Alright, let’s establish the damn run.
Big Ten Championship Game
#2 Michigan Wolverines vs. #13 Iowa Hawkeyes
7pm CT | FOX | Michigan -11 | O/U 43.5
Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
misdreavus: Only two teams were able to keep Michigan under that mythical 24 point number Iowa loves to force teams into. It so happens that, in my biased opinion, only one of those two teams had any semblance of a chance to beat Michigan. It also happens that, the team with a semblance of a chance to beat Michigan also played Iowa earlier this season and [redacted].
If there’s any team outside of Penn State more equipped to stop Michigan, it’s Iowa.
And I’m quite certain we’re going to see that come to fruition on Saturday.
Stew: Iowa’s offense is terrible. It’s been announced that Spencer Petras will be making the start, and will likely play unless hurt, again. Petras is a statue with poor pocket awareness. Iowa’s OL, specifically the OTs have been terrible. Michigan has 2 of the best DEs in the country. This is an absolute nightmare of a matchup for an offense that is absolutely terrible even with the most favorable of matchups. That part of the equation isn’t going to change. The only thing to really do here is run inside zone over and over and hope Goodson can break a few.
While Iowa’s defense is borderline elite, they typically take a couple of series to make adjustments and really turn the screws. This allows Michigan a few series to get out to a lead, that Iowa will have a very hard time overcoming (this ain’t UNL). The only hope is for turnovers, which Michigan doesn’t do very often.
So maybe a big special teams play? After all, Iowa does have the best special teams in the country, and fuck, Michigan is right there at #2.
What I’m saying is this is a bad matchup, and I don’t expect Iowa to win. Make it ugly and keep it close? Sure, I think that’s entirely plausible, if even likely. But the path to victory is very thin.
BRT: I voted for Michigan. I think they're at very real risk for a hangover after the Biggest Win in a Thousand Years or whatever, but if the stakes attached to this one don't motivate them, nothing will. If they play like they did last week, they should win fairly easily. Iowa's ballyhooed defense is good, but not great, and their offense remains... neither of those things.
That said, I can see Michigan stupiding this up, and that's a dangerous place to be. Iowa, while not exceptional in any major phase of the game, is one of the most disciplined and opportunistic teams in the conference. So if Michigan decides to f*ck around... they might just find out.
MNW: BRT hit the nail on the head—Michigan has the talent, it feels, to just take this game over with Hassan Haskins getting to the edge and beating the Hawkeyes with speed.
But then there’s Jim Harbaugh.
Did the Ohio State win unleash something in Michigan, knowing that they can bully most of the teams in the conference not just with their size, but their speed (in spaaaaaace)? Does the imminence of a Top 2 seed in the College Football Playoff motivate, or tense up, the Wolverines’ sphincters?
You’ll note, here, that the game hinges on Michigan. That’s not just because it’s all about the Wolverines—it’s because while no one can deny the Hawkeyes their divisional crown, we can also admit, like...they’re not exactly world-beaters. Oh, and Iowa’s decided to start Spencer Petras, the less mobile of the two statues Iowa puts out at quarterback. Aidan Hutchinson should feast.
“Should” will be the operative word here. Michigan should win, 27-17.
Creighton: I’ll keep my prediction simple. Iowa’s OL has been a weak spot as a unit all season long, and I simply think they won’t have an answer for Hutchinson and Ojabo. Since I don’t think Brian Ferentz will make the necessary adjustments to minimize their impact, so that leaves two possibilities:
1- Iowa’s passing game has been so miserable all season that it won’t make that much of a difference and we’ll still figure out some way to win dirty like we always do
2- Knowing that the passing game is in shambles, the wolverines will be able to commit 100% to the run and we won’t be able to score any points. The defense will be over exerted and eventually the dam will break.
I think it’s going to be the second one. I still love ya, Hawks. I’ll be there in person hoping you prove me wrong.
Pick this game:
This poll is closed
Michigan by 11 or more
Michigan by 10 or less
This poll is closed
Let us know your picks in the comments, and enjoy the game.