The mystery of whether tailback Mike Hart and quarterback Chad Henne will play Saturday against Ohio State (ABC, noon ET) won't be solved by head coach Lloyd Carr. He sat Hart throughout a loss at Wisconsin and removed Henne after two series in a game that had no impact on whether the Wolverines (8-3, 6-1) could win the Big Ten and go to the Rose Bowl. Asked Monday if his two seniors would play against OSU, Carr said: "We'll have to see on Saturday." Neither Hart nor Henne were available for interviews this week.
• Hart, Henne and offensive tackle Jake Long said after last season that part of their motivation for returning for their senior years was to defeat Ohio State and win a national championship. The latter goal vanished with a season-opening loss to Appalachian State, but defeating OSU remains attainable. If Michigan loses, Hart, Henne and Long will be 0-for-4 against the Buckeyes entering a lower-tier bowl. Regardless of the outcome, Long won't second-guess himself. "I don't feel like I need to validate my decision to come back," he said. "That was my decision, and I felt like I [made] the right one. That's not what this game is about. This game is about this team, about this championship. It's not about me. I'm not even worried about that."
• OSU has won five of the last six in the series and three in a row. "They haven't gotten in our heads," Long said of the Buckeyes. "We just haven't beaten them in a couple of years. It's a new year, new team."