Storylines Surrounding Ohio State v Michigan State
This Saturday the Buckeyes welcome in what will be their toughest opponent thus far. After thrashing Purdue, the College Football Playoff’s #4 ranked team welcomes the #7 ranked team in the Michigan State Spartans. While the rankings speak for how good a matchup this will be, the surrounding storylines hold even more meaning.
- Heisman Race – In a competitive year for the Big Ten, it’s no surprise Ohio State and Michigan State both have Heisman Candidates. To make matters even more interesting both players have even odds to win the award heading into their matchup Saturday. Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud and Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III are 2nd and 3rd in the Heisman race. Caesars Sports Book gives both players an even +280 chance of winning. The stats prove why both players belong in what is an open Heisman race. Walker enters Saturday with 1,473 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. Stroud sits at 3,036 yards passing and 30 touchdowns. Notably, Walker had his Heisman moment with a five touchdown performance against Michigan. As Stroud searches for his Heisman moment, perhaps Saturday is the perfect time?
- Playoff Spots – If the CFP started today, Ohio State would be in. The plan is for the Buckeyes to win out and see where they land in the top four. Saturday is part one of that plan. A win against a top 10 team helps rankings, gives you confidence heading to Ann Arbor, and finishes Michigan State’s season. The Spartans have one plan, win Saturday. While their CFP hopes aren’t done yet , Michigan State’s loss to Purdue clearly soured the committee. A second win against a top 10 conference rival would most likely put the Spartans back in good graces playoff wise.
The Rivalry – Mid way through the 2010’s, it seemed Michigan State would be a thorn in the Buckeye’s Side. A 2011 win in the shoe, beating the Buckeyes in the 2013 Big Ten Title, and ruining a back to back CFP Title run in 2015 was creating a small rivalry. Unfortunately for the Spartans, that win in 2015 was their last against the Buckeyes. Even without a win Saturday, the Spartans are back and hope to recreate a mini-rivalry with the Big Ten’s top dog.