My fantasy college football breakdown of the "Judgement Day" matchup of the Ohio State and Michigan follows - if you would like to see the whole breakdown of the Top 25 matchups, just sign up for our free newsletter below and I will email you a copy.
#2 Michigan at #1 Ohio State
Michigan owns the best running defense in the country allowing only 329 yards TOTAL (less than 30 ypg). Buckeyes pace the nation in points allowed per game with less than 8 points/gm. Of course, the most impressive stat is the matchup of two top ten defenses according to the FCB Defense Index. Injuries are few and far between - if a game could end with a 5-3 score, this could be it.
There are six RBs from the state of Ohio who have averaged more yds/gm than Antonio Pittman in November, and he is the Buckeyes leading rusher for the year. As you can see on the graph, he keeps finding the end zone despite having the Illinois and Northwestern D shut down his yardage. Our FCB historian Daniel Freer loves Pittman as a lock, I am much more tempered in my enthusiasm - I say one TD and 75 yards as he continues to give up carries to freshman Chris Wells.
So the only place that your Buckeye players have a shot is thru the air, which coupled with the visibility of the Heisman race tells me that Troy Smith (right) should come up big in this game with multiple TDs. Anthony Gonzalez has been much more consistent than Ted Ginn and I expect that to continue - remember that catch Gonzalez made last year to keep the Buckeyes alive? Expect more as the Wolverines will no doubt focus on limiting Ginns big plays.
On the Michigan side, you gotta start RB Mike Hart - a healthy Mike Hart is a beautiful thing to watch, and this year he has 100 yds from scrimmage in every game but last week versus Indiana. I know he had nine rushes for 15 yards in last years tussel versus Tressel, but this is his year. WR sensation Mario Manningham may be getting closer to 100%, but I haven't seen that in the last two weeks. QB Chad Henne truly holds risk as a starter (avg less than 200 ypg, 18-7 td/int in eleven games) against the best defense he has faced this year. Most will remember only his best game of the year, the victory over Notre Dame - that was easily his best performance of the year
And that is the only Wolverine worth playing.
Pick for the game - Ohio State 18-15 with lots of FGs.