Join Bullz-Eye tonight for their Ohio State vs. Michigan Twitter Party

Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein yells to his players during the first half of their Big Ten men’s NCAA basketball tournament quarterfinal game against the Illinois Illini in Indianapolis March 11, 2011. REUTERS/Brent Smith (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)

Want to talk college hoops while also having an opportunity to win some cool prizes? Then join Bullz-Eye.com tonight as they team up with Infiniti and The Bachelor Guy to host a Twitter party during the Ohio State-Michigan game at 9:00PM ET!

Infiniti is a proud corporate partner of NCAA Men’s Basketball and as part of their partnership they are hosting the Infiniti Coaches’ Charity Challenge. How you can enter to win prizes is by voting in the Infiniti Coaches’ Challenge and after casting your vote, tweet who you voted for @InfinitiNews while including the hastag #CoachesCharity.

Four winners will receive a $50 Via Gift Card and an Infiniti Branded Basketball, while one lucky winner will win a grand prize of a $100 Visa Gift Card and an Infiniti Branded Basketball.

So stop by the party tonight on Twitter @bullzeyedotcom and talk a little hoops, cast your vote for a great cause, and possibly win some prizes!

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Michigan gets the monkey off its back, beats Ohio State

Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson (C) celebrates with teammates after his diving touchdown into the end zone against Ohio State during the first half of their NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Michigan November 26, 2011. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook (UNITED STATES) – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

The streak is over. It had been 2,926 days since Michigan had last beat Ohio State, but today, the Wolverines ended that, picking up a 40-34 win against the Buckeyes in a thrilling game at the Big House.

Courtney Avery picked off a Braxton Miller pass in the final minute of the game to seal the win for Michigan, which is now 10-2 with a legitimate chance to be selected to a BCS bowl. In fact, at this point, I’d be surprised if the Wolverines were passed up by the Sugar Bowl, which is very likely going to have two at-large choices thanks to the SEC likely putting two teams in the national title game.

It was an improved defense that had Michigan in that position heading into today, but it was Denard Robinson that finished the job. The junior quarterback had the best game of his career in what was really a must-win situation for the Wolverines (more on that in a second). He was 14-of-17 for 166 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 170 yards and two scores. He’s had statistically better games, but this is the one that Denard will be remembered for in Michigan.

As to the must-win declaration: With Ohio State in the state it was in this season, and with Urban Meyer coming on board, if Michigan didn’t win this year, it might have been a while before the Wolverines found a way to win against the Buckeyes. Brady Hoke has done a great job in Year 1, but he’s led a bit of a charmed existence thanks to a very weak Big Ten, an 8-game home schedule, and his chief rival — both on the field and in recruiting — being hampered by a rough season on and off the field. He’s taken advantage and deserves credit for doing so — he should make no apologies for dragging a fading program back to 10-2 — but had he lost this game, a lot of the goodwill he has built up might have been gone.

It nearly was, had it not been for the erratic arm of Braxton Miller. The Ohio State freshman looked brilliant in spots, especially running the football, but he missed a lot of open receivers and cost the Buckeyes at least two sure touchdowns with overthrows. The second came on the final drive, as DeVier Posey had double-moved J.T. Floyd into oblivion and was running free down the sidelines.

The thought of Miller with some more seasoning and in Urban Meyer’s offense should scare not only Michigan fans and the rest of the Big Ten, but the rest of the country. Those two will win a lot of games together.

But not today. No, today belonged to Michigan, which isn’t thinking about all of that other stuff while celebrating the only thing that matters in Ann Arbor, beating Ohio State.

Miller completes one pass in Ohio State win over Illinois

Woody Hayes would be proud. Sort of.

The Ohio State Buckeyes partied like it was 1969 as they pounded Illinois into submission with a physical defense and a solid running game, winning 17-7. The Buckeyes spent most of the day in the power-I, and Dan Herron returned to the lineup to lead the running attack. Meanwhile, Braxton Miller completed only one pass in the game – a touchdown to tight end Jake Stoneburner. On this windy day, the formula worked well as Miller was more than happy to run out of the pocket. I don’t know who is on a bigger learning curve – freshman quarterback Miller or first-year head coach Luke Fickell. Fickell seems to figure things out, but he’s always about three quarters too late. Even with this win, the lack of imagination of the Ohio State coaches in the passing game is embarrassing.

