For the second time in a row, Michigan is in the Big Ten Championship Game. Two years ago, that sentence would seem more like a pipe dream than a matter-of-fact statement. Alas, the second-ranked Wolverines have found themselves playing for a title once again, and they’re heavily favored against their Big Ten West counterpart, Purdue.
The Daily makes their call for who wins the Big Ten Championship:
Michigan finds itself in an eerily similar situation that it encountered last season, trouncing Ohio State and then tasked with avoiding a letdown against an inferior opponent from the Big Ten West. Last year, the Wolverines romped Iowa, thwarting any notion of an upset. Can they do the same against Purdue? I believe that they will, though I’m inclined to think this game will be closer than people anticipate. The Boilermakers, quite simply, have nothing to lose — and they’ve built a reputation on securing monumental victories. They tout an NCAA record 17 victories over top-five opponents as an unranked team, with three of those wins occurring under Jeff Brohm. That knack, combined with the absence of standout Michigan junior running back Blake Corum, figures to keep this game close for a bit. In the end, the Wolverines will pull away, simply a result of their sheer talent.
Michigan 31, Purdue 17
Michigan returns to the Big Ten Championship for the second consecutive year, but this time feels a little different. Trouncing Iowa last year felt like the final step of the Wolverines’ revival after beating Ohio State. This time around, Michigan has its sights set on something bigger, and I don’t think Purdue is going to throw them off course. The Wolverines offense is oozing with confidence after their performance against the Buckeyes and I don’t expect them to slow down here. The Boilermakers have a talented wide receiver in Charlie Jones but I believe defensive coordinator Jesse Minter will have a gameplan to slow him down, just as he did against Ohio State’s receiving core. Michigan gets it rolling early and doesn’t let up, enroute to back-to-back Big Ten titles.
Michigan 45, Purdue 13
I think this game could be closer than expected. The Wolverines aren’t at full strength and Purdue could live up to its top-five-slayer billing. So if Michigan comes out and the Boilermakers hang around it could be in contention far longer than people expect. I think the Wolverines pull away late, though.
Michigan 33, Purdue 21
I’ll make this simple: Michigan’s going to win this game. And to be honest, it probably won’t be particularly close. I understand the Wolverines won’t have Corum — they didn’t last week — and there’s a chance for a let-down after the win over the Buckeyes and not much in terms of playoff implications on the line. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that Michigan is simply far more talented than the Boilermakers.
Michigan 43, Purdue, 10
Here are the rest of the beat’s predictions for Championship Weekend:
Week 13 Records
Dec. 3 8:00 pm Big Ten Championship: Michigan -16.5 vs. Purdue
Dec. 2 8:00 pm Pac-12 Championship: USC -2.5 vs. Utah
Dec. 3 12:00 pm Big 12 Championship: TCU -2.5 vs Kansas State
Dec. 3 3:30 pm Sun Belt Championship: Troy -8.5 vs. Coastal Carolina
Dec. 3 4:00 pm SEC Championship: Georgia -17.5 vs LSU
Dec. 3 4:00 pm AAC Championship: Tulane -4 vs. UCF
Dec. 3 8:00 pm ACC Championship: Clemson -7.5 vs. UNC