Ohio State-Michigan conjures up images of great games and nationally relevant matchups. Who can forget the Ten Year War or the 2006 game that decided a national championship participant?
Those memories seem very distant in 2013, as Vegas Insider has Ohio State as a 14.5-point favorite.
It's almost as if the outcome of this year's version of "The Game" is a foregone conclusion.
No one seems to have stopped to think about what would happen if Michigan wins. Seriously, what does happen if Michigan wins this game on Saturday?
With Michigan winning just two of the last nine contests in the rivalry and where these two teams have gone this season, one can easily see why some are assuming Ohio State wins easily on Saturday.
Thoughts of a new Ten Year War were bandied about this offseason, but now those thoughts seem like fool's gold given where the season has taken these two squads. However, the scenario that started the War is nearly the exact same one facing this year's game—a massive win streak for Ohio State.
In 1969, former Woody Hayes assistant Bo Schembechler was hired to coach the Michigan Wolverines.
Ohio State came into that 1969 matchup with a huge 22-game win streak to its credit, but it was Michigan that stopped the inevitable. The Wolverines upset the Buckeyes 24-12 on November 22, 1969 and thus the Ten Year War began.
The biggest difference between that 1969 game and the one coming up on Saturday is that Michigan is not ranked and has three losses to its name this season.
Otherwise, the win streak and apparent inevitability of an Ohio State win are there.
Michigan has no division title to play for, no Top 25 ranking and, according to most, no hope either. With that said, a win would upset the apple cart of the national narrative and the narrative in Ann Arbor as well.
As for things in Columbus? Well, gone will be a 23-game win streak and gone will be any hope of a national championship game appearance.
Sure, there is the Rose Bowl berth with a Big Ten Championship still to play for, but the season will be seen as a failure to many in Buckeye nation if they don't at least finish undefeated during the regular season.
Not only would a Michigan win affect Ohio State, it would put some massive chaos into the BCS picture outside of the national championship game.
Where does Ohio State fit in with the one-loss teams out there? Would Ohio State hold on to a Top Five position in the polls?
A lot depends on what happens in the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn, but falling to Michigan would certainly put a monkey wrench in the plans of Urban Meyer's crew.
However, the ramifications of a Michigan win could last longer than just this season. Hoke would have won two of the last three in a series that, as we've talked about, has been dominated by Ohio State for the last decade or so.
Could it signify a changing of the guard in this rivalry? It certainly would mean the days of Ohio State assuming a victory, regardless of record, are over.
Additionally, it could signal a chance for Michigan to really make a move up the standings.
With the Big Ten moving to a new division format in the coming years, this game could have massive implications on the East Division Championship and having a leg up psychologically is huge.
Should Michigan win on Saturday, all of our assumptions about these two teams will be proven wrong.
If there's one thing the 2013 season should have taught us all by now, it's that we should come to expect the unexpected.
Michigan winning on Saturday would certainly be unexpected.
Andy Coppens is Bleacher Report's lead writer for the Big Ten. You can follow him on Twitter @ andycoppens.
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