Path to the Big Ten East title for MSU, UM

By Matt Charboneau and Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Spartan defenders gang up on Maryland's Kenneth Goins Jr. on Saturday.

What Michigan State and Michigan have left in their quests to win the Big Ten East Division championship and a spot in the conference title game.


At Ohio State

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio

TV / radio: ABC / WJR 760

Records: Michigan State 9-1, 5-1 Big Ten; Ohio State 10-0, 6-0

Line: Ohio State by 13

Outlook: The Spartans are the only Big Ten team to have beaten the Buckeyes since Urban Meyer took over in 2012; that was the 2013 conference championship game. The winner of this one will be in the driver's seat to get back to the title game and play for a spot in the playoffs.

Penn State

Kickoff: TBA, Nov. 28, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing

TV / radio: TBA / WJR 760

Records: Penn State 7-3, 5-1; Michigan State 9-1, 5-1

Line: Michigan by 5

Outlook: The Nittany Lions can't win the East Division title, but they'll have plenty of say in who might. They take on Michigan before traveling to Michigan State for the season finale, a game the Spartans might need to lock up the division.

Title picture: How does Michigan State win the East Division and get into the Big Ten championship game? It's rather simple at this point for the Spartans – beat Ohio State. A loss knocks them out of contention for the division and certainly ends any hope of a spot in the College Football Playoff. Find a way to beat the Buckeyes and Michigan State can lock up a trip to Indianapolis for the Dec. 5 title game by beating Penn State at home. A win at Ohio State coupled with a loss to Penn State and Michigan State would need a Michigan win over Ohio State and a long list of tiebreakers to go its way.

MSU is 13-point underdog vs. OSU; UM favored by 5


At Penn State

Kickoff: Noon, Saturday, Beaver Stadium, State College, Pa.

TV / radio: ABC / WWJ 950, WTKA 1050

Records: Michigan 8-2, 5-1 Big Ten; Penn State 7-3, 4-2

Outlook: Penn State is unbeaten in six games at home this season. Michigan, however, is 3-0 on the road in the Big Ten, including a 48-41 double-overtime victory at Indiana. The Wolverines haven't lost a game on the road since the season opener at Utah. Michigan needs to win this game and hope Ohio State beats Michigan State in Columbus.

Ohio State

Kickoff: Noon, Nov. 28, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor

TV / radio: ABC / WWJ 950, WTKA 1050

Records: Michigan 8-2, 5-1; Ohio State 10-0, 6-0

Outlook: Ohio State has won 10 of the last 11 against Michigan. Michigan's last victory was in 2011, a Denard Robinson-led 40-34 victory, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Buckeyes.

Title picture: This gets tricky for Michigan because its road to Indianapolis and the Big Ten championship game means first beating Penn State at Beaver Stadium and then finding a way to pull for its rival, Ohio State, to beat Michigan State. If Ohio State beats Michigan State and Michigan beats Penn State, Michigan and Ohio State will play for the East Division title on Nov. 28.