“The Game” between Michigan and Ohio State is one of the oldest and most heated rivalries in college football.

As the two teams prepare to renew the Big Ten East showdown, this year’s game will not be any different. In the last two seasons, Jim Harbaugh has bested Ryan Day in the matchup.

However, the dynamics of Saturday’s will be different as Michigan continues to navigate its sign-stealing scandal and will be without Harbaugh for a sixth total game on the season. Although Harbaugh will not be present on the sideline, it has not stopped the Wolverines’ coach from embracing the essence of the rivalry.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh declined to discuss his respect level for his Ohio State counterpart Ryan Day.

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When Harbaugh was asked about his respect level for Buckeyes coach Ryan Day and his staff, he shunned the question and instead kept the focus on the Wolverines’ preparation for the big game this weekend.

“It’s all about our preparation for Ohio. The days, the minutes, the hours, everything leading up to this game, that’s where I focus is,” Harbaugh said. “Preparing ourselves, planning, gonna practice then execute. Anything else is irrelevant when you get to this kind of big game.”

While Michigan (11–0, 8–0) seeks to earn its third consecutive trip to the Big Ten championship game, a win for Ohio State (11–0, 8–0) would give the Buckeyes its first appearance in the conference title game since 2020. The clash will also deliver clarity in the team’s College Football Playoff picture, where Ohio State and Michigan are currently ranked Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

The Wolverines will host the Buckeyes at noon ET on Saturday.