This is a huge game for Michigan, to say the least. With a loss, we drop to 1-2, effectively ending realistic chances of competing for a New Years Day Bowl (although we play Penn State and Ohio State at home I have a tough time imagining we'll win both those games or even one of them). Here is a brief breakdown of the Wolverines and the Hawkeyes.
Despite the Hawkeyes being an eight-point favorite, I think this game is going to come right down to the wire. With a quarterback with ice in his veins like Tate, no game is ever over (except for the other team). Many experts are picking Iowa and few Michigan and the reasons why are pretty obvious. Let's look at three of them, with counter points from me.
1. Iowa is ranked #12, while Michigan is unranked.
This is an obvious reason that sticks out right away, but rankings are just what people think. Don't forget that Iowa wasn't even ranked before they beat Penn State. They jumped from not ranked to 13th in one week. Also Michigan was just ranked, but a loss at MSU ruined that.
2. Iowa is undefeated and playing at home.
Sure Iowa is undefeated, but they've only played one good team, and it was in a rain-soaked game in which they put up five points in the first half. Iowa also defeated 1-AA opponents Northern Iowa and Arkansas State by a combined four points. That's not very impressive. Iowa won their four preseason games by a combined 46 points while Michigan has only played three of their four and have won those by a combined 56, with 1-AA Delaware State still to come. Also, Michigan has won 6 of their last 8 at Kinnick Stadium.
3. Michigan has a freshman quarterback in a big game.
Please. Hasn't Tate proved enough? Three fourth quarter comebacks in the three games that Michigan has trailed in the fourth this season. And Saturday's MSU comeback rivals the comeback against Wisconsin last year. Tate will show up and play well. He has proved that he is Big Game Tate over and over.
Some final notes:
-Iowa will attempt a "Blackout" on Saturday night. I'm interested to see how that goes, but I expect good stuff. Iowa City is always a tough place to play.
-Michigan is 6-2 in their last eight games at Iowa
-Iowa has not started 6-0 since 1985
A close, hard fought game, but Iowa is too much.
Iowa 30, Michigan 27