Theory: Michigan finally makes the Big Ten Championship game

You know all the worn-out lines. Michigan can’t do better than third in the Big Ten East. Jim Harbaugh can’t beat Ohio State. You also know from Harbaugh’s time at Stanford that legacies can be rewritten, and the window for the Wolverines is open now.

Wed – Nov 6

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Michigan won their fierce, bitter and also brand-new rivalry with Maryland (Gattis v. Locksley) easily, but it's a tough road ahead. The team that does it the right way needs to win out and have Penn State lose twice in conference play.

Wed – Oct 30

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Michigan just needed a rainy (a really, really rainy) day to come alive. The Wolverines scored FORTY FIVE points against Top 10 Notre Dame! Where's this offense been? Unfortunately, this was not a conference game, and UM still needs win all of their remaining games plus see Penn State lose twice to get to Indy.

Tue – Oct 22

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Evidence Ohio State cheats

Michigan played hard against Penn State but fell short in the end in Happy Valley. If the game against the Nittany Lions was a referendum then they failed, but not terribly. Either way, a spot in Indianapolis just got that much tougher to attain.

Wed – Oct 16

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Evidence Penn State cheats

The Wolverines blew out Illinois... until they didn't, leading by as little as three in the fourth quarter before winning 42-25. Up next is a really, really good Penn State defense in what will be a referendum on Shea Patterson, Josh Gattis and even Jim Harbaugh.

Mon – Oct 7

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Evidence Michigan State cheats

The best way to hide a struggling offense is to play Rutgers. The next best way is to play Iowa. To the naked eye, Michigan’s 10-3 win at home over the Hawkeyes just looks like a typically muddy field position slog the Hawkeyes love. Are things fixed with Josh Gattis and Shea Patterson? Nope! But it’s a conference win nonetheless.

Wed – Oct 2

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Michigan didn’t have a bye week last week, but they did play Rutgers. That’s the next best thing.

Mon – Sep 23

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Looks like you can’t beat the cheaters or the cheesers: Wisconsin smashed the Wolverines in an exceedingly Wisconsin fashion. 0-1 in conference play is bad. This 0-1 looks especially damning.

Mon – Sep 16

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Evidence Penn State cheats

After an early bye, Michigan’s first conference game against West favorite Wisconsin could expose their offensive issues, especially if the Badgers can run on them like Army did.

Mon – Sep 9

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Evidence Penn State cheats

Michigan flirted with total disaster before Army’s tactical errors let the Wolverines escape with an OT win over the Black Knights. Weird things happen against option teams, but the Wolverines’ offensive struggles are real.

Wed – Sep 4

Evidence Indiana cheats

Evidence Michigan State cheats

Evidence Penn State cheats

Evidence Ohio State cheats

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

CFB Is A Game Of Integrity

Michigan closed out Middle Tennessee State in a clunky 40-21 game that saw the Wolverines sag early. That's most likely due to a "lower body injury" to quarterback Shea Patterson, who according to reports was hurt on the first play of the game. He'll need to be healthy - which means mobile - with Army's game-shortening attack coming to town Saturday.