Ohio State could have their hands full with Michigan State. Photo: USA Today Sports
Ohio State makes their Big Ten championship game debut this weekend in Indianapolis, and they look to extend their wining streak under Urban Meyer to 25 games. That would send Ohio State to Pasadena for sure, although it is still a little bit of a question exactly which game in Pasadena they would be heading there for. Of course, Michigan State is not exactly a cream puff the Buckeyes will be facing this weekend. Here's how our staff is picking this game.
Allen Kenney: We've got strength on strength here as Sparty's impenetrable defense matches up with the Buckeyes' explosive O. A team with a little more firepower through the air could exploit OSU's soft pass D and end Urban Meyer's dreams of a third national title. Michigan St. just doesn't have it.
Ohio State 20, Michigan St. 13
Andy Coppens: Everyone keeps talking about this game is going to be close and I just don’t see that happening. Someone’s strength is going to win out. If it’s OSU’s offense it will blow MSU out of the water and if it’s MSU’s defense, look for MSU to win big as well. As for which version I see winning out? Give me the team that has played at historic levels and that’s the Buckeye’s offense.
Ohio State 34, Michigan State 21
Aaron Torres: Having been out of the loop for most of the week, I’m not totally sure where most of America is leaning in this game…but personally I see it coming right down to the wire. Michigan State’s defense is every bit as good as advertised, and on the opposite side of the ball, I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but Jeremy Langford has run for 100 or more yards in seven straight games.
At the same time, I just can’t bet against Ohio State here.
This is a team that has spent two years, and 24 full games on the outside looking in on the BCS title conversation, and after all that time, the missed bowl game, the disdain from rival fans, they now find themselves in position to potentially take a BCS berth.
It won’t happen without a win Saturday, but thankfully they’ll get it.
Ohio State 20, Michigan State 14
David Singleton: Michigan State's defense can be run on. Ohio State is good a running. Michigan State's offense won't be able to keep pace.
Ohio State 42 Michigan State 28
Jonathan Biles: Michigan State has probably the best defense that Ohio State has faced all season but Ohio State has the best offense of any team Michigan State will have played. Advantage Urban Meyer, Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde.
Ohio State 28, Michigan State 18
Josh Parcell: The Spartans have all the weapons to beat Ohio State. The Buckeyes struggle to stretch the field, and Michigan State has the strength up front to neutralize their rushing attack. Ohio State has the better team, but something about the way the team celebrated Auburn's Iron Bowl win last week doesn't sit right with me. I know it didn't sit right with the Spartans. They'll take out their frustration on Saturday.
Michigan State 24, Ohio State 21
Kevin Causey: Michigan State hasn't lost since Sept 21st and their offense has grown as the season has progressed. Ohio State has the best offense Michigan State will see this year and Michigan State has the best defense that Ohio State will see. So which unit is the one unit that is the weakest? That would be the Spartans offense. I really want to pick Sparty in this game but I just can't pull the trigger on it.
Ohio State 31 Michigan State 28
Kevin McGuire: Michigan State brings the Big Ten's best defense with them to Indianapolis and their offense may have been the most improved in the country from week to week. It is hard to believe that in September the defense had more touchdowns than the offense, but the Spartans have found their offense along the way and should be capable of moving the football and picking up some points against this Ohio State defense (did you see them last week at Michigan?).
Ohio State has something Michigan State does not though. Braxton Miller. Miller is the best player in the conference and is capable of hurting Michigan State on the ground and through the air. The Spartans will have to make sure they cut down on Miller's chances to run the football. These two played a solid defensive battle last season, and this one could turn in to another one. Ohio State has a few extra plays in them though.
Ohio State 24, Michigan State 20
Tom Perry: While we have listened to everyone talk about how Ohio State isn't worthy of playing for a national championship, I'd argue this is the best conference championship game. Michigan State's defense vs. Ohio State's offense is worth watching. There's a good chance Urban Meyer's 24-game run since arriving in Columbus ends with this one.
Ohio State 28, Michigan State 12