No. 2 Michigan needs to avoid letdown vs. Purdue

The exhilaration felt after conquering their archrival still reverberates through their collective brains.It may be hard to top but that’s what the second-ranked Michigan Wolverines want to do in the Big Ten championship game.The Wolverines also don’t want to leave anything to chance, knowing they would be locked into a College Football Playoff bid if they defeat Big Ten West Division survivor Purdue in Indianapolis on Saturday.Michigan (12-0, 9-0 Big Ten) captured the East crown with a stunning second-half performance in Columbus last week against previously unbeaten Ohio State. The Wolverines outscored the Buckeyes 28-3 after halftime en route to a 45-23 victory, Michigan’s second straight in the storied rivalry and first on Ohio State’s home turf since 2000.”Definitely right up there as one of the greatest wins, and we’ve had a lot of good ones in 143 years,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said.Beating the Boilermakers won’t go down as a great accomplishment in the program’s history books, but it would get the Wolverines closer to their ultimate goal.”The week before was the biggest game in the world. Past game was the biggest game in the world to us,” Harbaugh said. “Now, this game is the biggest game in the world to us. (We’re) going about the preparation, the study of our opponent, the meetings, the practices and getting ready for this game so we can have the same feeling of winning and thrill of victory.”Purdue (8-4, 6-3) has a long-standing reputation of being giant killers. The Boilermakers are 7-6 in the past five years against ranked opponents.They will make their first appearance in the conference title game with a “nothing to lose” mentality.”I remember the feeling last year and nobody expected us to be there last year. Here’s this opportunity to go play in the (Big Ten) championship game,” Harbaugh said. “I know how dangerous a team like that can be. I would imagine that is the same feeling Purdue is having.”The Boilermakers will have to figure out a way to slow Michigan’s rushing game, even though No. 1 back Blake Corum is dealing with a knee injury. Corum was able to go only a couple of plays against the Buckeyes before the coaching staff shut him down.