Baver Previews "The Game" Part One. And Apple Cup?

Colin: How devastating was Michigan's loss to Ohio State last year? 

Baver: Extremely. Michigan fans will be talking about the JT 1st down spot years from now, much like the ‘Canes fans, who are still talking about the interference call in the 2002 Title game. Michigan had that game and gave it away. It wasn’t a first down spot that cost them the game….the majority of that loss is on the shoulders of one Jim Harbaugh. Why did he have a QB with concrete feet throwing out of his own end zone on 1st down, late in the first half in a game that Michigan was dominating? Then, you have Jimmy’s unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that helped the Buckeyes put 7 key pts on the board late in the 3rd quarter. It was Michigan’s day, and they let it get away. Not sure those North of the border will ever get over it.

Colin: How big would a win this year be for Harbaugh?

Baver: The Michigan so-called faithful are losing faith quickly. A win over Ohio State would help calm down the masses, at least for a bit. A loss means a long off-season, with Hairball dropping to 1-5 vs his chief rivals, Ohio State and Sparty. We’ll talk more about Jimmy’s offense on Friday, but the UM fans have about had it. I think they have faith that the defense will be good to great as long as Don Brown hangs around, but Harbaugh’s offense is laughable….and it is indeed HIS offense. Harbaugh desperately needs his offense to step up and desperately needs a win in this rivalry.

Colin: The Bucks have already clinched the Big Ten East and have a date with undefeated Bucky Badger. Any chance this team lays an egg like the Iowa loss?

Baver: After the Iowa game, I think we now know that about anything is possible. I don’t know if it would be laying an egg…I mean….is Ohio State that much better than Wisconsin? Or maybe I should ask, are they better than Wisconsin? That will be a tough game, especially coming off The Game against Michigan. 5 Dimes sportsbook has a current line on the game, and they have the Buckeyes favored by 6 ½. I think the B10 title game will be a dogfight, no matter how The Game with Michigan plays out.

Colin: You have been going on air with Brian Phillips and the CD1025 Morning show all season. Brian is a huge Cougs fan and this Apple Cup is shaping up to be a doozy. Any thoughts on that game?

Baver: With key injuries at the cornerback spots for the Huskies this season, they are going to have a tough time containing Washington St’s air attack. And Wazzu is off a bye. The Cougs have bounced back after losing 2 of 3 to finish October, posting solid wins against Stanford and Utah the last 2 weeks. But Wazzu hasn’t gotten a win in the Apple Cup since their OT victory in 2012, losing the last 4 gms by an avg of 23 pts per game. And WSU has to travel to Seattle for this one. It’s hard not to like Washington here but if you’re playing the spread, I think you take the Cougs and the 9 pts. I think the game will be decided by a touchdown, maybe less.

Colin: Give us an update on your picks and tell us what other games this weekend you will be keeping an eye on?

Baver: 18-15 against the spread on the year. Oklahoma has been known to lay eggs here and there when they are big favorites. Will they lay one this week against West By God? Probably not, but I’ll still take the 22 ½ pts the Mountaineers are getting in Norman…a few too many to be laying against a decent WVU squad, I think. Auburn is a solid team and may hang with Bama most of the way, but I will still take the Tide almost 100% of the time if they are laying less than a TD. I like Bama minus the 4 ½ at Auburn.

OSU-Michigan prediction coming Friday.