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Michigan Wolverines have their chance today to stay in Big 10, College Football Playoff hunt with win vs. Ohio State

By LARRY LAGE

AP Sports Writer

ANN ARBOR — The Game is going to be a game again, or at least that appears to the case before No. 2 Ohio State plays No. 6 Michigan.

The Buckeyes (10-1, 8-0 Big Ten, No. 2 CFP) are favored to win today at the Big House by about a touchdown, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

That spread is a relative sign of respect for the Wolverines (10-1, 7-1, No. 5 CFP) based on recent results of the lopsided series.

Ohio State has won a school-record eight straight, one short of the series mark Michigan set from 1901-09, and 15 of the last 16 games.

Michigan seemed to get its swagger back this season.

And like Ohio State, which almost annually has a lot at stake in the regular season finale, the Wolverines will have much more than bragging rights on the line for a change.

“It’s a playoff game,” said coach Jim Harbaugh, whose success overall at his alma mater comes with a glaring 0-5 record against the archrival Buckeyes. “It’s a rivalry game at the highest level.”

The winner earns the Big Ten East Division title, a spot in next week’s conference championship game and a path to the College Football Playoff with an opportunity to win it all.

The season will be spoiled for the loser no matter the bowl.

The Buckeyes, who are 23-0 in conference games under coach Ryan Day, are aiming for a fifth straight Big Ten title and sixth appearance in the conference championship.

Michigan, meanwhile, hasn’t ever won a Big Ten division title and it is mired in the program’s longest conference championship drought that dates to 2004.