Is this Michigan’s Year?

Jim Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor nearly 4 years ago and ever since then the expectations have been high. The University of Michigan expects its football team to beat Ohio State, appear in Big Ten Championships, and make it to the College Football Playoffs. There is a certain standard for Wolverine football. Jim Harbaugh was thought to be the guy that would bring it back.

 
The Wolverines have reached 10 wins in three out of four seasons with Harbaugh. Most would call this successful. Michigan fans, however, are not satisfied. They have gone 0-4 against rival Ohio State and have yet to make a playoff appearance. Will this finally be the year that Michigan has a breakthrough season? The time is now. Here’s why it could be Michigan’s year…

The Offense

The Wolverines have a returning quarterback for the first time in all of Harbaugh’s tenure at Michigan. Senior Shea Patterson is expected to thrive in a new, fully implemented spread offense. Josh Gattis, the Wolverine’s new offensive coordinator from Alabama, has completely abandoned the traditional pro-style offense. Patterson has experience with the spread offense and with Gattis’s knowledge it is likely that Patterson will reach his full potential this season. Michigan also has four starters returning on the offensive line. Two of which have played since they were just freshman. Cesar Ruiz and Ben Bredeson will be the leaders on this offensive line.

Schedule

Michigan, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index Projections, has the fourth-best odds of reaching bowl season undefeated. Although the Wolverines will face six teams that are in the preseason AP Top 20, their schedule is definitely winnable. As usual Ohio State will likely be the Wolverine’s toughest matchup of the season. The Wolverines do have the Buckeyes at home and with the departure of Urban Meyer this is the year to end their losing streak. Harbaugh’s team also has two tough road games on tap. On September 21st they’ll travel to Wisconsin to face the Badgers and on October 19th they will be at Penn State.
Some say this is a make or break year for Harbaugh. Only time will tell. Michigan opens the 2019 season against Middle Tennessee on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Story can also be found via ESPN Gainesville at wruf.com. 

Post National Championship Thoughts

Here we are: sitting on our couches, scrolling through the channels, and college football is nowhere to be found. It has been roughly a week since Clemson not only became National Champions, but dominated Alabama.

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Photo via SportingNews.com

Some takeaways from that not so expected performance:

  • Dabo is very close to having himself a dynasty. Its been 10 years since Coach Swinney was named Clemson’s head football coach. A lot has happened since then. Dabo and his team have appeared in all four College Football Playoffs and have walked away with the title twice. Clemson has proved that they are not short of talent and full of depth.
  • Alabama is not ALWAYS perfect. Just recap last Monday night’s game. 44-16. The Tide were completely shut out during the second half. Although this was rare for them, it proves their are weaknesses on every college football team. That includes the Dynasty in Tuscaloosa.
  • Not only was the Championship a statement win, but it was a statement about Clemson’s program. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Take Trevor Lawrence for example. He’s just a Freshman and is now walking around with a big, shiny ring. Lawrence is young and still has time to grow. Imagine this program with an even more developed Trevor Lawrence. Odds are this is not the last time we will see Dabo and his team in the College Football Playoffs.
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    Photo via TigerDroppings.com
  • The announcement of Jalen Hurts entering the transfer portal was really no surprise, but would it have occurred if Alabama walked away with the title? Who knows. However, one thing is for sure. Whoever lands Hurts is getting an immense amount of talent. Although this was not the news Tide fans wanted, it should not be too much of a worry for them. Coach Saban has enough talent on his roster and experience on his coaching staff to deal with pretty much any transfer.

 

As for right now– sit back, watch some basketball, anticipate baseball season, and don’t remind yourself that we have nearly 8 months until another college football season.

Boring Bowls

Just like that another football season is coming to an end and a new, well maybe new, national champion will be crowned. Alabama will be competing to become back to back National Champions in what some may call an all too familiar matchup. During the past four College Football Playoffs Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide and Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have faced each other.

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Photo viaUSATODAY.com

It’s no surprise that when the commitee released its selection of the final four teams for the playoffs there was a lot of debate. Did they make the correct decision? Maybe, maybe not. We all have our own opinions, but there are a couple things that are certain.

  1. Clemson vs. Notre Dame was not an exciting game. After the first quarter, it was clear the Tigers were going to dominate. Clemson won 30-3.
  2. Oklahoma vs. Alabama was, also, not all that exciting, or at least the first half wasn’t. At halftime the Tide led 31-10. The Sooners did manage to come out after the half and score some points. However, Saban and his team still came out with the win, 45-34.

Aren’t playoff games supposed to be close? Aren’t they supposed to feature the best college football teams in the country? A lot of fans questioned the committee after the Cotton and Orange Bowl performances. Many arguing that Georgia should have been given the number four spot or, at the time, undefeated UCF.

Both Georgia and UCF’s bowl game results seemed to quiet the Playoff Committee’s critics.

The Dawgs were down 20-7 at halftime to underdog, Texas in the Sugar Bowl. Many predicted a convincing win from Kirby Smart and Georgia, however this was not the case. They lost 28-21.

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Photo via SportingNews

The UCF vs. LSU matchup was a must win game for the Knights to even be considered one of the “big boys”. LSU came to play and definitley displayed the physicality of the SEC. They handed UCF a loss and walked away with a 40-32 win.

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Photo via AZCentral.com

The Fiesta and Sugar Bowl, along with a few more, did not quite provide the evidence many fans were looking for to encourage a change in the College Football Playoffs.

Will the Playoffs ever change? If they do, it won’t be any time soon.