The bye week gives us a chance to sit back, relax and perhaps even take a look at the big picture outside of what's happened on the field for the Michigan Wolverines this season.
Earlier this week, we took to Twitter to ask for questions for our latest mailbag, so here goes nothing:
How Can Michigan Still Get to Indianapolis?
This one has come from a ton of readers.
Michigan's loss to Michigan State did more than just bruise egos and break hearts. It put the Wolverines in a spot where they need to win out and a ton of breaks go their way.
The easiest scenario is this:
Michigan needs to win out and cap off its season with a victory over Ohio State regardless. They could find themselves in Indy if Michigan State loses two games. The Spartans still have road dates at Nebraska and Ohio State and finish the season against Penn State. It's not probable they lose two, but there's always a chance.
If Michigan State and Michigan beat Ohio State, the Spartans would win the East.
Now, in a scenario where Ohio State beats Michigan State and then loses to Michigan, that's where things get interesting. Each team would have one loss in conference and then the domino effect comes in tiebreaker scenarios.
This where the Big Ten would go from there:
The following procedure will determine the representative from each division in the event of a tie:
(a) If two teams are tied, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative.
(b) If three or more teams are tied, steps 1 through 7 will be followed until a determination is made. If only two teams remain tied after any step, the winner of the game between the two tied teams shall be the representative.
1. The records of the three tied teams will be compared against each other.
2. The records of the three tied teams will be compared within their division.
3. The records of the three teams will be compared against the next highest placed teams in their division in order of finish (4, 5, 6, and 7).
4. The records of the three teams will be compared against all common conference opponents.
5. The highest ranked team in the first College Football Playoff poll following the completion of Big Ten regular season conference play shall be the representative in the Big Ten Championship Game, unless the two highest ranked tied teams are ranked within one spot of each other in the College Football Playoff poll. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the Big Ten Championship Game.
6. The team with the best overall winning percentage [excluding exempted games] shall be the representative.
7. The representative will be chosen by random draw.
You can pretty much skip to number-five here, where the teams finally could find some separation. Essentially, Michigan is behind because of the two-losses on its resume. Luke Zimmerman did an excellent job explaining this over at Land-Grant Holy Land.
Michigan's best shot at a berth in Indy is up to chaos now. Let's all pretend to not be intrigued by the possibility of tiebreaker scenario number-seven coming into play.
Chances With Top Recruits Still on the Board
It's always so difficult to rank things like this with recruiting being such a fluid practice.
Of these three, Michigan's best chances are with Rashan Gary. His visit to Ann Arbor went flawlessly and his mother is completely on board with what the university has to offer. The SEC schools are always worth keeping an eye on, but I expect him to be a part of this class.
As far as Nauta and Walker go, we shall see.
Walker has reaffirmed his commitment to Ohio State a handful of times recently, but it really doesn't mean all that much until there's a signature on the dotted line. Michigan doesn't necessarily need another running back in this class, but he is a definite take should he decide he wants to flip.
I get the feeling that Michigan is trending a bit for Nauta, though his is a full-on national recruitment, so it's hard to pinpoint exactly who leads at this point.
Odds and Ends
Drew is off the hook, for now anyways. Not even his sorcery can explain what took place on Saturday.
Saturday's loss is best washed away like this, which I spotted right outside Michigan Stadium on my walk back to the car from the press box on Saturday.
I have Michigan finishing the season at 9-3 with their lone remaining loss coming to Ohio State, who should start peaking with J.T. Barrett under center.
That's it for this edition. Send your questions on in always using #MnBMailbag on Twitter.