The Michigan Wolverines may have been able to get into the College Football Playoff with a loss on Saturday, but they decided not to tempt fate by taking care of business with a 43-22 victory over Purdue in the 2022 Big Ten Championship Game.
Ranked No. 2 in the latest playoff standings, Michigan was given a built-in cushion, with No. 3 USC and No. 4 TCU both losing their respective conference title games.
The Wolverines were on upset alert early on after they fell behind 10-7 just 1:21 into the second quarter, but Luke Schoonmaker's seven-yard touchdown catch on the ensuing drive put them on top for good.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh has led the Wolverines to a school-record 13 wins this season, even before his team plays in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
A historic season warranted high praise for Harbaugh and Michigan:
Max Toscano @maxtoscano1
It's wild that people ever wanted Jim Harbaugh fired at Michigan.<br><br>He won big at Stanford, won big with the 49ers, and he's won big there. <br><br>One of the very best football coaches in college and the NFL. One of the rare coaches you know with certainty would succeed in any position
Since the game was played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, some Colts fans pleaded with owner Jim Irsay to make sure Harbaugh doesn't leave the city:
The team came alive in the second half, as has been the case all season, with 29 points. J.J. McCarthy only completed 11 passes, but he made them count with 161 yards and three touchdowns.
Donovan Edwards was the driving force for the Wolverines offense. The sophomore running back followed up his two-touchdown, 216-yard effort against Ohio State with 185 yards and a score on 25 carries.
Ben Stevens @BenScottStevens
Michigan had 225 rush yards against Purdue tonight. <br><br>The Wolverines also average 244 rush YPG this year, 5th best in CFB. <br><br>Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards deserve credit. <br><br>But one time for the Michigan offensive line, the best unit in the country for a second straight year.
Since a rough 2020 season that saw the team finish 2-4, Harbaugh has led the Wolverines to back-to-back Big Ten titles. It's the first time the program has won the conference championship in consecutive years since 2003-04.
Michigan's first appearance in the College Football Playoff didn't go well, with a 34-11 loss to Georgia in the Orange Bowl. It's going to have another opportunity in the semifinal on Dec. 31.
Georgia, Michigan and TCU were the only undefeated FBS teams when the day began. Georgia and Michigan are the last two still standing.
It's almost certain that Michigan will remain in the No. 2 spot. The Wolverines will learn who their opponent will be when the College Football Playoff selection committee announces the final rankings on Sunday at 12 p.m. ET.