Before the season, many probably didn’t anticipate that #2 Michigan and Purdue would face each other in the Big Ten Championship Game. But with a conference title and College Football Playoff standings at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday night, the game turned into one of the more unexpected and interesting clashes.
Of the two teams, Michigan’s appearance is the least surprising. After all, the Wolverines won the Big Ten last season by beating Iowa 42-3 in this game and reaching the College Football Playoffs. But that didn’t stop most pundits from choosing Ohio State to win the Big Ten East this season.including. Heck, the two called the Wolverines the most overrated team in the league. Was this posted on a billboard as motivation for the season? We’ll never know, but the Wolverines are back anyway.
Then there is Purdue, the biggest surprise of them all. This will be Purdue’s first entry to the Big Ten Championship Game and will be the ninth Big Ten school to reach it since its inception in 2011. However, here at CBSSports.com, I come back to the brilliant predictions of the fools from the preseason. Barrett Sallee and Jerry Palm finished the Boilermakers third in the Big Ten West, but that’s as high as anyone is willing to go. I got them to finish sixth! They defy expectations and want to do it again in a game where few have given them a chance to win.
Michigan and Purdue: What You Need to Know
West has never won a Big Ten title: Big Ten went to a divisional format for the 2011 season, but the first three years divisions were not based on geography. Who can forget mighty Legends and Leaders? Well, Big Ten quickly tried. The league split geographically ahead of the 2014 season at the time of the College Football Playoffs and has been dominated by the East ever since. The game was 8-0 and four different teams won at least once (Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State). The average margin of victory for the East in the first eight games was 20 points per game, with the biggest difference being Ohio State’s 59-0 win over Wisconsin in 2014. The closest match was Michigan State’s 16-13 win over Iowa in 2015. Only three of the eight games resulted in a score, and all came in three seasons from 2015 to 2017.
Michigan could be the third team to repeat as title game champions: While the West never won the game, Wisconsin won their first two Big Ten Championships as members of the Leaders Division (seriously, what were we doing?). There was a different winner each season from 2013 to 2016, but Michigan State won in 2013 and 2015. Ohio State had four consecutive wins from 2017 to 2020 before Michigan interrupted its dominance last year. Now Michigan hopes to win its second consecutive championship and start its own raiding streak.
Purdue’s last Big Ten title was in 2000: To put this into perspective, Purdue’s quarterback for the 2000 season was a young man named Drew Brees. Since playing for the Boilermakers, Brees has had a 20-year NFL career, winning a Super Bowl and then retiring two years ago. So, yes, it’s been a long time. The time since Purdue’s most recent Big Ten title is even longer. The 2000 championship was split between Northwestern and Michigan (there were no championship games at the time). The Boilermakers’ last definitive championship came in the 1929 season when Drew Brees was a freshman (he’s kidding), but they won split championships in 1931, 1932, 1943, 1952, and 1967. It’s something Purdue makes a habit of.
Michigan vs. How to watch Purdue live
History: Saturday, December 3 | Time: 20:00 ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium — Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: Fox | Live broadcast: fuboTV (Try for free)
Michigan v Purdue prediction, elections
Featured Game | Michigan Wolverines vs. Purdue Boiler Builders
I’m not giving Purdue a chance to win this game, but I don’t think Boilermakers is child’s play. This is a team that could give the Wolverines some trouble on offense, but the worry is how many stops will the Purdue defense take? A solid unit, but one that doesn’t quite match the Wolverines. Considering that this match will be played indoors and on the field, I see that more points are received than expected. Therefore, I love it more than anything. Estimate: more than 52
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