Michigan vs. Iowa is the Big Ten Championship game we all wanted right?
Every Sunday after the Big Ten slate of games, I will be bringing you some B1G thoughts on everything that happened! This will include analysis, stats, key players, moments and maybe a joke or two. Be sure to check out the I-70 Football Show in the Land-Grant Holy Land podcast feed for more in-depth analysis and to preview the next week of B1G games.
Michigan dominates Ohio State
It took ten years, seven seasons under Jim Harbaugh but Michigan finally got a win against their primary rival. A win is a win but Michigan bullied Ohio State in every facet of the game. Led by their running game they gashed OSU over and over until the Buckeyes were crushed under their feet. This is a sort of redemption for Jim Harbaugh after he bet on himself, taking less money and reorganizing his staff in the hopes to righting the shift after a tough 2020 season. No one, outside of Harbaugh and his players, foresaw a year like this. Their reward? a seemingly easy date with Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game.
Hassan Haskins big day
Hassan Haskins has been the workforce for Michigan all year. The senior running back finished the year with a MAJOR performance. He ran for 169 yards on 28 carries which is good for six yards per carry. He also ran for five…. you read that right FIVE touchdowns against the Buckeyes. Haskins was the definition of a work horse on Saturday coming up big every time his team needed him. Haskins, a senior, finished the year with 1,232 yards and 18 touchdowns. Haskins may have worked himself into a draft pick but first how any hopes Michigan has in the playoffs will hinge on how far he can carry them.
Aidan Hutchinson is LEGIT
Aidan Hutchinson, son of a former Michigan Wolverine, came back for his senior season for one reason. That reason was to finally beat Ohio State. Hutchinson committed himself to one goal this season and he finally succeeded leading his team into a crushing defeat of Ohio State. He paced the Wolverine defense with three sacks and 15 pressures wreaking havoc for a whole 60 minutes. Hutchinson’s reason for coming back may have been to get a pair of gold pants but he also upped his draft stock in a major way. Last year class had a lot of high upside pass rushers and he would have had to fight to be a first-round pick. After this season he may be the first defensive end off the board and at a minimum he shouldn’t fall past the tenth pick. It doesn’t always make sense to avoid the NFL for an extra year in college, but Hutchinson made the most of his year and will reap the benefits.
What next for OSU
I jokingly, sometimes, say that Ohio State fans are the worst fan base in college football. I don’t think that’s true but we’re probably top five. We have been spoiled with success and do not take losses well, especially to our rival. There are already fans turning on Head Coach Ryan Day, which is not a good idea but emblematic of this fanbase and their high expectations. Losses happen but not without consequence, if Day wants to get back on this good side of the fan base and wants to never feel this feeling again there must be changes. Those changes start with a shakeup of the coaching staff, almost every defensive coach should be fired, I’m not about coach Johnson retiring either. On offense, Day needs to fire coach Stud and it might be good for a different voice in the room whether it’s replacing the QB coach. Kevin Wilson isn’t getting fired but we can hope he gets a head coaching job, he’s being rumored for Akron, so that we can get some fresh offensive ideas as well. This team was soft this year, young but soft that can never happen at Ohio State and changes will soon come or Day will lose the trust of the entire fan base.
Record breaking Tre
TreVeyon Henderson etched his name in Ohio State history books with two touchdowns against Michigan on Saturday. He finished the regular season with 19 total touchdowns. Fifteen rushing and four receiving. He is also only the fourth freshman running back to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season rushing for 1,172. Those are great numbers for a freshman who didn’t play his senior year in high school. With a season under him and a full offseason ahead I expect him to challenge for the best running back in of all college football next year and will be the engine of this offense.
First round draft picks?
How many first-round picks were in the game for Ohio State vs. Michigan? We know that Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson will be. Aidan Hutchinson should be a top five pick in the upcoming draft. It will be interesting to see if any other players could work their way into a first-round pick. Maybe David Ojabo? Did Hutchinson performance derail a potential first round pick for Nicholas Petit-Frere? The Game was high level football and there will be many players from that field collecting major pay days. Here’s wishing them success and a long prosperous career.
Minnesota defeats Wisconsin
Michigan wasn’t the only team that exercised some demons this weekend. Minnesota’s last great season was ruined by Wisconsin keeping them from their first appearance in the Big Ten Championship game. Well Minnesota got some revenge by defeating Wisconsin and keeping them out of the Big Ten Championship game. This is a major win for Minnesota for many reasons, beating your rival is huge but it’s even more special when you do it without your three best running backs. Minnesota faced an uphill battle this season and fought their way to eight wins. The sad thing is that Minnesota is two bad losses, Bowling Green, and Illinois, away from a 10-win season. Fleck earned his salary this season and I am excited for Minnesota next year as they’re getting Mo Ibrahim back!
Maryland goes bowling
Maryland defeated Rutgers this weekend to get bowl eligible. The offense we’ve been waiting to see all season finally showed up in a 40-16 rout. Maryland is officially going bowling for the first time since 2016. Stories like this will always make me happy and it is the reason I will die on the hill that the playoffs aren’t the only thing that matters in college football. Maryland may never make the playoffs but after five years they’ve ended their bowl game drought. Shoutout to them, wishing good fortune in their bowl game.
I was very high on Indiana coming into this season and I was not the only one. Well, I’m here to tell you we all were wrong. After getting blown out by Purdue, Indiana finished the season 2-10 with ZERO wins in conference. I’m going to be honest here, I don’t know to wrap my head around it. I had Indiana going 10-2 but even if they weren’t that good you couldn’t have convinced me the bottom would fall out like this. Head coach Tom Allen is going to have to do a lot of self-reflection, or he will end up as someone’s defensive coordinator before he knows it. There have been a lot of shocking things this football season but Indiana’s fall from grace is probably the most shocking.
End of season blues
This past Saturday was the last regular season game in college football. I don’t know if that has sunk in for you all yet but I’m very sad about it. We still have bowl season, the playoffs, signing day, and this crazy coaching carousel to keep us entertained but this is the last leg of the 2021 football season. I’m going to be forced to watch basketball and following along as the Yankees have another disaster season to keep myself entertained until next August. Hopefully you all have a hobby or something to take your mind off the sadness, we will be back and stronger than every next season. Don’t worry thought LGHL will be with you covering everything this off season.
Bonus: MAC East Champs
I would be remise if it didn’t mention that Kent State, my alma mater, won the MAC East Division for the first time since 1972. They’re also bowl eligible in back to back seasons for maybe the first time ever. They will make their way to Detroit this Saturday to face Northern Illinois! So very happy for my Golden Flashes and can’t wait for them to bring home the trophy.