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Can Michigan make the 2021 College Football Playoff with a loss to Iowa this weekend?

Michigan sits at No. 1 in the AP Poll rankings after a big win against Ohio State last week. Next up, they’ll face Iowa in the Big Ten Championship. If they lose, could they end up missing the 2021 College Football Playoff?

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Update 11:10 pm: Michigan leads 28-3 midway through the fourth quarter, so we’re going to go ahead and call it. The Wolverines are the Big Ten champs for the first time since the conference championship game was added, and Jim Harbaugh will get the monkey off his back for good.

There is no change the Wolverines fall below No. 2 in the CFP rankings, and while you could make an argument for them being No. 1, it’s requires plenty of rhetorical flourish. Alabama just beat the brakes off No. 1 Georgia, and it’s the best win any team in college football has had all season. Both ‘Bama and UM are 12-1, but the Crimson Tide survived the toughest division in the sport in the SEC West.

It’s looking like Alabama, Michigan, Georgia, and Cincinnati in that order to play for the national championship. You can maybe switch UGA and UC, but if those are the four teams, something in this process was seriously broken.


The Michigan Wolverines finally found a way to beat the Ohio State Buckeyes in the regular season finale, and all is great in Jim Harbaugh land. Now that he can finally back it up, he’s taking full advantage by immediately taking a shot at Ryan Day in the postgame press conference. That’s when you know things are rolling at Michigan.

The Wolverines will get an Iowa Hawkeyes team that did a fantastic job of creating turnovers early in the season but really struggles offensively. That’s why Michigan will enter Saturday night’s Big Ten Championship Game as a 10.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook.

This is potentially a program-changing game for the Wolverines if they can close the deal.

CFP implications if Michigan loses to Iowa

The Wolverines will enter conference championship Saturday as the No. 2 team in the country, but everything would be out of their control if Michigan loses in the Big Ten title game. UM could still crack the top four with a loss, but it makes things a bit more confusing. With a Michigan loss and victories for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Cincinnati Bearcats and Oklahoma State Cowboys, all three of those teams would jump the Wolverines to knock them out of the Playoff.

A big question could be how far the committee would move the ninth-ranked Baylor Bears up if they knock off Oklahoma State. The Wolverines and Bears would both be 11-2, but Baylor would be a conference camp. Another question that would come into play would be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Would the committee drop an 11-2 Michigan behind an 11-1 Notre Dame?

Regardless, the Wolverines should just win like they’re expected to, and they won’t have to deal with these scenarios.

CFP implications if Michigan beats Iowa

There is no scenario the Wolverines would miss out on the College Football Playoff if they come away with a victory on Saturday night. The seeding is where things could come into question. If Georgia beats Alabama, Michigan is locked in as the No. 2 seed. The only question is what would happen if Alabama wins the SEC Championship. As a Big Ten champ, the Wolverines would be ranked ahead of Georgia, but I bet the Crimson Tide might jump up to the No. 1 spot in this scenario, making the Wolverines the No. 2 team in the rankings.