Michigan Football: Winners & Losers from the Week 12 Game vs. Iowa

Austin FoxCorrespondent IINovember 18, 2012

Michigan Football: Winners & Losers from the Week 12 Game vs. Iowa

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    It sure was a great day in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday for this Michigan football team. Not only was it Senior Day, but we also saw Denard Robinson return and see extensive action for the first time in weeks.

    The Wolverines had no problem beating Iowa, as they handed the Hawkeyes a 42-17 loss, eliminating any hopes of a bowl game. Michigan will now become huge Iowa fans, as it roots for the Hawks to beat Nebraska this Friday.

    What other story lines surrounded this game? Here's a look at the biggest winners and losers from Saturday's victory over Iowa.

Winner: Devin Gardner

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    This one may be getting a bit redundant, but it just has to be mentioned again. Devin Gardner had yet another amazing game playing quarterback for Michigan.

    Gardner went 18-of-23 passing, threw for 314 yards and tossed three touchdown passes.

    Gardner is simply making it look easy, something that we all know is very hard to do. Sure, this wasn't a great Iowa pass defense, but it wasn't a terrible one either.

    Gardner will likely play quarterback once again next week when Michigan travels to Columbus, Ohio, even with a somewhat healthy Denard Robinson. With Fitz Toussaint's injury, Michigan may have no choice but to play Robinson at running back anyway.

    It sure is good to know that the Wolverines are now set at quarterback for next season.

Loser: Iowa's Season

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    Iowa's dismal season continued on Saturday, as the Hawkeyes didn't even really put up a fight against Michigan.

    It was Iowa's seventh loss, which eliminated them from bowl contention.

    Iowa is on a five-game losing streak, has only won two home games all year and will need to win next week to avoid a potential last-place finish in the Legends Division.

    Whether Kirk Ferentz is on the heat seat or not can be debated. Most seem to blame a lot of the struggles on the two first-year coordinators, and not necessarily on Ferentz.

    Either way, this is the worst Iowa team we've seen in a long, long time.

Winner: Michigan's Seniors

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    This Michigan senior class has been through an enormous amount of turmoil in their careers. Words can't even begin to describe what they've all had to endure, so I'll keep this one short.

    These kids deserve all the credit in the world, as they have put their heart and soul into this great university over the last four to five years.

    Remember the names of these 18 Michigan seniors: Vincent Smith, Brandin Hawthorne, Denard Robinson, Will Campbell, J.T. Floyd, Craig Roh, Jordan Kovacs, Jack Kennedy, Steve Wilson, Roy Roundtree, Floyd Simmons, Kenny Demens, Paul Gyarmati, Ricky Barnum, Elliott Mealer, Patrick Omameh, Mike Kwiatkowski and Brandon Moore.

    The seniors on Team 133 will be missed dearly.

Loser: Michigan's Big Ten Title Hopes

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    I hate to follow it up with this one, but it's something we can't ignore. Nebraska will likely end up winning the Legends Division because of a few bad calls and a lot of luck.

    There are five different Big Ten games where the outcome was still in doubt late in the second half for Nebraska: Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan, Michigan State and Penn State. You could make the case that they should have lost at least three of those games.

    How many Michigan victories can we say the outcome was still in doubt late in the second half? Only two—the Michigan State and Northwestern contests.

    Iowa simply needs to beat Nebraska on Friday for Michigan to have a shot at the title. The odds of that seem less and less likely every time we see Iowa take the field.

    For Nebraska, sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

Winner: The Fact That It Is Now Michigan-Ohio State Week

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    We are now officially in Michigan-Ohio State week. Enough said!