Ohio State vs. Michigan.
In its worst years, the storied matchup between bitter Big Ten rivals makes palms sweat and pulses race.
This year, the big game is even bigger.
Both teams have 11-0 records heading into their game Saturday at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. That’s just the third time that’s happened since the game became
an annual event in 1935. The host Buckeyes are ranked No. 1 in the nation; the Wolverines are No. 2. That’s never happened in the rivalry.
Mix in the fact that the winner gets bragging rights, a perfect record, a Big Ten title and a trip to the National Championship game and you can understand why high school football playoff games and even an election recount in Ohio had to be rescheduled. Scalpers are demanding more than $1,500 for top seats.
"It’s bigger than the things I’ve known. I’m actually part of it. It really blows my mind," Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith told reporters this week.
The impact of this game, which will be broadcast on ABC (Channel 12) beginning at 2:30 p.m., will be felt outside Ohio and Michigan. On most Saturdays, members of the Milwaukee chapter of the Michigan Alumni Association gather at the Water St. Brewery to watch their favorite team play. For the OSU game, however, tradition dictates that the gathering be held at a member’s house in Brown Deer.
That doesn’t mean that the bars will be empty. At Champps Americana restaurant in Brookfield and several other sports bars, shifts are being adjusted to accommodate crowds at the game.
Here is a look at some area bars where fans will gather to watch the game. Use the Talkback feature to add your own suggestions:
Major Goolsby's 340 W. Kilbourn Ave., (414) 271-3414 -- The Grandaddy of local sports bars can be ultra-quiet on "off" nights, but it always gears up for big games.
BW-3 1123 N. Water St., (414) 277-0293 and 2635 N. Mayfair Rd., (414) 302-1900 -- A popular spot for people to pick up food for at-home parties, these chains draw enthusiastic crowds.
Champps Americana 5030 S. 74th St., Greenfield, (414) 281-0600 and 1240 N. Moorland Rd. at Greenfield Avenue, Brookfield, (262) 797-6600 -- You can sit through a football tripleheader and still not work your way through the menu at this chain restaurant.
The Fire Pit Sports Club inisde Potawatomi Bingo Casino 1700 W. Canal St., (414) 847-7993 -- If the game doesn’t live up to the hype, you can always go gamble.
Friday's Front Row Sports Grill 1 Brewers Way, (414) 902-4201 -- Look out at the baseball field and ask your server when pitchers and catchers report.
Hooligan's Super Bar 2017 E. North Ave., (414) 273-5230 -- Big game, crummy game, no game. It’s Hoolie’s. It’s always good.
Hooters 7700 W. Layton Ave., Greenfield (414) 817-9464 -- If you like cold beer, hot wings and orange shorts, there is no other place.
McGillycuddy's 1135 N. Water St., (414) 278-8888 -- If you stake out a good table early, you can keep the party going all night.
Rookie's Sports Club 3915 S. Howell Ave., (414) 482-9700 -- Hardcore sports fans frequent this South Side staple.
Zim's Bar 770 N. Milwaukee St. (414) 727-9447 -- It's never a bad idea to start early on one of Milwaukee's hotter streets.
Host of “The Drew Olson Show,” which airs 1-3 p.m. weekdays on The Big 902. Sidekick on “The Mike Heller Show,” airing weekdays on The Big 920 and a statewide network including stations in Madison, Appleton and Wausau. Co-author of Bill Schroeder’s “If These Walls Could Talk: Milwaukee Brewers” on Triumph Books. Co-host of “Big 12 Sports Saturday,” which airs Saturdays during football season on WISN-12. Former senior editor at OnMilwaukee.com. Former reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.