COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Every year except one from 1935 to 2012, the Ohio State Buckeyes were able to focus entirely on their annual season-ending rivalry with Michigan.
But now, for the second year in a row, their most important and emotional regular-season game will be followed by a trip to the Big Ten championship a week later.
The Buckeyes barely dispatched Michigan in their backdoor struggle a year ago, then turned around and had a 24-game winning streak ended the following week when they lost 34-24 to Michigan State in their first appearance in the conference title game.
There’s no doubt the seventh-ranked Buckeyes (10-1, 7-0 Big Ten, No. 6 CFP) are concentrating on the Wolverines (5-6, 3-4) this week. But they also know they have another big game just around the corner.