The Wolverines 2018 season ended exactly how the 2017 season did…a loss to Ohio State University and a half ass bowl game performance. At the precipice lies the Big Ten title and a College Football Playoff appearance, but in the way, lies their biggest challenge and threat of the last decade: Ohio State.
Ever since the NCAA introduced the College Football Playoff system, depending on your brand, one loss could be, and has proven to be, the kiss of death to all playoff hopes.
In a season that includes road trips to Wisconsin and Penn State, Notre Dame mid-season, a bitter Michigan State at home later than normal and the Buckeyes who own the rights to Michigan football (that hurts to admit), the time is officially now for Jim Harbaugh and Co. It has been FIFTEEN years since the Wolverines has claimed rights to the Big Ten title, but with Harbaugh handing the keys to newly hired offense coordinator, Josh Gattis, a poised quarterback with something to prove in Shea Patterson and a retooled defense under Don Brown, things seem promising for this 2019 group of Wolverines.
Us as fans have seen as high as 10-3 multiple times and as low as 8-5 in Harbaughs tenure. Even in the three 10-3 seasons, Harbaugh and the Wolverines have posted an unsatisfying 2-6 record against rivals MSU and OSU and has yet to beat the Spartans in Ann Arbor. Not to beat a dead horse, but none of this is acceptable for a program who praised the said to be “savior” of Michigan football.
While coaching and experience, both point to Michigan, the one thing that concerns me is the talent at quarterback. Yes Shea Patterson is said to be thriving under new OC Gattis, but you can’t dismiss the talent that OSU has in the pocket in Justin Fields…the kid can ball and THAT will be I think the major deciding factor in whether or not Michigan changes the narrative against the Buckeyes.
Despite stout road tests, there’s no doubt that Michigan has the advantage of controlling the way their season plays out, but under Harbaugh, playing MSU and OSU at home have proven to be a non-factor. Don’t be fooled, the coals are still very well-lit in Ann Arbor, but tomorrow, those low lit flames can be extinguished one week at a time.
From all that’s been reported, Michigan has already won the offseason title…now in year 5, it’s more than a should win season, it’s a year the wolverines have to win.