At this point, the 2012 Big Ten football season is shaping up to be what many thought it would be. Wisconsin will, barring a total meltdown, be the Leaders division representative in the Big Ten championship game, and Michigan is in control of their own destiny in the Legends division. With their 12-10 win over Michigan State last Saturday, the Wolverines are the only team in the division with an undefeated conference record. However, the division is still wide open, and this coming weekend has the potential to be huge.
The top four teams in the Legends division, all with a shot at the title, play each other this weekend. Michigan travels to Nebraska, and Iowa is making the trip to Northwestern. Northwestern is pretty much already out. They would have to win out the rest of the season and hope for two Nebraska losses plus one or two Michigan losses as well. Iowa and Nebraska, with only one conference loss apiece, are also in control of their own destiny. Now, I’m not going to cover all the ways in which any one of these teams can end up as division champ, because the answer is simple, especially for the Wolverines: win the games you need.
Michigan holds a trip to Indy in their hands. Going to Lincoln will be tough this weekend, but if Michigan is going to be Michigan again, they will win this Saturday. With wins over Nebraska and Iowa, Michigan can punch their ticket to Indianapolis. Victories over the Huskers and Hawkeyes will give each of those schools at least two losses AND give Michigan the tie-breakers, which would leave room for Michigan to slip once, or even twice, and still control the division. All Michigan has to do is go 3-2 the rest of the regular season, as long as two of those three wins come against Nebraska and Iowa.
This is the opportunity Michigan has been waiting for. Last season for Michigan, and Brady Hoke, was great. But backing into the Sugar Bowl is not what they have in mind for this program. To truly become a feared conference power, as they once were, they have to let the rest of the division know that the road to Indy and Pasadena goes through them! This is the time for Michigan to set the tone for the rest of this season, and for seasons to come.
Filed under: Uncategorized