ALDLAND takes you live to Ohio State-Michigan

I suggest watching this preview of tomorrow’s game between Michigan and Ohio State on mute.

Brendan and I will be at this one tomorrow, where we’ll attempt to go 2/3 on planned Ann Arbor tailgate rendezvous this season. This is an important game for both teams. Michigan has the chance to move to a completely improbable 10-2 record and beat Ohio State for the first time since 2003. For the Buckeyes, this has been a lost season in many ways, but a win over the Wolverines on the road would validate everything for them. This is particularly true, I get the feeling, for head coach Luke Fickell, who almost certainly is done after one season on the job. Some already are reporting that OSU has a deal with Urban Meyer that will make him the next head coach sometime after this Saturday’s game.

Michigan fans like to taunt Michigan State fans by making a point of regarding Ohio State, rather than the in-state Spartans, as their main rival, saying that rivalries actually have to be competitive. Michigan hasn’t done much winning against either school in the last few  years, and first-year coach Brady Hoke already continued that trend against MSU this season. I’ll be eager to see how he fares against OSU tomorrow.

The de facto national championship preview: The players

Yesterday’s de facto national championship preview focused on the coaches. Today’s looks at the players.

Alabama and LSU players were in the news before the season even started, which, given each team’s potential for success isn’t surprising by itself. That both teams’ players were in the preseason news for off-field reasons is notable, though. It may seem like an age ago, but Alabama was one of the places hit very hard by the tornadoes that devastated parts of the lower Midwest and Southeast earlier this year. Tuscaloosa was a direct hit. A month later, Sports Illustrated ran a cover story by Lars Anderson that is one of the most powerful sports pieces I’ve read. Facing personal losses themselves, the Tide football players nevertheless had to stand tall in a community and a state that looked to them– as they always had in good times– for support in bad times. Terror, Tragedy And Hope in Tuscaloosa.

LSU players made their way into the preseason, non-sports news in a manner less worthy of an emotional SI cover and an earnest letter home. Keep reading…