Whitmer, DeWine wager local treats over Michigan-Ohio State game

College Football Playoff implications and the Big Ten East Division title will have to take a back seat Saturday, as the highly anticipated battle between the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes has something a bit sweeter on the line.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine are continuing a decades-long tradition of betting a specialty of their states over the contest (noon, Fox).

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If the No. 3-ranked Wolverines can take a second-straight contest against the Buckeyes, not only will U-M coach Jim Harbaugh's crew upend the state of what's perhaps the fiercest rivalry in college football, but DeWine will have to send Whitmer a gift basket full of Buckeye-state staples: Buckeye Pizza from Adriatico’s in Columbus, Stewart’s Root Beer, an Ohio original, and Jumbo Cream Puffs from Schmidt’s Sausage Haus in Columbus.

But if the No. 2-ranked Buckeyes can resume business as usual and beat their bitter-rival Wolverines for the ninth time in 10 years, Whitmer will have to send DeWine a set of Detroit delicacies: Buddy’s pizza, a dessert from Good Cakes and Bakes, and a case of Vernors ginger ale.

In a statement, Whitmer said she's "feeling good" about her bet on U-M, which stunned Ohio State in a snowy 42-27 win at Michigan Stadium in 2021. This year's contest is in Columbus, where the Wolverines haven't won since 2000. Whitmer is a graduate of Michigan State, but her office notes she's "the proud mother of two Wolverines."

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine

After last year's contest, DeWine had to send Whitmer the cream puffs, black raspberry chip ice cream from Graeter's in Cincinnati, chocolate-covered pretzels from Malley's in Cleveland and buckeye candies from Marsha's Homemade Buckeyes in Perrysburg, Ohio.

Both the Wolverines and Buckeyes avoided upset losses against Illinois and Maryland, respectively, last week, setting up perhaps the most-anticipated edition of "The Game" since 2006, when the No. 1 Buckeyes handed the No. 2 Wolverines a 42-39 loss in a battle of unbeatens.

More:Ohio businesses are crossing out M's on signs in preparation for Michigan-Ohio State

Contact Arpan Lobo: alobo@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @arpanlobo.

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan-Ohio State football game: Whitmer, DeWine make bet