See where Kirk Herbstreit ranks Ohio State in relation to Michigan heading into The Game

Ohio State may have gotten caught looking ahead when it found itself in a battle with Maryland this past Saturday. Fortunately, the Buckeyes pulled it together to put the Terrapins to bed and came away from College Park with a 13-point victory.

OSU now prepares for Michigan in The Game and it’s as big as it’s ever been. The No. 2 Buckeyes welcome the No. 3 Wolverines to Ohio Stadium, both undefeated and both looking for a birth in the Big Ten Championship game and in the College Football Playoff.

As we head into the final week of the regular season, let’s take a peek at where Kirk Herbstreit has Ohio State in relation to Michigan, and the rest of his top six after a weekend full of close calls and upsets.

No. 6 - USC Trojans

Dec 4, 2021; Berkeley, California, USA; California Golden Bears tight end Elijah Mojarro (81) celebrates with USC Trojans wide receiver John Jackson III (80) after scoring a touchdown against the California Golden Bears during the second quarter at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

What we say

USC has worked its way back into the conversation as a playoff contender. The Trojans have to get past a much improved Notre Dame team for the talk to continue. The USC defense still leaves much to be desired, and if Lincoln Riley’s club wants to crash the CFP party, the Trojan D will have to play at a much higher level over these last two weeks.

No. 5 - LSU Tigers

Sep 17, 2022; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) runs the ball against the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Clause-USA TODAY Sports

What we say

We didn’t learn much this week as LSU beat up on lowly UAB. Next week isn’t much more difficult as the Tigers take on Texas A&M. While Brian Kelly has LSU playing much better, the real test will come against Georgia in the SEC title game. Beating the Bulldogs is the only way the Tigers get an invite.

No. 4 - TCU Horned Frogs

Nov 19, 2022; Waco, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs place kicker Griffin Kell (39) and his teammates celebrate the victory over the Baylor Bears after Kell kicks the game-winning field goal against the Bears as time expires at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

What we say

Somehow, TCU keeps doing just enough to keep winning. In the latest version of “this is the week the Horned Frogs go down” Sonny Dykes’ club squeaked out a win over Baylor with a game-winning field goal as time expired. While we don’t necessarily agree that TCU is a top-four team according to the eye test, the overall record says otherwise.

No. 3 - Michigan Wolverines

Michigan Wolverines kicker Jake Moody (13) celebrates with tight end Joel Honigford and other teammates after Moody kicked the winning field goal against Illinois to seal a 19-17 win at Michigan Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

What we say

Michigan escaped a game that saw the Wolverines struggle mightily, especially after star running back Blake Corum went down with injury. Michigan’s run game didn’t look nearly as impressive without Corum and Donovan Edwards in the backfield. The showdown is set for Saturday in Columbus.

No. 2 - Ohio State Buckeyes

Here's where all the Big Ten quarterbacks, including Ohio State football's C.J. Stroud rank in Total QBR after Week 12. Is he still on top?
Here's where all the Big Ten quarterbacks, including Ohio State football's C.J. Stroud rank in Total QBR after Week 12. Is he still on top?

Nov 19, 2022; College Park, Maryland, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) stand sixth teammates before the game against the Maryland Terrapins at SECU Stadium. Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

What we say

Ohio State might have been looking ahead, but there is also proof that Maryland is a pretty good team. The Buckeye’s ground game looked solid once a fully healthy back was toting the ball. It will be interesting to see who gets the most touches come Saturday in the ‘Shoe.

No. 1 - Georgia Bulldogs

Nov 19, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) and defensive back Malaki Starks (24) celebrate during the second quarter against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

What we say

Georgia seemed bored on Saturday. The Bulldogs went into Lexington and pulled out a 16-6 victory over Kentucky. The defense was stout once again, but the offense just looked average. Hard not to keep them in the top spot at this point.

Kirk Herbstreit's rankings and Twitter thread

[listicle id=100887]

Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes, and opinion. Follow Mark Russell on Twitter.

Story originally appeared on Buckeye Wire