In the minds of many of the so-called college football experts it's a foregone conclusion that No. 2 Michigan has already done what it needed to do to reach the College Football Playoff. It beat No. 6 Ohio State last week, and now the only thing it has left to do is dispatch No. 16 Iowa to win the Big Ten title.
No problem, right?
Well, the point spread in this game certainly suggests Michigan won't be challenged, but this isn't the first time Iowa's been written off and has a chance to prove the skeptics wrong. After all, this is a Hawkeyes team that enters the game averaging fewer yards per game on offense than any other team in the country, but they are here. It's an Iowa team that lost one of its best defensive players to suspension before the year began. It then proceeded to lose its starting QB, tight end, its second-best player on defense, and a host of others as the year went on, but finished 10-2 anyway.
Can the Hawkeyes continue pulling rabbits out of the hat? If they do, it will turn the college football landscape upside down and send shockwaves will be felt in all corners of the country.
How to watch Michigan vs. Iowa live
Date: Saturday, December 2 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium -- Indianapolis, Indiana
TV: Fox | Live stream: Fubo (Try for free)
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Follow live coverage of Michigan vs. Iowa in the 2023 Big Ten Championship Game all day Saturday.
Michigan vs. Iowa: Need to know
This is the third Big Ten Championship appearance for both programs: It may come as a surprise seeing as how both programs are viewed, but this will be the third time each team has played in this game. It's the third-straight appearance for Michigan, which won both of its prior trips and moved onto the College Football Playoff. Indianapolis hasn't been as kind to the Hawkeyes. They lost a 16-13 nailbiter to Michigan State in 2015 and likely would've gone to the College Football Playoff with a win that day. Their last appearance in 2021 wasn't nearly tense -- a 42-3 loss to the same Michigan team they'll face this week.
Blake Corum is rewriting the Michigan record books: Corum scored twice against Ohio State last week to set a new single-season rushing touchdown record at Michigan, surpassing Hassan Haskins. Corum has 22 rushing scores this season, which brings his career tally to 53. That leaves him two touchdowns shy of the 55 Anthony Thomas scored with the Wolverines from 1997-2000. Of course, Michigan's official records database only goes back to 1949. It's possible the true record is 72, set by Willie Heston from 1901-04. At a minimum, Corum has a chance to finish with more touchdowns with the Wolverines than anybody has in over a century.
Iowa could pull off the greatest upset in conference championship game history: As of publication, the point spread for the game has Michigan favored by 23 points. If Iowa stuns the world, it would become the biggest upset in conference championship game history. The current mark was set in the 1996 Big 12 Championship when No. 3 Nebraska was a 20.5-point favorite over a 7-4 Texas squad. The Longhorns won the game 37-27 to earn a Fiesta Bowl berth, while Nebraska missed out on a possible national title.
Michigan vs. Iowa prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
I'm not going to mess with the spread. First of all, while anything is possible, I don't see Iowa shocking the world here. I just don't know how the Hawkeyes will score points. While they've had success against the Big Ten West, this is still the same team that lost to Penn State 31-0 this year. And the Hawkeyes were much healthier then. Michigan is Penn State on steroids. The question is, how motivated will the Wolverines be to run up the score? They have no need. Win and they go to the playoff. Outside of getting Blake Corum a couple touchdowns, I don't see why Michigan will risk anything in the second half if it has a lead it feels comfortable protecting. Pick: Under 35
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in conference championship games? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread -- all from a proven computer model that has returned well over $2,000 in profit over the past seven-plus seasons -- and find out.