Following its loss to Michigan State, Michigan had a week off to regroup and get ready for Purdue. While talk about a potential post-MSU collapse was all too common in the two weeks leading up to the Purdue game, Michigan used the extra preparation time to its advantage and dominated the Boilermakers en route to a 36-14 victory.
Beating Purdue improved Michigan's record to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten. Thanks to Michigan State's loss to Nebraska, the Wolverines are now tied for first in the Legends Division with four games to go. They will need some help to make it to the Big Ten title game, but any talk about that will be a moot point if the Wolverines don't keep up their end of the bargain by winning.
While Michigan wouldn't technically be knocked out of the Legends Division race with a loss, it can't afford to lose in the division. Based on how the tiebreakers are set up, division record could play a part in deciding the Legends Division champion if there is a three-way tie. As a result, the Wolverines especially need to take care of business against Iowa on Saturday and Nebraska in two weeks to have a shot at winning the tiebreaker if it comes to that.
Interestingly enough, there would be a four-way tie for first in the Legends Division right now if not for Iowa's shocking loss to Minnesota last Saturday. The Hawkeyes' inconsistent season continued with a 22-21 defeat at Minnesota, and it puts them a step behind the three first-place teams. Iowa actually controls its own destiny since it still has to play Michigan, Michigan State and Nebraska, but if the loss to Minnesota is any indication, this stretch of games to finish the season will present more problems than opportunities for the Hawkeyes.