Picture of the Columbus skyline.
Nov 24, 2021

Axios Columbus

🦃 Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

  • We're taking the next few days off and will be back with you on Monday morning.

🌧 Today's weather: High of 49, low of 41. Lots of rain on Thanksgiving.

🕎 Situational awareness: Hanukkah begins Sunday. Chabad Columbus has planned eight nights of fun, kicking off with a skydiving Maccabee and a chocolate turkey dreidel drop.

Today's newsletter is 745 words — a 3-minute read.

🏈 1 big thing: Buckeyes head to the state up north

Chris Olave celebrates scoring a touchdown with C.J. Stroud against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights earlier this season. Stroud has emerged as a leading Heisman Trophy candidate. Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Every Ohio State-Michigan football game is a huge deal, but this year the stakes are truly monumental.

Why it matters: A year after the pandemic canceled the 2020 rivalry game, this Saturday's contest in Ann Arbor will have major postseason implications for both schools.

State of play: The Buckeyes and Wolverines each enter with an impressive 10-1 record and a shot at reaching the College Football Playoff (CFP).

  • They're ranked No. 2 and 6 respectively in the latest AP Top 25 poll as well as No. 2 and 5 respectively in this week's CFP rankings.

Lightning preview: OSU has been powered by a high octane offense that leads the nation in scoring.

  • Freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud has overcome early doubts to develop into a Heisman Trophy candidate.

The other side: The Wolverine offense is capable of putting up big rushing numbers, but Michigan has been especially dominant on the defensive end — holding opponents to fewer than 20 points in nine of the team's 11 games this season.

The stakes: Saturday's winner heads to the Big Ten championship game and would be favored to win the conference title and a playoff berth.

  • The loser would have two losses and fall out of playoff contention.

The big picture: This rivalry has been particularly one-sided in recent years.

  • OSU has won the last eight contests and 15 of the last 16.
  • The Buckeyes have outscored Michigan 331-216 in those eight victories.

👋 Everett, editor for Axios Local, here. As a Michigan grad, falls have recently not been all that fun. This year is an exception, but even then, the threat of The Game looms.

  • So while this is my favorite Michigan team in about a decade, one that's the best reflection of coach Jim Harbaugh, I also live with the knowledge that some of the worst Saturdays of my adult life are a result of this rivalry game.
  • It's hard to get hopes up, but that's the beauty of college football. Go Blue and whatnot. Miracles do happen.

Yesterday, we asked readers to predict the game score. Here are a few guesses:

  • Matt S.: OSU 49, Michigan 21
  • John R.: Michigan 32, OSU 28
  • Tammy D.: OSU 18, Michigan 17

📬 Hit reply and send us your predictions.

  • The subscriber with the closest guess wins some Axios swag!
Ohio State fans cheer during the 2006 matchup against Michigan, considered to be the "Game of the Century." Photo: Bill Frakes /Sports Illustrated via Getty Images
2. 🎄 The best time for Christmastime
Data: Axios survey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios; Illustrations: Aïda Amer/Axios

While many Christmas celebrations in central Ohio kicked off last weekend, it appears our readers mostly like to keep their holidays separate.

Your take: A majority of you won't be putting up Christmas trees until after the Thanksgiving dinner table has been cleared, according to our very scientific survey.

Our take: Alissa is a purist, so there's no way her tree is coming out before Black Friday — and she appreciates that most of you agree.

  • Tyler, meanwhile, joins the nearly 19% of you who put up your trees in November before turkey day.

🙏 Thank you to the 215 subscribers who participated in our survey!

3. Nutshells: Crack open these news clips

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

📍 An organization tied to former Attorney General Eric Holder has filed a lawsuit contesting the new Ohio congressional map. (The Columbus Dispatch)

🍨 CrepeStop, a new restaurant on Bethel Road, serves up a variety of crepes and booza, a Middle Eastern ice cream. (614 Magazine)

🏈 A former official at the Ohio High School Athletic Association says his concerns about Ohio football programs were ignored prior to the now-infamous Bishop Sycamore saga. (Columbus Monthly)

4. The cost of Thanksgiving
Data: American Farm Bureau Federation; Chart: Sarah Grillo and Will Chase/Axios. Note: Milk was removed from our analysis, resulting in minor differences between our totals and those reported by the Farm Bureau Federation

Putting together a traditional Thanksgiving meal will cost about 14% more this year than it did in 2020, Axios' Sarah Grillo and Will Chase report.

Why it matters: Thanksgiving inflation, according to price estimates from the American Farm Bureau (AFB), is even greater than the overall increase in the cost of food.

Details: The ingredients for a "classic" Thanksgiving meal add up to $53 per the AFB, though extra meat and sides could add to that total.

Yes, but: This math is based on the quantities of food you'd need to feed 10 people. A $53 meal would still come out to less than $6 per person.

Go deeper.

5. Bonus: Let the games begin
Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Looking for a way to liven up your turkey dinner? Our friends at Axios Des Moines created a 2021 Thanksgiving bingo card because in the Midwest, even familial chaos can be turned into a competition.

How it works: Each time you visit this link, a new, randomized card is generated.

  • Print or screenshot and share with your favorite relatives.

💭 Alissa's take: As "that person who hates stuffing," I'm not sure if I should be flattered or offended.

🏒 Tyler is headed back to Nationwide Arena tonight to see the Blue Jackets take on Winnipeg. If you see me in my Axios mask, say hi!

  • Score prediction for The Game: OSU 45, Michigan 27.

🙏 Alissa is thankful for all you wonderful Axios Columbus subscribers.

  • Score prediction: Michigan 35, OSU 28 (I always root for the underdog!)

Follow us on Twitter: @Tylerjoelb and @AlissaWidman — our DMs are always open.