Meanwhile, The Fighting Illini learned what it was like to face a real defense. Despite their collapse last week against Nebraska, the Ohio State defense is a solid unit that plays physical football. Illinois had built a 6-0 record against mediocre competition, but reality set in against Ohio State.

Then there’s the Ron Zook factor. He’s going to take some heat for a late-game decision to go for it on fourth down when he could have kicked a field goal to bring the Illini within one score of a tie.

The Buckeyes have been a mess all year, but it will be interesting to see if they can compete with Wisconsin in a huge home game in two weeks after their bye week. It also looks like the Michigan game will be competitive this year.

Ohio State redefines offensive ineptitude in loss to Michigan State

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell (C) runs onto the field prior to their NCAA football game against the University of Akron in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

So, about that Ohio State offense. Woof.

The Buckeyes put on a performance for the ages, today against Michigan State. That is, if their ages were 8 or 9. They gained 178 yards in a 10-7 loss to the Spartans, 95 of it coming on their last two drives. The final drive covered 62 yards and ended in a touchdown pass by Joe Bauserman with 10 seconds remaining. Something to build on, I suppose.

But for the majority of the game, the Buckeyes were something worse than atrocious on offense, as true freshman Braxton Miller showed us all what it looks like when a true freshman with limited offensive weaponry around him plays against a legit Big Ten defense. That sight, but the way, is not pretty.

A week ago I wrote that Miller was the Buckeyes answer at quarterback, even though he struggled passing the football. Today he may have proven me wrong. I’m sure Miller, who is supremely talented (or so I hear), will one day be the man for the Buckeyes, and not out of necessity. But with DeVier Posey and Dan Herron coming back next week, it might be a better idea to just go with Bauserman and play boring, classic Big Ten offense. This is not to be confused with the so boring it’s kind of exciting offense that was on display today.

And before you get into the “Michigan State is top-ranked defense” argument, stop. The Spartans numbers are inflated by playing cupcakes and a Notre Dame team that was less interested in moving the ball and more interested in not letting Tommy Rees do Tommy Rees-type things in the second half. Even then, the Irish moved the ball up and down the field without a lot of interference at times.

The point is, this is not the best defense Ohio State is going to see this year, and yes things are going to get better when players return from suspension, but with who the Buckeyes have under center, it’s tough to even see it getting to “watchable.”

The defense is still solid, but it’s not as good as it has been, so I don’t see it being able to pull out games against better foes. It’s going to be a long season in Columbus.

Fade Material: College Football Week 3 Predictions

Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell (C) runs onto the field prior to their NCAA football game against the University of Akron in Columbus, Ohio September 3, 2011. REUTERS/Matt Sullivan (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

Well, go figure. I change the name of this column to “Fade Material” and then I start handing out winning picks. If I knew that was all I had to do, I would have changed the title years ago and avoided all the years of .500 or below predictions.

After a 3-1 performance in Week 1, I finished 3-0-1 with my Week 2 picks. Georgia was a push against South Carolina but TCU, Alabama and BYU had no problems covering. I’m still looking for my first sweep of the season, so let’s see if we can’t nail it this week. (Although I admit to having reservations about “Road Test Weekend.” There are some tough games on the board…)

Auburn @ Clemson, 12:00PM ET
Everyone keeps waiting for Auburn to lose and all they’ve done the past two weeks is pull wins out of their backsides. The No. 19 Tigers find themselves once again as underdogs, this time against an unranked Clemson team. Nobody can ever quite figure out Clemson, which either plays the game of its life or sinks to the level of its competition. They’re 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 versus the SEC, while Auburn is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games. Auburn is also 6-0 ATS versus a team with a winning record and 4-0 ATS in their last four games an underdog. I think the Tigers of Auburn keeps this within a field goal, making that 3.5-point spread highly attractive.
THE PICK: AUBURN TIGERS +3.5

Ohio State @ Miami, 7:30PM ET
The Buckeyes face their first road test under new head coach Luke Fickell and while they didn’t look particularly sharp against Toledo last week at home, I like OSU to win outright tonight. They’ll face a quarterback in Jacory Harris, who is coming off a one-game suspension and who was unimpressive against Oho State last year. He threw four interceptions, including three in the first half alone. Granted, that was a different Buckeyes team last season but the defense is still solid and I expect them to give Harris trouble again this time around. The Buckeyes are 11-3 against the number in all games over the last two seasons and 14-4 ATS in road games in September since 1992.
THE PICK: OHIO STATE BUCKEYES +2.5

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