The Michigan Wolverines looked like they would be in for a fight against the Penn State Nittany Lions in a battle of top-10 teams in the same Big Ten division. In the end, it wasn’t much of a contest as the Wolverines used their ground game and defense to pull off a 41-17 win over the Nittany Lions. Michigan remains undefeated on the season, while Penn State takes its first loss. Here’s the fallout in the Big Ten and College Football Playoff landscape with Michigan’s win.
The Wolverines still have some games to navigate, with a rivalry matchup against Michigan State coming up after a bye week. Michigan also has to deal with a pesky Illinois team ahead of “The Game” against Ohio State to close out the season. That Illinois matchup could be a trap game if Michigan looks past the Illini. The Big Ten title game and CFP berth are right in front of the Wolverines if they want it.
Penn State will need to run the table from here on out to have a chance, while also needing Michigan to slip up. The Nittany Lions have to beat Ohio State and would then need the Buckeyes to defeat Michigan and create some sort of tiebreaker system. Losing a game in your own division is costly but not fatal. Penn State’s CFP hopes are likely shot but getting to a Big Ten title game is still within reach. The Nittany Lions just don’t control their own destiny here.