The opening odds start here
(2) Michigan -16 -120 over Purdue:
Just when you thought the CFP final four couldn't get any more complicated, that's why these teams actually play the games. Last night with Utah's huge 47-24 win in the PAC 12 Championship over USC bolstered Ohio State's chances of returning to the top5 after falling last week to that spot at the expense of Michigan. At the shoe last week in the final game of the Big 10 regular season, JJ McCarthy (12/24 263 3 TD) threw scoring passes in huge chunks of yardage and totally owned the second half beating the previously ranked #2 Buckeyes 45-23. McCarthy found Cornelius Johnson (4-160 2 TD) on a wide open 75 yard TD bomb that gave the Wolverines (12-0 9-0) their first lead 17-13 late in the second quarter. Earlier he helped Michigan square the contest at 10 but hooking up with Johnson on a 69 yarder, but the only score of the 3rd quarter was when he connected with Coleston Loveland on a 45 yard TD that gave Michigan the lead for good at 24-20. It was Loveland's only catch of the contest. McCarthy (6-27 4.5 1 TD) also scampered in from 3 yards out early in the 4th to put the game away, and the Wolverines put on a clinic the rest of the way. Donovan Edwards (22-216 9.8 2 TD) burst on 2 scoring runs of 75 and 85 yards respectively to complete the eventual blowout. Heisman hopeful Blake Corum rushed for just 6 yards on 2 carries eventually coming out of the game due to a knee injury that will require surgery in the offseason. CJ Stroud (31/40 349 2 TD 2 INT) had a near flawless first half and helped Ohio State (11-1 8-1) develop a slim 20-17 halftime lead, however the Buckeyes managed a field goal in the second half. Stroud threw TD passes to Emeka Egbuka (9-1251 TD) from 4 yards out to open the scoring and and later to Marvin Harrison Jr (7-120 1 TD) in the first half. However the Michigan defense stiffened up and forced 3 Buckeyes turnovers and limited OSU to just 143 yards rushing, some 85 below their seasonal average keeping them out of the end zone in the process. Michigan outgained Ohio St 530-492 with most of OSU's production coming from behind in the second half. Meanwhile, Purdue (8-4 6-3) earned a spot in today's Big 10 Championship game by beating Indiana (4-8 2-7) last week 30-16 in Bloomington. The Boilermakers won their 3rd straight overall to end the regular season thanks to a stellar day from Aiden O Connell (18/29 290 2 TD) who fired scoring passes of 15 yards to Payne Durham (4-39 1 TD) and 60 yards to Charlie Jones (4-143 1 TD) giving Purdue a 24-10 lead late. Devin Mockobee (15-99 6.8 1 TD) added a 27 yard TD run before halftime and also caught 5 passes for 58 yards. Javlin Lucas (9-100 11.1 1 TD) gave the Hooisers their only lead of the game 7-3 in the first quarter after a 71 yard run. Connor Bazelak (24/42 201 1 TD 1 INT) at times played well but also failed down the stretch to get Indiana closer after trailing most of the second half by double digits. Bazelak committed 2 turnovers and was sacked 4 times despite IU winning the yardage battle 421-388 and in first downs 26-20.

