For Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines, this weekend is as big as it gets. “It’s one of those, it’s elimination mindset, playoff mindset at this point,” said Harbaugh. Michigan has never been to the Big Ten championship game under Jim Harbaugh and has never been to the playoff.
The game between Michigan vs Michigan State is only the sixth Big Ten conference game in the poll era where both teams are 7-0. The rivalry is usually bolstered around who gets to take home the Paul Bunyan trophy and bragging rights, but with the playoff implications on the line, the heat is cranked up higher, and the margin of error for both squads are slimmer.
The marquee matchup between Penn State & Ohio State bolds more for the Buckeyes than the Nittany Lions. Ohio will get their first true test since a loss to Oregon in Week 2 and since shuffling defensive coaches. Ohio has looked like a playoff team these past weeks, but a loss here will end all hopes of playing in January.
The Nittany Lions are going to have a tough hill to climb coming into Saturday. Last week, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford did not appear fully healthy. Illinois’s defensive was able to get to Clifford a few times during the game while getting four sacks.
It’s now looking like the right time for Buckeyes as they’re figuring things out and should out away the Nittany Lions, but it would be a huge upset for Penn State to walk out of Ohio Stadium with a win.