Jim Harbaugh returned to the sidelines on Saturday to lead Michigan to a third straight Big 10 championship as the Wolverines ran out 26-0 winners over Iowa.
Earlier this month, the conference banned Harbaugh from Michigan’s three final regular-season games, escalating a confrontation with college football’s most successful program over a sign-stealing scheme that rocked the sport.
Harbaugh denied any knowledge of wrongdoing and after this one-sided win over Iowa, the coach delivered a one-word verdict on the team’s latest milestone.
‘You guys have now won three straight Big 10 Championships,’ the coach was asked on Fox Sports. ‘How does it feel?
In response Harbaugh simply shouted: ‘Bet!’
That was precisely how several players and former Michigan QB Tom Brady reacted recently to news of his ban.
Following the suspension’s announcement, Brady and Co tweeted out the word ‘Bet’ which in slang can be used when someone is doubted.
On Saturday night, with Harbaugh back on the sideline for the first time in four weeks, Blake Corum scored twice – tying the school record for touchdown runs – as No 2 Michigan routed No 18 Iowa.
The Wolverines are now expected to take the top seed in the College Football Playoff after winning three straight outright conference crowns for the first time in school history.
With No 1 Georgia falling to No 8 Alabama in the Southeastern Conference title game earlier on Saturday, Harbaugh and the Wolverines are poised to claim the top playoff seed and reach No. 1.
But amid the wild celebratioins, Harbaugh managed to avoid getting doused in a Gatorade bath.
Michigan also extended its school record of consecutive wins over Big Ten foes to 25. Corum tied Anthony Thomas’ school career rushing TD mark.
Corum, the league’s running back of the year, finished with 16 carries for 52 yards. JJ McCarthy, who was selected the conference’s best quarterback this week, was 22 of 30 for 147 yards.
For the Hawkeyes, it was more of the same.
While the defense held stout – allowing the TDs on drives of 5 and 6 yards and four field goals – the offense produced just 155 yards and became only the second team in Big Ten title game history to be shut out in the final season of the East-West division format. Ohio State opened that era with a 59-0 rout over Wisconsin 59-0 in 2014.