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Ohio State beats archrival Michigan in OT and now needs help to win the Big Ten East

An absolute classic.

It gets no bigger than The Game. Michigan and Ohio State have met for over a century, but few have the stakes this one does. One is No. 3, the other No. 2. The hottest coaching names in the sport man each sideline. There’s that, and then there’s the fact that none has taken overtime to decide a winner. This thriller needed two.

This is the game you tell your folks about — forever.

Forgive me if I get caught in the moment of what will go down as the game of the year. This is the one that you point to when your friends that don’t get college football act apoplectic about what you do on Saturdays. It was tense, it was fun, and it was maddening all in one four-hour-plus cacophony of emotion.

This was Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler’s combined wet dream, and it was B1G as all hell. Not one fullback touchdown, but two by Michigan’s Khalid Hill, its resident wonderful large panda in the backfield. And the game really teetered on a combination of punts and defense.

Ohio State probably wishes there were one more punt though, if we’re being honest. At a crucial juncture in the game, down three points, the Buckeyes ran this perplexing fake punt. It didn’t work, but Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, who fancies himself a bit of a special teams guru, tried to exploit something in the Wolverines’ special teams setup.

The punt-fake fail set Michigan up for Hill’s second touchdown

But what defines this game more than anything else will be the mistakes, particularly the ones that kept Ohio State in the game — and that’s not limited to the players on the field.

Wilton Speight’s two interceptions outright gave Ohio State one touchdown on a pick-six. And then the other set them up in the red zone. And then Harbaugh had a blowup.

We laugh a lot at Harbaugh’s tantrums. But he cost his team crucial yards to an Ohio State squad that needed all the help it could get. We saw the Buckeyes struggle to gain yards later in the game inside the red zone against a salty Michigan red zone defense. A crucial stop inside Michigan’s 10-yard line forced a field goal, which led to a missed field goal that was barely longer than an extra point.

But Durbin would bounce back to knock in the game-tying field goal to send us to the extra session.

And in the extra session, they ratcheted up the intensity beyond a fever pitch.

For decades, they will talk about what happened on this fourth-down play specifically, when J.T. Barrett collided with his tight end and got a spot that replay couldn’t conclusively overturn.

And it set up Curtis Samuels on the next play of the game to make this the last play of the game as emphatically as anyone ever has in Ohio Stadium.

Oh, and just in case you forgot about the stakes in this bad boy.

The Playoff is at stake, as well as the fate of the Big Ten in what is a convoluted East division look toward next week’s conference title game.

Michigan’s win-and-in. If the Wolverines prevail, they’ll face Big Ten West champion Wisconsin, which clinched without even playing a game on Friday, in Indianapolis next Saturday (8 p.m. ET, FOX).

Penn State needs a Michigan loss, and Ohio State needs a Penn State loss. Both PSU and OSU also need to win their own games in order to make it to Indy.

Michigan wins the division by simply beating Ohio State. Penn State wins the division with a win against Michigan State and an Ohio State win. And Ohio State wins the division with a win and a Penn State loss.

So now, depending on what happens in Penn State’s game against Michigan State, this game will have a much more far-reaching effect than simply the epic result we saw on the field.

Just another edition of The Game. No big deal.