It's tough letting the season go backing a team you play on Saturdays that went 1-2-1, but this UM team is out for revenge after what transpired last season in the semifinals loss to Georgia. McCarthy (177/271 2215 17 TD 2 INT) and company are still undefeated and might be even closer to getting revenge especially if Harbaugh and company earn another shot at the defensing champions and Kirby Smart. Proving that the decision more than paid off at the beginning of the season when he made McCarthy the starter for the season, Harbaugh has plenty of weapons in his arsenal despite losing Corum for the season. Corum (247-1463 5.9 18 TD) remains a Heisman hopeful despite the injury ending his season, and you can't underestimate Edwards (92-687 7.5 6 TD) who also battled injury this season. McCarthy continues to show he can compete ith the best of defenses thanks to a dependable duo downfield in Ronnie Bell (51-687 2 TD) and Johnson (29-460 6 TD). Averaging just about 40 points per game, the efficiency level of these Wolverines who look to jump on their opponents early in both dimensions, average about 460 yards of offense overall. They are top 25 in the country in total offense and 5th in rushing with 245 yards on the ground. Since Corum went down, McCarthy continues to prove how comfortable he looks in adding the aerial attack when necessary rather than otherwise be conservative. They are going to need McCarthy tonight and should have plenty of efficiency in the National spotlight with the game indoors at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Purdue came on and when competitive in the league tightened up on their defense which only allows about 23 ppg. The Boilermakers give up about 347 yards per game but allowed only 16 to their opponents during their current 3 game winning streak. A win could qualify them for an NYE 6 bowl but only if they could avoid a 5th loss on the season given the magnitude of this game could change the National Championship picture. Sanoussi Kane leads Purdue with 64 tackles, Jack Sullivan has a team high 7 of their 29 sacks, and Cam Allen, who is third with 43 tackles, has a team high 4 INT. Purdue has great depth on the line as well as in their safeties and corners who know how to slow down the pace of opposing contenders, so it will be important that Michigan sticks to their game plan utilizing the rushing game first, and then getting McCarthy to be efficient throwing the ball, especially with no Corum in the backfield.

O Connell (288/452 3124 22 TD 11 INT) hasn't been shabby at all through this successful campaign that has left head coach Jeff Brohm elated. Jones (97-1200 12 TD) has more than double the receiving yards than anybody else in the core, namely Durham (54-550 2 TD), whose 6'5" 260 frame makes him a target that Michigan may need to contain underneath. Meanwhile, Mockobee (165-849 5.1 8 TD) will definitely be tested against a fierce and stubborn Michigan run defense. The Boilermakers average about 410 scrimmage yards per contest and 29 points per game, but especially thrive in the passing game gaining about 281 yards through the air, 20th in the nation. However, the disparity in the running game where they only produce about 126 yards per game is already a huge disadvantage, and that's comparatively without Corum in the lineup. Michigan's defense limited opponents to just under 12.7 points and 262 total yards per contest, second in the country and third against the run. Michigan's passing offense got a lot stronger as the season progressed, and Purdue may need to keep up the pace early and often. The Wolverines will not look to blow you out early, but moreso wear you down if they have an advantage after halftime. Junior Colson leads UM with 81 tackles and is second on the team with 3 sacks, only behind Eyabi Okie with 4. Rod Moore has 4 picks to lead the team as well. The confidence is beaming right now for the maize and blue, but with Purdue playing well, the Wolverines cannot afford a letdown tomorrow despite them likely staying in Championship contention by Sunday morning. This is a huge game for their psyche and motivation especially if they want a fighting chance at the title. If they face Georgia, revenge will be on Harbaugh's mind after tomorrow as they are likely to handle LSU at Mercedes Benz Stadium tomorrow with a huge fan base expected.

To win a Championship game in a blowout may be a lot to ask given the venue and what's at stake tonight, but you have a neutral field which will likely be majority Michigan, an undefeated season, and everything on the line. If that's not enough pressure, most would agree that McCarthy is just about peaking at the right time. It did take a while for the maize and blue to get going last week at the shoe, but not having Corum appeared to be an issue that was easily solved by utilizing Edwards into the spotlight as well as McCarthy taking advantage of a sleeping and seemingly drained secondary. Can Purdue's run defense be up to the task? It's not impossible early, but the Boilermakers are going to need a valiant effort from their passing game keeping their defense rested. Harbaugh will pull the trigger capable at any time to let McCarthy take a shot at the big play, and I don't think Purdue is as explosive when it comes to turning the tide at momentum. Oh yeah, did I mention that Michigan hasn't been picked over the last 6 games and has only 6 giveaways all season? It may not be pretty nor in spectacular fashion, but Michigan should be able to overcome any adversaries as well as the COrum injury, to handle Purdue and find themselves in the CFP semifinals.

Best of luck to all on Saturday!

YTD 16-13-1 .550 +1.55


The opening odds start here
A late TD gets us the cash ending a decent but somewhat disappointing season. We end the campaign 4 over .500 despite the more promising 8-1 start

YTD 17-13-1 .565 +2 55

GL to all this bowl season.