ESPN college football analyst Trev Alberts argued Saturday night
that it’s a shame the Big Ten doesn’t have a conference title game
to determine its champion.

Last season, Iowa and Ohio State both went 8-0 in conference and
weren’t able to play for an outright Big Ten title on the

This season, Purdue (3-0) and Michigan State (4-0) – the only
undefeated teams left in the conference – are not scheduled to play
in the regular season either.

But don’t tell the Michigan football team there isn’t a Big Ten
Championship Game.

The Wolverines – who now will go to the Rose Bowl if they run
the table – say they have four Big Ten championship games, the
first coming Saturday against No. 10 Purdue at the Big House.

“We are going to take it one game at a time and get ready for
Purdue this week, because it’s going to be a fight,” senior
cornerback Jeremy LeSueur said.

“It’s a Big Ten championship game, and we have to come out and
be prepared.”

From believing they were going to win the national championship
after beating Notre Dame 38-0 to wondering whether they could even
contend for the Big Ten title after losing to Iowa Oct. 4, the
Wolverines have run the full gamut of emotions this season.

“It was hard after the Iowa loss, but we had to just learn from
our mistakes and pick up and move on, and that’s what we did,”
LeSueur said. “We were able to come back and win late against
Minnesota, and now everything is in our hands once again.”

Said fifth-year senior center Dave Pearson: “This is definitely
where we wanted to be. You want to be able to control your own
destiny. Some good things happened for us in the last couple weeks
(that have given us) control.”

Stevie setting records: Michigan punt returner and wide receiver
Steve Breaston’s 74-yard punt return helped him set a new Michigan
record for punt-return yardage in a season. Breaston, who has
returned 28 punts for 476 yards and two touchdowns, passed Tripp
Welborne (455 yards) on the all-time list.

The redshirt freshman is sixth nationally in yards averaged per
return (17.0) and is second nationally in total punt return yards,
trailing Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins by 16 yards. Perkins has 30
returns for 493 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Looking good: The Wolverines have beaten the Boilermakers 14
straight times in the Big House, dating back to 1966 when Purdue
quarterback Bob Griese led them to a 22-21 win.

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr has compiled an 11-3 career record
against top-10 ranked opponents during his career, winning his
first nine games against top-10 squads.

Injury update: Carr said that backup safety Jacob Stewart, who
suffered an injury to his left leg covering a kickoff Saturday,
will likely not play against Purdue.


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