Going into the 2011 season, the chances of Michigan and Ohio State meeting in the Big Ten title game or even just one of those teams making it to Indianapolis seemed slim to none. Both teams underwent coaching changes, and while Michigan was worrying about fixing one of the worst defenses in the country from last year, Ohio State was busy worrying about a rash of suspensions and the loss of quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
A matchup in the Big Ten title game remains highly unlikely, but November is now here and there are still some scenarios where the Wolverines and Buckeyes could meet in back-to-back weeks. In fact, one scenario even has Michigan beating Ohio State in the regular season and getting to take another shot at the Buckeyes in Indianapolis. Take a look after the jump.
Scenario A: Let's say Michigan beats Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska but loses to Ohio State, which wins out. Michigan State drops a game to a Legends Division team, resulting in a three-way tie between the Spartans, Wolverines and Cornhuskers at the top of the division. Because Michigan and Nebraska would have 4-1 records in the division and Michigan State's record would only be 3-2, the Spartans are dropped from the tiebreaker in this scenario. Michigan's victory over Nebraska breaks the tie and sends the Wolverines to Indy to play Ohio State, which gets some help in the form of Penn State losing two games (one of which is to OSU) in the final month of the season, creating a potential three-way tie between OSU, PSU and Wisconsin. The Buckeyes' victory over the Badgers and win over the Nittany Lions in this scenario gives them the edge for the Leaders Division crown.
Scenario B: Michigan's path to the Big Ten title game is simple: win out and the trip to Indy is booked with one Michigan State loss. Ohio State's path is a bit more complicated with a loss at Michigan and wins in the other three games on the schedule. OSU would need Penn State to lose out and Wisconsin to drop a game against Purdue, Minnesota or Illinois to create a three-way tie at the top of the Leaders Division. Because Ohio State has already beaten Wisconsin and would hand Penn State a loss in this scenario, a tie would go to the Buckeyes and put them in Indy.
Again, this is all pretty unlikely, but can you imagine if the second scenario came to fruition and Michigan beat Ohio State two weeks in a row? Considering the Wolverines haven't had a win against Ohio State since 2003, you might as well crown Brady Hoke the king of Ann Arbor if that somehow happens.