What is the B1G's signature non-conf win?

Submitted by spiff on September 24th, 2018 at 7:50 PM

By current opponent ranking, Maryland is carrying the torch with a win over #18 Texas. After that it's.......OSU I guess? They beat the team that just lost to Texas.

Not a great non-conference season for the B1G.

It will be interesting how it plays out come playoff time. Assuming Clemson gets in, 2 SEC teams, that leaves one stop for Big XII champ, Pac 12 champ, and the B1G, and even possibly ND.

It will be difficult for a 1-loss B1G champ (presumably us) to get to the CFP without a signature conference win to boost the conference profile.

It would really bum me out if we go 12-1 and miss out on the CFP. But I guess I'll take it.:)




September 25th, 2018 at 4:15 AM ^

I know we’re talking hypotheticals here but quality of wins will have an impact as well.  If we were to go on another shut out streak a la 2015, we would bump up quicker vs eeking them out.   It’s a possibility if the offense is callousing the way Harbaugh likes, moving forward.


September 24th, 2018 at 7:54 PM ^

This is dumb. Any 1-loss B1G team is in the playoff, no questions asked. 

Who's the second SEC team that you have making it? I'm guessing it's a 1-loss Bama/UGA. What would be the signature out of conference win on their schedules?  The best non-con game either of them will play is UGA vs Ga Tech.  


September 24th, 2018 at 7:54 PM ^

This is why it’s important for Big Ten teams to win out of conference contests. Yes, including OSU and MSU. At the end of the day I’m more concerned with making it to Indianapolis this year and let the chips fall as they may. Anything after a Big Ten championship appearance this year is gravy IMO.


September 24th, 2018 at 9:04 PM ^

“This” as in the opinion of this blog poster? This hasn’t seemed to be the reasoning of the committee in the past. 2014 OSU got in with their best OOC win being probably Navy and 2015 MSU beat an Oregon team in EL that ended up 9-4. Those aren’t marquee wins but the B1G championship was enough. It likely would be this year too. 


September 24th, 2018 at 7:58 PM ^

Honest to God, if we went 12-1 and missed the CFP, I would not be bummed out at all. I would be friggin' ecstatic. There's nothing we can do about what the CFP committee decides other than win the games in front of us, and a season that includes winning a Big Ten championship while beating both MSU and OSU on the road would be the greatest thing basically ever. And if that's not good enough for the CFP, fuck 'em. We'll destroy whoever we play in the Rose Bowl as consolation.

Anyway, I'm sure that's what you mean when you say "I guess I'll take it," but I can't underscore enough how much I could not care about what some cabal of idiots thinks relative to taking care of our own business. =P


September 24th, 2018 at 8:16 PM ^

Will I get online and get mad about it? Oh, probably.


But dude: that fantasy sounds so much more delicious than anything we've even remotely experienced recently with Michigan football that I can't imagine being that upset. Big Ten champs? Beat Ohio State in Columbus? Dude. I'd wake up with a smile on my face everyday from the beginning of December until the end of August.


September 24th, 2018 at 8:56 PM ^

You're comment re Bama is underrated. All else (i.e. regular season records) being equal, a Rose Bowl win is way more satisfying than a playoff loss.

It goes against the competitiveness that Harbaugh preaches, but from a fan satisfaction perspective, unless you've got a good shot of actually winning the CFP, the best case scenario is probably a playoff-caliber season where you get left out and have a solid chance of ending the season with a New Year's 6 win.


September 24th, 2018 at 10:46 PM ^

What sort of thinking is this? If UM can make the playoff you take it. You don’t worry about an outcome with Bama. Never ever will I wish for UM to just miss playoff and roll someone else in a bowl game. I’ll live with the results of being in the playoffs. Big for recruiting, especially now with the first signing period between end of regular season & bowl/CFP games.


September 24th, 2018 at 8:24 PM ^

That basically assumes that ND, Bama, Stanford, and the B12/ACC champ all go undefeated. Since I've been watching college football, it's fairly rare to even get 2 undefeated P5 teams to the end of the season, much less 4. If Michigan wins out, you're likely going to have 2 undefeated P5 teams (probably includes Bama) and then several 1-loss P5 champions. Leaving out a 1-loss Michigan with wins over Penn State, Wisconsin x2, and Ohio State is exceedingly unlikely


September 24th, 2018 at 8:34 PM ^

There certainly is a universe where that happens. But it would take such an extraordinary turn of events that it’s barely worth talking about. 

