Playing for THE GAME To Decide the Division

Submitted by TheLastStraw on October 15th, 2018 at 12:19 PM

Here are the division standings:

1. Ohio State 4-0

1. Michigan 4-0

3. Maryland 2-1

3. MSU 2-1

5. PSU 1-2

6. Indiana 1-3

7. Rutger 0-4

If Michigan beats Michigan State this weekend, the most likely scenario is that we will go into Columbus with The Game meaning what it used to mean: the winner goes on to the B1G CCG and the loser goes home.  

There are a lot of important narratives to focus on going into this game, but I think the most exciting is that Michigan still has complete control over its own destiny. 

Last season, we had brutal injuries and a lost season, but in 2016 we went into November with complete control of our own destiny. It is looking like we will this year as well. We need to savor this. This is what it means to be a top-tier program. As November rolls around, we control our own destiny.



October 15th, 2018 at 1:30 PM ^

Guys I KNOW it was Minnesota - I was there.

I was referencing losing the game before the OSU game cause you're not focused on the opponent in front of you but rather the one next week.  But after re-reading what I wrote I get why you'd say that.

Candidly I the only game we've lost to Indiana I can remember was the 87 game when Demetrius Brown threw like 132 interceptions and even then we only lost by four.


October 15th, 2018 at 12:29 PM ^

It's easy.  Rutgers wins their next five games, finishing 5-4 in the Big Ten.

Ohio State loses the rest of their games to finish 4-5.

Michigan loses everything except the OSU game, so they finish 5-4, but they lose to Rutgers so Rutgers owns the tiebreaker.

The rest of the East Division already has one loss so it's not too hard to find 4 more losses for them over their next 5-6 games.

Rutgers wins the East, goes to the B1G Championship.


October 15th, 2018 at 12:42 PM ^

Challenge accepted!

Rutgers has losses to Ohio State, Indiana, Illinois, and Maryland.  Only one of those (Illinois) is out-of-division, so they're going to need help; they're not going to do well in tiebreakers...

Rutgers must go undefeated the rest of the way (Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, PSU, MSU); Rutgers goes 5-4; Michigan is now 4-1, PSU is 1-3, and MSU is 2-2.

OSU must lose out (Purdue, Nebraska, MSU, Maryland, Michigan). OSU finishes 4-5; Michigan is now 5-1, MSU is 3-2, and Maryland is 2-2.

Not counting those games, Michigan must lose out (MSU, PSU, Indiana); Michigan finishes 5-4, MSU is now 4-2, PSU is 2-3, and Indiana is 2-3.

If any of these things don't happen, I'm pretty certain Rutgers is eliminated; there can't be a tie at 4-5, because either Michigan or OSU will have at least 5 wins.  I don't think there's any scenario where Rutgers wins a tie with OSU at 5-4, but I'll admit I'm not going to go through every permutation. :)

There's more wiggle room with other teams because they already have losses, so here's one possible scenario (not the only one):

Maryland loses to Iowa, Illinois, and MSU, but beats Indiana and PSU; Maryland finishes 4-5, MSU is now 5-2, Indiana is 2-4, and PSU is 2-4.

MSU loses to Purdue and Nebraska; MSU finishes 5-4.

PSU beats Indiana, but loses to Iowa and Wisconsin; PSU finishes 3-6; Indiana is now 3-4.

Indiana loses to Minnesota and Purdue; Indiana finishes 3-6.

So, you have:

Rutgers 5-4
Michigan 5-4
MSU 5-4
Ohio State 4-5
Maryland 4-5
PSU 3-6
Indiana 3-6

The first tiebreaker is record amongst the tied teams; Rutgers has swept Michigan and MSU and is your Big Ten East champion.

N. Campus Tech

October 15th, 2018 at 12:55 PM ^

Week 8

Northwestern v Rutger

Maryland v Iowa

Michigan v MSU

Penn State v Indiana

Ohio State v  Purdue


Week 9

Indiana v Minnesota

Illinois v Maryland

Purdue v MSU

Iowa v Penn State


Week 10

MSU v Maryland

Rutger v Wisconsin

Penn State v Michigan

Nebraska v Ohio State


Week 11

Maryland v Indiana

Wisonsin v Penn State

Michigan v Rutger



Week 12

MSU v Nebraska

Penn State v Rutger

Indiana v Michigan

OSU v Maryland


Week 13

Purdue v Indiana

Rutger v MSU

Maryland v Penn State

Michigan v Ohio State


Michigan and Rutger would both finish 5-4 in the B1G. Rutger would have the tie-breaker for the head-to-head victory in week 11.


October 15th, 2018 at 12:28 PM ^

Go 1-1 against MSU & PSU and we're still likely to be battling OSU for the division on the final week. Can't see MSU beating OSU as they don't have the athletes to keep up with OSU's receivers. PSU already has 2 conference/division losses, so even if we lost to them, it's pretty irrelevant to the division race.  


October 15th, 2018 at 12:28 PM ^

"we will go into Columbus with The Game meaning what it used to mean: the winner goes on to the B1G CCG and the loser goes home."

your youth is showing


October 15th, 2018 at 12:42 PM ^

... OK. Are you saying that the importance of The Game hasn't suffered in this century? Michigan has had a few good years this century. When "It's Happening" happened, people talked about a new 10 Year War. Obviously, we didn't see that over Harbaugh's first few years, but we're getting there.  

Michigan Manders

October 15th, 2018 at 12:39 PM ^

I never understand all the people saying "Beat state first then we can talk." Like, I get it if you're on the team, sure, take it one week at a time. But we're fans and thankfully free to speculate as much as we damn well please with no impact on how the team performs. Why do I have to limit myself to only thinking about the very next week?


Anyway, I agree with the general sentiment. I's nice to be at a place where if the team performs as it should in 3/4 of the next games we'll be headed to OSU with the winner going to the championship game. But as long as you operate under the assumption OSU will beat MSU, winning versus state in particular doesn't matter; just can't lose 2 of the next 4. Obviously winning versus state matters for other reasons, just not really for going to the championship.

Michigan Manders

October 15th, 2018 at 12:45 PM ^

Uh, because we can? Why not? It's possible to discuss those match-ups while simultaneously considering their outcome's impact on the Game's meaning with respect to the divisional standings.

Again, we're fans. Discussing a future matchup doesn't mean the team won't be prepared for the next week's. It's obviously different if you're playing the game, but we're not. We're just watching.

Just because Thanksgiving is first doesn't mean I can only think about that and have to wait for December to make Christmas/New Year's plans.