Michigan is in an interesting situation when it comes to Saturday’s game at Wisconsin. With the way the current Big Ten standings are, a loss to the Badgers doesn’t kill U-M’s title hopes as a win the next week over Ohio State would send Michigan back to the Rose Bowl. With that being set up the way it is, quite a few fans I’ve talked to are already talking about the Ohio State game. Although I can understand why, it’s not like the Wisconsin game means nothing. In reality, the Wisconsin game is huge for a few reasons.
If U-M comes away with a win on Saturday, it will give them momentum heading into next week’s showdown with the Buckeyes. I’ve already said that a loss wouldn’t kill Michigan’s Big Ten title hopes, but it would prevent them from winning an outright title assuming Ohio State wins on Saturday. A trip to Pasadena still would be possible, but tying with OSU isn’t exactly the greatest thing in the world.
Just by chance, if Illinois somehow was able to upset Ohio State this weekend, then a Michigan win would give the Wolverines at least a share of the Big Ten title. That is another reason why this Wisconsin game is important. A lot of people think that Hart and Henne should sit out on Saturday to be fully ready for Ohio State. Again, I can understand where they’re coming from, but there’s no way I can see that happening. Henne himself said that he is nearly completely healed and I just can’t see Hart missing his second to last regular season game, no matter how injured he may be.
When it comes down to it, yes, Michigan will be playing for a Big Ten title on November 17th. But that game is still 10 days away, and right now the focus has to be on the Wisconsin game. A win gets Michigan one step closer to the ultimate goal of winning an outright Big Ten championship. Sure, to do that a win over OSU is necessary, but a loss on Saturday prevents there from even being a chance of an outright title unless Ohio State loses to Illinois. The chances of that are slim, and why put your team’s destiny in another team’s hands. With the way the standings are right now, Michigan controls its own destiny. The only thing necessary is 2 more wins, and hopefully the first will come on November 10th in Madison.