On Saturday, we finally will learn whether Michigan or Ohio State will win The Game.
But, until then, we still have the computers to tell us which team is better.
And, right now, one computer likes the Wolverines more.
Michigan remained No. 2 and Ohio State stayed at No. 3 in the newest edition of the S&P+ rankings, which was released by SB Nation’s Bill Connelly on Sunday morning. Both the Wolverines and the Buckeyes held steady despite uncomfortable wins on Saturday. Michigan overcame a 10-6 deficit to Indiana in a snowy second half to win, 20-10, thanks to DeVeon Smith’s 158 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Ohio State escaped East Lansing with a 17-16 win after Michigan State threw an errant pass that was intercepted on the decisive two-point attempt with four minutes remaining.
The other three teams in the S&P+ top five are the same as last week, though not in the same order. Alabama maintained control of the No. 1 spot after a 31-3 win over Chattanooga, while No. 4 Clemson and No. 5 Louisville swapped spots after the Tigers blasted Wake Forest 35-13, and the Cardinals were clobbered by Houston, 36-10.
The S&P+ is a college football ratings system that is derived from play-by-play data, adjusts for strength of schedule, and eliminates garbage-time possessions. The purpose of this system is to project how teams will perform based past performances.
This means that S&P+ projects that, on a neutral field, Michigan would beat Ohio State more often than not. However, next weekend’s game will not be on a neutral field (it will be in Columbus), S&P+ doesn’t account for the current uncertainty at quarterback for Michigan (Wilton Speight could start per Jim Harbaugh), and this game will be played only once. And S&P+’s score projection won’t be revealed until Monday morning.
Nonetheless, S&P+ still indicates that Michigan is better than Ohio State.
We’ll see if that materializes on November 26th.