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.
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 gethopes 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!
2. 🎄 The best time for Christmastime
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!