Ohio State-Michigan meet with Rose Bowl berth on the line

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Even without a trip to the national title game at stake, Ohio State-Michigan is huge.

Ohio State’s hopes of returning to the BCS title game took a hit last week with its first loss of the season. The seventh-ranked Buckeyes still have plenty to play for Saturday at the Big House against No. 23 Michigan.

With a win, Ohio State (10-1, 6-1 Big Ten) would:

– match its longest winning streak in the rivalry at four straight.

– win a third straight conference championships, including consecutive outright titles for the first time in a half-century.

– likely earn a spot in the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1997.

“It isn’t the BCS championship game, but the tradition of the Rose Bowl is great and we hope to be a part of that greatness,” punter A.J. Trapasso said. “It would be nice to finish the season in that bowl.”

Michigan (8-3, 6-1) is desperately hoping to play in Pasadena for the fourth time in five years, quite a prize for a team that opened the season with a stunning loss to Appalachian State and blowout loss to Oregon.

The Wolverines star senior trio of quarterback Chad Henne, running back Mike Hart and offensive lineman Jake Long have never beaten Ohio State. Coach Lloyd Carr is trying to avoid becoming the first Michigan coach to lose six of seven games in the series that dates to 1897.

Just for today I digress to share with you an important event. At high noon Ohio State will play Michigan. It is no longer about the BCS championship but it is about pride and bragging rights. I have ESPN on the wall next to me, the television on in front of me. I have the ultimate indoor tailgate party developing.

By the Way – I am also predicting that Cincinnati will beat West Virginia

Ministry Focus – Next Year I will have the same party and invite my non Christian friends to watch the game under the condition they know that I am going to share the Gospel and pray with them at half time. This will be an excellent opportunity to minister to men. (And I am not being sexist)