The Michigan Wolverines will play in the Big Ten Championship for the first time in school history. Granted, the championship game itself has only been around since 2011. Regardless, this is a huge achievement for Jim Harbaugh and company.
This is an interesting matchup, because Iowa is a team very similar to the Wolverines. It will be a slugfest, with both teams heading into the half tied at 10. Both teams run similar offenses, but Hassan Haskins becomes a difference-maker in the second half. Haskins scores twice after halftime, and the Wolverines punch their ticket to the College Football Playoff.
Michigan 27, Iowa 20
Beat Ohio State. Check.
Win the Big Ten East Division. Check.
Next up for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines (11-1) is winning a Big Ten championship. They have the chance to do just that Saturday against Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes (10-2), the winners of the Big Ten West Division.
Coming into this matchup, the Hawkeyes have averaged just 25.7 points per game (10th in the Big Ten), while the Wolverines have permitted just 17.2 points a game (third best in the Big Ten).
Just a week ago, in the team's biggest game of the season against the Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan held Ryan Day's offense to just 27 points, way down from the Buckeyes' season average of 45.5 points per game.
It screams to me that as long as Harbaugh & Co. stay true to their script of getting after the quarterback -- in this case, wreaking havoc against Iowa passer Spencer Petras -- and running the football, they will come out victorious in their first ever appearance in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Wolverines win this game with relative ease, punching their first ever ticket to the College Football Playoff.
Michigan 24, Iowa 10
Like many others, I'm very excited to see how the Maize and Blue fare in this ballgame. I think we're looking at a Michigan team with some serious momentum, coming in off its gigantic upset of Ohio State last weekend. Look for the Wolverines to be aggressive, execute their strong pass rush and ride the wave all the way to victory once again. I expect Hassan Haskins, who erupted for five touchdowns last weekend, to be just as sharp this weekend. This one, to me, seems like an easy "W" for Michigan.
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Michigan 27, Iowa 14
The Michigan Wolverines have finally found their way to Indianapolis. With so much at stake, including a berth in the College Football Playoff, I can't see Jim Harbaugh and Co. letting up against the Iowa Hawkeyes.
I don't believe the Hawkeyes can keep up with the Wolverines offensively.
The ground game should continue to thrive for Josh Gattis' offense. Look out for Aidan Hutchinson, as he continues to lead the Wolverines' defense on his way to the Heisman Trophy presentation ceremony.
Michigan 30, Iowa 20
The Iowa offense is challenged, to be polite. The real strength of the Hawkeyes team is its defense.
The Hawkeyes are ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten in team defense, right behind Michigan. This is a team that has given up the second-least amount of touchdowns in the Big Ten.
Now, Michigan will present a handful of issues. From a dominant run game, an offensive line that has gotten better as the season has gone on, wide receivers that have stood up, to a quarterback that has been allowed to grow into the position and a red-zone offense that is operating at a brilliant clip, the issues are immense.
That red-zone offense is ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten, and has been putting up touchdowns instead of settling for field goals.
Because of this, crown Blue!
Michigan 37, Iowa 17