Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett tries to do what Braxton Miller couldn’t last year: Beat Michigan State.
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From 2012 to 2013 the Ohio State Buckeyes under head coach Urban Meyer won 24-straight games, but were not eligible for the Big 10 title or any bowl games in 2012 due to NCAA sanctions. In 2013 they were in the Big 10 title game against the Michigan State Spartans, undefeated and poised for a national title shot – when suddenly they lost. That loss was followed up with an Orange Bowl loss to Clemson, which has put a serious damper on Meyer’s tenure with a Buckeyes team that is used to winning.
The two teams play each other again this week in a game that will in all likelihood determine the winner of the Big 10 title, and maybe even the Big 10 representative in the College Football playoffs.
Here are the five best games to watch in Week 11 of college football:
5. #25 Wisconsin vs. Purdue – This game doesn’t have any major plotlines or consequences, but any game where you get a chance to watch Badgers RB Melvin Gordon is worth watching. He is having a Heisman trophy-caliber season and should have plenty of chances to make big plays against a weak Purdue team.
4. #12 Baylor vs. #15 Oklahoma – Both teams went into the 2014 season with major expectations but are now on the outside looking in on the College Football playoffs. Oklahoma is virtually out, but Baylor can still sneak in if they can start with a win tonight. Unfortunately, Baylor is positioned in such a way that they can potentially win the Big XII title and still not be the Big XII representative in the playoffs.
3. #5 Alabama vs. #16 LSU – This rematch of the 2012 BCS National Championship game has major implications for this season as well. Despite their record, Alabama has struggled on the road and LSU has demonstrated via their win over the Ole Miss Rebels that they can beat anyone in the Bayou.
2. #14 Ohio State vs. #8 Michigan State – With so much weakness in the Big 10, it’s unlikely that a Big 10 team makes it to the College Football playoffs even if one of them does win out. But in this game the Buckeyes try to avenge their Big 10 Championship loss from last year against the team that won it all and went to the Rose Bowl – whoever wins this game will be the favorite to win the Big 10 championship again.
1. #6 TCU vs. #7 Kansas State – With no Big XII representation projected for the College Football playoffs, this game against the top two Big XII teams will likely determine if there is a single Big XII team there at all this year. The two teams have shown a penchant for carving up good defenses and outdueling explosive offenses so this may be a real shootout that comes down to the wire.