It is always a fun topic to preview potential game of the year candidates on the schedule. Though the season is still months away, a few games jump out.

Most years, the regular-season finale between Ohio State and Michigan is in the mix. The annual rivalry dubbed The Game for its elite potential, the Buckeyes and Wolverines traditionally face off for the highest of stakes.

This time around, the Big Ten is poised to produce another game of the year for college football, but the annual rivalry showdown could take a backseat to one matchup. That game will be Ohio State’s road trip to face Oregon on Oct. 12.

ESPN’s Greg McElroy tackled that thought on his “Always College Football” show and graded the potential for the matchup to become the game of the year. It’s also a potential preview of the B1G Championship Game between 2 teams likely to compete for a College Football Playoff spot.

“The probability on this one might surprise you. I’m going to say it’s an 8,” said McElroy. “This might be 1 of 2 times we see this matchup next year, so does that water it down potentially? Perhaps, but if I were to rank Big Ten teams top to bottom right now, I would say it’s Ohio State 1, Oregon 2.”

Early betting lines

The soon-to-be conference foes have not faced off since 2021 in Columbus, a win by the Ducks in an unusual nonconference loss at home for the Buckeyes. Even with that win by Oregon, Ohio State is still 9-1 all-time in the head-to-head series.

This year’s game is in Eugene, and that could play a major role. Oregon opened as a 1-point favorite per DraftKings, and fans can take advantage of Tradition’s DraftKings Ohio promo code to get started.

Considering the rest of the conference, fans should probably enjoy this matchup in October and prepare for more at the end of the season. Ohio State and Oregon are by far the top 2 teams in the Big Ten Championship Odds for 2024, and it’s not hard to see why.

Dan Lanning and Ryan Day both added major pieces to their rosters in the transfer portal, and those additions join programs already built to compete for a national title. If fans are looking for a heavyweight battle on the calendar, the Ducks and Buckeyes represent a budding rivalry for B1G dominance this fall.