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John U. Bacon talks College Football rankings, Harbaugh and Michigan v. Ohio

Nov 25, 2015

Picture from the Michigan-Ohio State game in 2013.
Credit MGoBlog / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

  

Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon joins us for this week's sports roundup.

Big Ten in College Football Playoff rankings

Big Ten teams are dominating the College Football Playoff rankings with four teams holding positions in the top ten.

Both Michigan State and U of M rose in the rankings this week, State from ninth to fifth and UM from 12th to 10th, while Ohio State fell from third to eighth place.

Bacon says the most surprising move was Iowa's rise to third.

He says this will change in a week when the teams play each other and are forced to "eat their own," but Bacon still considers it "a huge triumph for the Big Ten."

Michigan v. Ohio State

Bacon speculates Ohio's loss to the Spartans last weekend will compromise the Buckeyes' confidence approaching this Saturday's matchup with the Wolverines.

He explains that Ohio approached the game against State on solid footing. They hadn't lost a game in almost two years, they're the undefeated national champions, and they haven't "lost a league game in regulation since Urban Meyer took over in 2012."

"State goes down there with a backup quarterback, he gets banged up, a third string guy goes in for a little while, and they beat them at Ohio State with this backup system. That is one of the best coaching jobs I have seen, and that is Mark Dantonio, [and] one of the worst ones I've seen out of Urban Meyer," Bacon says.

Bacon blames the Buckeyes' loss on scared, defensive play-calling that failed to take advantage of the Spartan defensive line's weaknesses.

"That will go down, mark my words, as one of the biggest wins in Michigan State history. That was colossal."

Wolverines approaching Saturday

Bacon says on paper, the Wolverines are no better this season than they were the last. Maybe even worse.

But according to Bacon, seeing them on the field paints a much different picture.

"They not only have a better record, they are simply a much better team. They're playing better," he says.

They lost to the Spartans like they did two years ago, but he says their performance at this point in the season is much stronger than it was in 2013. 

Visiting Bo's Grave

Bacon says the tour through Forest Hill Cemetary visiting graves of Michigan greats including Fielding Yost, Bo Schembechler and Bob Ufer has been a tradition for "20-some years."

This year, Jim Harbaugh came along for the walk.

He broke a buckeye with a hammer over Schembechler's grave and spoke at the end of the tour, and Bacon says he described the experience as "A-plus-plus-plus."