The outcome of today’s Michigan-Ohio State game is not terribly surprising. A Michigan win also would not have surprised me, but it still would’ve been rare. Since Lloyd Carr retired, Michigan does not beat ranked teams on the road. But progress has been made since the oh-so-lean RichRod Era. In two seasons, Hoke has guided Michigan to back-to-back winning seasons, both over all and in the B1G. And let’s not forget last year, when Hoke guided Michigan to its first win over its arch rival since 2003.
Michigan will go to another bowl game this season. No, it’s not the Rose Bowl, but it’s something. And it’s also worth noting Michigan’s four losses came against some of the elite teams in college football this season: two are undefeated, two are likely to compete against one another for the national championship (one of which won the national championship a year ago) and one is odds-on-favorite to win the conference championship game.
Brady Hoke restored pride in Michigan football. Now he has to restore it to its former greatness as a national powerhouse. Right now, they are a really good team, but hardly a great team. Withing three years, they will be a great team again.
A Few Silly, Baseless Michigan 2013 Predictions.
Prediction #1—Michigan will enter East Lansing 7-0. The only real test before State will be a Week 2 match-up against Notre Dame at the Big House. A Week 6 game at Happy Valley against Penn State may present a challenge, but it’s one Michigan should overcome. Sparty will be the real test to see if Michigan is a pretender or not.
Prediction #2—Michigan will beat Ohio. I’m sure Hoke already rewound the “beat Ohio” clock. He will send Urban Meyer back home with a loss next season. We could be looking at something closer to a continuation of the Ten Year War than a prolonged drought.
Prediction #3—Michigan’s defense will be a beast. Hoke will restore pride in the once-vaunted Michigan defense; something that seemed to be lost on Rich Rodriguez (and, let’s be honest, fading under Lloyd Carr). Bringing back Greg Mattison was a great, stabilizing factor. Securing one of the best recruiting classes in the nation invests in Michigan’s future as a defensive powerhouse.
My Current Top Five.
No, Michigan is not one of the five. But here’s how I think the Top Five should look, tomorrow morning:
1. Notre Dame (12-0). Undefeated + Unsanctioned = #1
2. Oregon (11-1). Not a fan, but the Ducks are legit. They’re 4-1 vs. ranked opponents. No way they should be below any SEC teams.
3. Alabama (11-1). Perhaps the best one-loss team in the nation, but they’re only 3-1 vs. ranked opponents. They shouldn’t have leaped over Oregon in the rankings (yet).
4. Georgia (11-1)/Florida (11-1). I’m more impressed with Florida, since they’ve beaten more ranked teams. But Georgia beat Florida. That changes everything. My problem with Georgia, however, is they have one of the weakest schedules of the top teams (1-1 vs. ranked opponents). If they beat Alabama next week, they still don’t deserve to be in the BCS Championship Game.
5. Kansas State (10-1). They’d be #1 or #2 had they not blown it vs. Baylor. They didn’t get screwed by anyone but themselves this year.