Ryan Mallett on Michigan - OSU

Texas High School and Michigan commitment Ryan Mallett are having a stellar season of their own. Mallett's 10-0 Tigers head into the playoffs as one of the favorites to win the 4-A State Title. The big gunslinger is also looking into what the future holds for him, as the team he looks to one day lead heads into the biggest game in its history.

This is the most significant chapter in the history of a storied rivalry, with a trip to the National Championship game, as well as bragging rights for years to come, on the line.

There are those who have pledged to be a part of the one of the most hallowed events in sports. For those already there, this is why they came to Michigan and Ohio State. For those who will become part of the glory next year, this is affirmation of their decision. Very few people expected Michigan to be in the position in which it now finds itself, 11-0 and ranked No. 2 in the country, facing an 11-0 Ohio State team sitting firmly at the top. One such member of the those optimistic few is Texarkana, Texas quarterback Ryan Mallett, who hopes to one day lead the Michigan team in just such a contest.

"A lot of people gave Michigan up for dead after last year," Mallett said. "But they weren't paying attention to all the injuries they had. I knew these guys were good and if they stayed healthy they would do great things, and here we are."

The 6-foot-7, 255-pound Mallett is doing great things himself this season. He leads his Texas Tigers into the State 4-A playoffs with a perfect 10-0 record. They face Nacogdoches on Friday. "We've worked hard to get here but I feel like we should make it through okay," Mallett said. "Even if we win Friday though we have four more to go to win it all, so we have a lot of work left."

With the present in the forefront of his thoughts at the moment, Mallett is taking a few peeks into his future. "I wish I was there now, I mean look at what they're doing," he said. "I know what I have to look forward to in 12 months, it's exciting. It's going to be a war and I know Michigan can pull it off."

The way the BCS is shaping up, there is a very real possibility that this game could simply be the opening act, and the two teams will once again face each other on Jan. 8 in the BCS Championship Game in Glendale, Ariz. "I think if they finish within a touchdown of each other they'll almost have to play again," Mallett said. "I don't have a problem with it because they are the two best teams in the country right now."

Mallett summed up his future with one sentence. "It's going to be fun when I get up there."

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