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ESPN says this is the season-defining game for Michigan football in 2024

Michigan football has something of a gauntlet of a schedule in 2024, certainly making up for all of the heckling the past few years due to the weak nonconference slate.

Not only do the Wolverines host Texas in Week 2, but of the new Big Ten teams, the maize and blue play three of them, including two at home — USC and Oregon. Though Michigan avoids Penn State after having played the Nittany Lions perennially as a divisional foe, it still has that one giant game at season’s end — the biggest and most season-defining of them all.

Ohio State.

Of course, that’s how ESPN sees it, as it should. The network put together a list of each team’s most important game in 2024 and the Wolverines’ trip to Columbus to face the Buckeyes was the selection for the maize and blue.

Michigan’s ability to change the narrative against Ohio State has been as big of a reason as any for its dominance over the past three seasons, accumulating a 30-3 record (26-1 in the Big Ten). Yes, the Wolverines welcome Texas in the Big House in September as its nonconference slate gets a much-needed jolt, but things annually revolve around what occurs on Thanksgiving weekend. With an opportunity to possibly put another stain on Ryan Day’s tenure, Michigan vs. Ohio State on Nov. 30 will be fascinating to watch — no matter what happens in the season’s first 11 weeks. — Baumgartner

And yes, for OSU’s season-defining game, it is Michigan, given that Ryan Day is now 1-3 vs. his rival, having lost three straight. If the Wolverines can find a way to upend the Buckeyes for a fourth straight year, especially given all of the offseason desperation down south, it will certainly create pandemonium in the state below.

Story originally appeared on Wolverines Wire