College Football Writer
No matter what happens in Week 12, the power structure of the Big Ten East will remain up for grabs.
That’s because, with both No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan entering the weekend unbeaten, the division winner — and the accompanying spot in the Big Ten championship game — won’t be decided until the Buckeyes and Wolverines meet in The Game on Nov. 25.
HOW TO WATCH ‘BIG NOON KICKOFF’ THIS SATURDAY
- 10 a.m.-Noon ET: “Big Noon Kickoff” pregame show on FOX
- Noon ET: Michigan at Maryland on FOX and the FOX Sports app
It will nevertheless be interesting to see how both teams do in their Week 12 tuneups ahead of their showdown, as Ohio State plays host to Minnesota, and Michigan heads to Maryland to face quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa and the Terrapins.
The latter contest will be particularly interesting, as it will be featured as this week’s “Big Noon Kickoff” matchup.
On top of that, the whole scene will be set against the backdrop of coach Jim Harbaugh and the investigation into an alleged sign-stealing operation at Michigan.
Harbaugh was suspended by the Big Ten last week for the balance of the regular season because of the scandal, and he and Michigan were scheduled to try to persuade a judge Friday morning to lift the ban and allow him to be on the sideline. On Thursday, however, the sides settled, with Harbaugh agreeing to accept a three-game suspension and the conference agreeing to end its investigation.
That means Harbaugh will not be on the field for Saturday’s game against Maryland or the following week at home against Ohio State. Offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore is expected to be Michigan’s acting head coach for those two games.
Will Michigan stay undefeated against Maryland?
How will this impact the game itself, if at all? We’ll find out on Saturday. In the meantime, scroll below to learn everything you need to know about the game. On Saturday, return for “Big Noon Kickoff,” followed by the game itself, for which I’ll have live analysis for every key play.
Two Big Ten teams in the CFP?: Like last season, there is a scenario in which both Michigan and Ohio State could make the CFP. RJ Young breaks it down.
What’s next for Michigan?: In the wake of Jim Harbaugh’s decision to accept his three-game suspension, what does that mean for the Wolverines in their final two games of the season?
It’s a deep field: Could this be the year a team from the North or West breaks the South’s grip on the CFP championship? Bryan Fischer explains why it’s true, with Michigan leading the way.
Epic matchup ahead: Michigan and Ohio State are both on the rise as The Game approaches. Michael Cohen breaks it down in his Big Ten Stock Watch.
Everything to watch in Week 12: Michigan vs. Maryland tops the list of course. But our college football experts weigh in on several top matchups across the nation.
Time for Harbaugh to move on? With the continuing controversy around the program, many observers think Harbaugh might look to return to the NFL.
KEY NUMBERS TO KNOW
10-1: Michigan leads the all-time series vs. Maryland.
4-0: The Wolverines are 4-0 this season without Harbaugh, who was suspended for the remainder of the regular season.
18: Blake Corum leads the FBS in rushing TDs and is the only FBS player to score in every game this season.
3-14: The Wolverines have the No. 1 red-zone defense in the FBS, and have only allowed opponents three TDs on 14 red-zone drives.
1983: The last time Maryland had a win over a top-three opponent: defeated No. 3 North Carolina.
276.9: QB Taulia Tagovailoa leads the Big Ten in passing YPG and has 22 passing touchdowns this season.
[More numbers to know in Week 12 matchups]
MORE READING AROUND THE NATION
Bowl projections: There are 41 bowl games, and Bryan Fischer predicts the matchup for every one of them. Where will your team end up?
Final Four for Heisman: Joel Klatt thinks the Heisman race is down to four players. See who they are, and how each can win the prestigious trophy.
Week 12 picks: What wagers is Chris “The Bear” Fallica making this week? Check them out here.
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Bryan Fischer is a college football writer for FOX Sports. He has been covering college athletics for nearly two decades at outlets such as NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and NFL.com among others. Follow him on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.
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