Over the past two weeks, the Michigan Wolverines haven’t looked like a legitimate national title contender. Michigan dropped a close-fought but hideous game to Iowa on the road and, just one week later, the Wolverines struggled for three quarters before winning by double-figures against Indiana at home. With that, many have become more skeptical of Jim Harbaugh’s team, and KC Joyner of ESPN Insider is at the front of the line.
Joyner went to town on Michigan, saying the Wolverines “do not deserve a place among the top four in the CFP rankings”. Within the confines of the full piece (that is worth a read), the writer dismisses Michigan’s schedule by pointing out ESPN’s FPI metric treats wins over Colorado, Penn State and Wisconsin do not deserve a place among the top four in the CFP rankings. with less authority than the committee, and he also rails against Michigan’s loss to Iowa as the worst among one-loss contenders.
Some of the other gripes include the fact that Michigan peaked too early and that the Wolverines’ much-heralded defense isn’t quite as good as the raw numbers suggest. While there are some legitimate criticisms here, it does seem a bit aggressive to say that Michigan does not have a top-four profile given the nature of their wins over Colorado, Penn State and Wisconsin and, well, the fact that the other contenders (aside from Alabama) have flaws of their own. Still, it is a reminder that nothing in college football breeds consensus with the exception of the Crimson Tide, and Michigan could use a strong effort in toppling Ohio State to gain respect.