We all know what happened on Saturday in Columbus. We all know Jim Harbaugh was “bitterly disappointed” at the officiating in the game. We all know Michigan needs a lot of help to sneak into the College Football Playoff.
We know it wasn’t supposed to end like this.
2016 was supposed to be the year Harbaugh and the boys changed the game. “The Revenge Tour” as most people called it. The year everything flipped and the Big 10 became a powerhouse conference again just like the olden days of Schembechler, Hayes and hard-nosed football. It was supposed to be Michigan’s year.
Even though it wasn’t, the Big 10 HAS been the best conference all season, with resurgences from Wisconsin, Nebraska and Penn State. But after Michigan pummeled Penn State 49-10 and narrowly beat Wisconsin 14-7, everyone started honing in on the Wolverines and strayed away from the other teams.
But then UM dropped a nail-biter at Iowa in a last-second 1-point loss. The Wolverines, somehow, didn’t move a single spot in the CFP rankings, staying at No. 3 even with the loss.
Michigan’s CFP fate is now truly in the hands of the committee, obviously. The Wolverines are going to need a lot of chaos on Championship Weekend if they want any chance of going to the dance. They would more than likely need Clemson, Washington and Wisconsin all to lose in their Conference Championship games. You could say a loss by Alabama would help, too, but 1) they wouldn’t fall that far down to impact Michigan, and 2) they aren’t going to lose at all this season.
If those three teams end up losing, Michigan could sneak in at No. 4 depending on how the committee values everything at the end of the season. In this instance, the Wolverines would have a chance to take on undefeated Alabama, which would be an amazing game to watch. It’d probably be the most watched game of the season.
In this case, I’d rather have Michigan go to the Rose Bowl or the Orange Bowl, where they have a better chance at victory. Alabama has been a dominant force this season, only coming close to losing one time. I expect Bama to run the table and win it all once again. I would love to see Michigan take them on, but not this year. Give Harbaugh and Co. another year to recruit and get everything in place, then give Michigan a shot at the Tide.
Who knows; maybe Jabrill Peppers will return to the university next year and skip out on the NFL. Jake Butt and Jourdan Lewis passed up the NFL for another season at Michigan, so why can’t Peppers do the same?
If every dream scenario were to occur, including Peppers’ return, Michigan would be at the top again next season. At this point, we just have to trust Harbaugh, the recruiting; the entire process. It sounds cliche, but it’s true.
This is the best shape Michigan football has been in a long time. I’m not worried about any of that. The Wolverines are in good hands.
As for now, I suggest we all sit back and enjoy the rest of the season. Even with heart-breaking defeat, it’s still stunning to me how quickly the season flies by. I’m already eager to witness for UM football at The Big House. We will have to wait until next September, but it will be worth the wait.
Go Blue. Forever.