play each other at the end of the season. Right now, though, it’s a toss-up. Both teams are looking as good as advertised. Michigan and Ohio State can’t both go undefeated but if they keep playing this well, the B1G may get two teams into the College Football Playoff this season.
Nebraska, the B1G’s other undefeated team, wasn’t mentioned in the discussion.