Michigan is coming off an impressive three-game stretch with wins against ranked teams, and are in control of the Big Ten East.
The Wolveirnes’ next opponent is Rutgers, the No. 126 ranked team in the country, according to S&P, and is one of the five worst teams in the country. We likely will see a plethora of players get in the game once the lead is to their comfort.
Meanwhile, two other games could help make the Big Ten division races more clear. Northwestern is traveling to ranked Iowa and could seal the deal in the West if they come out with a victory. Michigan State is hosting Ohio State this weekend. MSU has two conference losses while OSU has one. The loser of this game will essentially be out of the race for the Big Ten East.
Which team losing in East Lansing benefits Michigan more?
I’m going to assume we will have a mixed bag of reactions to this question.
Before you pick one team to lose in East Lansing, and yes one will have to win and lose, I want to break down a few things about the Big Ten and College Playoff picture after week 10.
- The Buckeyes are in the top-10 at the moment and would likely drop hard if they lose to Michigan State.
- If Alabama wins out and takes the SEC title, they’re in the College Football Playoff.
- If Georgia beats the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship, there would be two teams in the conference with one loss and could potentially see both make it in. Let’s be honest, Alabama would likely not be left out if they lose the SEC Championship.
- If Clemson wins out against a ranked Boston College on the road, then beats Duke and South Carolina at home, it would likely play a Coastal-Division-leading Pitt, who is 5-4 on the year. They would take one of the top-4 spots as an undefeated team.
- If Notre Dame wins out against Florida State, a ranked Syracuse team and USC, theh’re in as another undefeated team.
- Oklahoma is still alive and could slide up if they win out, which would likely be against West Virginia maybe twice in eight days including winning the Big 12 Conference.
Michigan going to Columbus and beating a top-10 ranked Ohio State would improve their resume because if Northwestern beats Iowa on Saturday, they would win the Big Ten West. The Wolverines would need that added win against a highly-ranked Ohio State team on the road to state their case with the College Football Playoff committee.
Sure, a win for Michigan State clears the path for Michigan to win the East if they take care of Rutgers and Indiana. Some may see a Big Ten Championship appearance as a step in the right direction, likely playing against Northwestern.
If you’re a fan that wants more than a trip to Indianapolis and to are looking at the big picture with a chance of playing in the College Football Playoff, you want Michigan State to lose on Saturday and a chance of beating a top-10 Ohio State.
If you’re a fan that wants a shot to play in the Big Ten Championship and seal the East division before traveling to Columbus, you want Ohio State to lose.
It’s a tough situation as a Michigan fan, and unfortunately only one team can lose in East Lansing. If you didn’t pick up on it, I made an extra effort to use the word “lose” and not “win” throughout this story when talking Spartans and Buckeyes.
Who do you chose to lose? Let’s hear it and why in the comments.
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