It’s the most storied rivalry in college football; Michigan-Ohio State is the real deal. It is a game that once seemed to have national title implications every year it was played. In the recent past the rivalry has been less significant, but that will not be the case this Saturday in the 2002 version.

With both Michigan and Ohio State eking out victories this past weekend, a clash between two very confident squads is all set.

Ohio State is 12-0 and is ranked No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series rankings. It is a victory against Michigan away from playing for its first national title in more than 30 years. But the Buckeyes have worn down over the season and have escaped with close wins in the last two weeks against meager Big Ten competition.

Michigan, meanwhile, is 9-2, and the national championship is an impossibility. But this year’s Wolverines are playing a role that many of its predecessors have played before: Spoilers.

A win on Saturday would send the Buckeyes to the Citrus Bowl and ruin their perfect season; it would also make a better-than-average season for Michigan exceptional.

“We’re not too far behind (Ohio State),” Michigan cornerback Marlin Jackson said. “We could spoil their whole season. We can hang with them. Maybe even beat them.”

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