Friday, October 21, 2016

Michigan and Ohio State halfway through a potential battle of unbeatens on Thanksgiving weekend

                                  Photo Credit: Geno Green

For fans who remember the 2006 college football season, the Wolverines and Buckeyes game went down as one of the best games.

Both teams ran the table all the way up to their final game of the season against one another in Columbus at 11-0 each.

In what turned out to be a de facto Big Ten Championship game before the conference made one in 2011, both teams took each other's best shot before the No. 1 Buckeyes held on for a 42-39 win over the No. 2 Wolverines to take the regular season crown.

Fast forward a decade later— the elements are parallel as Michigan and Ohio State are undefeated at 6-0 as the second half of the season begins on Saturday.

No. 3 Michigan finds itself in a homecoming game against Illinois (3:30 p.m., BTN), while No. 2 Ohio State makes a trip to Happy Valley to play rival Penn State (8 p.m., ABC Sports) and carries a 20-game road winning streak.

Michigan's remaining slate after Saturday's game vs Illinois presents a mixed big with a road trip at bitter rival Michigan State, DJ Durkin's return to Ann Arbor against Maryland, a night game at Iowa, Senior Day vs Indiana and "The Game" at Ohio State.

Ohio State's path could be more of a challenge after Saturday's game at Penn State with home games against a trending Northwestern squad on a two-game winning streak and against undefeated and No. 8-ranked Nebraska. Road games at Maryland and Michigan State come up before the home finale against Michigan.

Both teams share wins against a ranked Wisconsin team, in which each contest was decided by a touchdown and Rutgers by a combined score of 136-0.

If Michigan and Ohio State stay on pace, both teams would be at 11-0 with bragging rights, a division title and a potential spot(s) in the College Football Playoff semifinals at stake.

The 2016 edition of "The Game" on Nov. 26 in Columbus, OH could be the biggest of them all.

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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @TheGenoGreen.