At the start of each week, Land of 10 will break down the postseason implications, and projections, to come out of the Michigan Wolverines’ latest contest …
What happened: The Wolverines (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten) matched a physical Wisconsin side haymaker for haymaker Saturday … until quarterback Brandon Peters was carted off the field in the third quarter following a shot from the Badgers’ Andrew Van Ginkel. A 10-7 second-half lead proved to be short-lived, as Wisconsin finished the afternoon on a 17-0 run en route to an 11th straight victory.
What it means: When Peters is healthy and the offense is multi-faceted, Michigan can play with anybody. But when the defense has to keep carrying the water for so many miles and so many minutes, it’s prone to occasional second-half breakdowns that let close games get away late. Who starts behind center in The Game — Peters? John O’Korn? Wilton Speight? — remains a mystery as of Sunday afternoon, and with Ohio State firing on all cylinders again, the more strategic or tactical edges Jim Harbaugh can milk out of this week of prep, the better.
Projected record: Massey Ratings — 8-4; TeamRankings.com — 8-4
Projected postseason destination: Holiday Bowl, Dec. 28, in San Diego, Calif., versus an Pac-12 opponent — and don’t be shocked if it’s Arizona or Stanford.
Cheapest seat on TicketCity.com as of Sunday: $48
Up next: vs. Ohio State on Saturday. The Buckeyes (9-2, 7-1) clinched the Big Ten East division’s berth in the league title game on Saturday by steamrolling sad-sack Illinois, 52-14. Simply put, Team Urban has been a feast-or-famine side this fall, and the famines, while notable, have been extremely rare. At Iowa on Nov. 4, the Bucks were steamrolled, 55-24, only to turn right around and outscore the opposition 100-17 in the two games since — one of those a 48-3 demolition of Michigan State. Anything’s possible when the block M and block O jump into the cage, but only one side — the Maize and Blue — doesn’t have much margin for error this time around.