It's here for the final time: B1G East versus B1G West. Next season it will be B1G #1 versus B1G #2. Michigan heads south on I-69 as Iowa heads east on I-74 to meet up in Indianapolis in the 2023 Big Ten Championship Game. Jim Harbaugh should be back on the sidelines as Michigan attempts to win their third-straight outright Big Ten title.
Trivia Question - Prior to 2011 (when the Big Ten Championship Game was first played), who was the last team to win 3-straight outright Big Ten championships?
After an abnormal 6-0-1 performance last week, I fell back into my comfort zone going a very mediocre 3-4. I did make a correction to last week's results (thanks to waw for pointing that out), and here's where things stand heading into Championship Week:
And with that, here's my take on how badly Iowa will be boat raced:
Iowa versus Michigan (-23) in Indianapolis: my pick - Harbaugh! He's back, as in literally back on the sidelines. Jim Harbaugh's return should provide an extra boost to Michigan, coming off an emotional victory over Ohio State. Michigan does everything Iowa does; only with an offense that actually offenses. The Hawkeyes will keep this thing close early on before the flood gates open. 35-10 gets the job done for the Maize and Blue.
However, there's another B1G Championship Game occurring on Friday night in Santa Clara. The Ducks and Dogs will face off for the last-ever Pac 12 Championship before they both become traditional Midwestern teams (along with Southern Cal and UCLA). Since I haven't lost enough money, here's a bonus pick to consider:
Washington versus Oregon (-9.5) in Santa Clara: my pick - U-Dub. Something seems amiss, as an undefeated team ranked #4 in the AP Poll is a 2-score underdog in their conference championship game. Oregon may very well avenge their 3-point loss earlier this season in Seattle, but it will be a lot closer than nine-and-a-half. Former Indiana quarterback Michael Penix and former Auburn quarterback Bo Nix will finish 1-2 in the Heisman Trophy voting; and Penix's Huskies will (at the very least) beat the spread in the Pac 12's swan song.
Trivia Answer - Trick Question! It has never happened in the Big Ten going all of the way back to 1896. The most recent team to win or share 3 straight Big Ten titles pre-Championship Game was Ohio State from 2005 to 2009 (the 2005 and 2008 titles were shared).