By: Will Burchfield

It’s been recited countless times in the wake of Michigan’s loss to Iowa on Saturday: The Wolverines’ goals are still in front of them.

They can still win the Big Ten East. They can still play for the conference championship. They can still make the College Football Playoff.

All they have to do is win their final two games.

But what if they don’t?

Could the Wolverines still win the Big Ten East, thereby setting up a chance to qualify for the College Football Playoff? Yes, but…

…they’d have to beat Ohio State. In fact, every scenario in which Michigan wins the Big Ten East involves a victory over the Buckeyes.

Here’s a look. (For reference, Ohio State plays at Michigan State before hosting Michigan, while Penn State plays at Rutgers before hosting Michigan State.)

There are 23 scenarios in all, and Michigan is the Big Ten East winner in 10 of them.



The takeaway? Michigan is the only team that’s guaranteed to win the Big Ten East if they win their final two games. The caveat? It won’t be easy.