First of all, we have to go 12-1. Guessing that’s about a 5–7% chance if you averaged win probabilities. 

Then ND would need to go undefeated. They obviously would have a pretty strong case to get in over us. Heck, they may even have a case with 1 loss to say...

Stanford. Stanford could also go undefeated and with their schedule (@ND, @Oregon, USC, UW, P12CG) would also have a great case to go over us. 

SEC Champ, assuming they only have 0 or 1 losses is going to get in. 

Undefeated Clemson is also getting in over us. Same with Oklahoma I suspect.

So there you go. A universe where Michigan is left out of the playoff, and probably for good reason if I’m honest. 


September 24th, 2018 at 11:10 PM ^

The last time there were three undefeated teams in college football was 2004, one of those three in '04 was an FCS team in Boise St. Prior to 2004, it was 1973. Its a fairly safe bet that there wont be three this year, and more than likely there wont be two. 

With that assumption, which two to three one-loss teams will have better resumes than a one-loss Michigan with wins @OSU, @MSU, vs Wisconsin,  and vs PSU?


September 24th, 2018 at 11:31 PM ^

It will matter a little bit of how the teams look while winning, but 90% of the time a one loss Michigan to ND, away, in the first game of the year gets in over a one loss ND. 

Beyond that, you need big 12 and ACC and Stanford to stay undefeated. It isn't happening. 


September 24th, 2018 at 8:27 PM ^

The biggest non Michigan football win I am concerned with is stopping crap threads like this one. We figure out how to get rid of these, huge win.

Leaders And Best

September 24th, 2018 at 8:51 PM ^

OSU beating TCU, Maryland beating Texas, & Iowa beating ISU will help in a H2H comparison between the Big Ten and the Big 12.

But I counter your question with: what is the signature non-conference win for the ACC, Big 12, or Pac-12? I guess the ACC gets an incomplete with their rivalry games against the SEC East at the end of the season, but the ACC has flopped even worse than the Big Ten. Clemson won @Texas A&M. Clemson is the only team in the ACC that has a chance of making the playoff. If Stanford loses this weekend to Notre Dame, it is possible the Pac-12 may already be out. I think multiple teams in the Big Ten still have a chance.


September 24th, 2018 at 9:12 PM ^

agreed...take care of our own business, beat MSU/OSU, Wiskey, PSU...win out, and playoffs be damned...we should be there, if not, it's a great season and points to the future of M football. National title shots are nice...but I want to see progress in gameday outcome. The rest is just icing.

Leaders And Best

September 24th, 2018 at 9:19 PM ^

B1G nonconference record:

B1G vs. Big 12: 3-1

B1G vs. ACC: 3-1

B1G vs. Pac-12: 1-2

B1G vs. SEC: 0-1

B1G vs Independent (ND & BYU): 0-2 with one more to play (ND-NW)

I think the losses to BYU and non-Power 5 teams have tarnished the B1G reputation this year, not the lack of a marquee win. The B1G has actually done OK versus the Power 5 conferences this year.


September 25th, 2018 at 12:05 AM ^

I think the quantity of non-conf losses are what hurts the conference the most.

Still, Michigan is going to have a plenty difficult schedule to make the CFP if they win out. They'll have beaten at least four ranked teams, two on the road.  But Nebraska and Northwestern flopping made a remote possibility of getting in with two losses (an avenged loss to Wisconsin) nearly zero now. That's the only downside to a meh non-conf performance.


September 24th, 2018 at 9:22 PM ^

The ACC is hot garbage this year.  Clemson has a 2-point win against an average SEC team, but right now the only other ranked team on their schedule is Duke, and that's a LONG ways away.  And if they slip up against anyone, which they've shown a propensity to do before, I don't think they'll get the benefit of the doubt.


September 24th, 2018 at 11:02 PM ^

Very, very, very little chance we'd be left out at 12-1.  Clemson, OU and Stanford would ALL have to go undefeated, because with our schedule, we'd make it ahead of any one of them with a loss and also the SEC runner up.

That's not going to happen. Clemson could certainly win out. OU highly unlikely. Stanford, nearly impossible.