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Breaking down the stakes in Michigan vs. Ohio State

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Clayton Sayfie Breaking Down The Stakes In Michigan Vs Ohio State | 11.19.23

The time has come. After a season of build up, No. 2 Ohio State will travel to Ann Arbor to play No. 3 Michigan for an edition of The Game that's going to be winner-takes-all for both fanbases, the division, and, likely, the conference's spot in the College Football Playoff.

TheWolverine's Clayton Safie joined on during 'Andy Staples On3' on Sunday to discuss the obvious, yet still beyond huge, stakes in this matchup. No matter what lens you view it in, a win would mean everything to and for both teams in the top-three.

"It doesn't get any bigger. The whole college football world will be watching. Pressure on both sides - I know you could argue one way or the other. We talked about it last week where now it's Sherrone Moore that could potentially beat Ryan Day. And, if Ryan Day wins, he will have beaten Sherrone Moore - not Jim Harbaugh - so there's pressure there," said Sayfie. "When the stakes are this high? Just for a season in general there's pressure. There's also pressure on the Michigan side. People are questioning their accomplishments as well - Ohio State fans are certainly among that group. You want to get bragging rights over them. Not just bragging rights but it feels like, in Ohio State's fan's eyes, you've got to win this game and then that will help you validate the last couple years too."

"Every which way you look at it? It's massive," Sayfie said.

This edition is even more monumental because of what's on the line regarding the College Football Playoff. With how it all played out last season, the Buckeyes were still able to make it in despite losing for the second straight year to the Wolverines in The Shoe by 22.

However, with that scenario looking increasingly unlikely, if not almost possible, this time around, Sayfie knows as well anyone else that this one is for all the marbles.

"Last year? It was do or die too," said Sayfie. "Leaving that stadium in Columbus? No one in there thought that Ohio State was going to get in the playoff - but they got a couple of nice breaks there in the end. And, certainly, Ohio State hung right there with Georgia. I think they were one of the top four teams but it's just kind of the way it breaks."

"This year? It would've been the most ideal year for a 12-team playoff. But we've got four. So I think the loser goes home," Sayfie said. "I would not expect the loser to get in. So it's do or die in that way as well."

It doesn't get much better than 11-0 versus 11-0 in one of the sport's biggest rivalries - if not the biggest. That's even more true considering the backdrop of what each team could secure, in the conference and nationally, with a win and what they both stand to lose with a crushing defeat.

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