Article will continue after advertisement

The Alabama Crimson Tide are undefeated and, by nature of their status as the reigning national champions, Nick Saban’s team sits comfortably at the top of the polls. Alongside the SEC’s top team comes the Ohio State Buckeyes, as Urban Meyer and company have been thumping opponents all season with two strong victories over Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

However, Big Ten Network analyst Robert Smith doesn’t believe that either Alabama or Ohio State is the best team in the land, and he told the world on Monday. During a segment in which he was asked to provide Big Ten power rankings, Smith had the following to say while anointing the Michigan Wolverines:

“I still think Michigan is the best defense in the country. With the way that defense is playing combined with the way they are starting the run the ball. Getting that offense cranked up, that offensive line and the run game cranked. I still have them at number one.”

Smith isn’t the only entity that believes Jim Harbaugh’s team is the class of the nation, as S&P+ ratings reveal Michigan as the best team in the land based largely on their dominant defense. It seems like a mild stretch to consider the Wolverines as “better” than Alabama or Ohio State based on their limited schedule to this point, but Harbaugh’s team can bank on an elite-level defense and, if Smith’s assertion about the running game and offensive line comes to fruition, he could look smart at the end of the season.

It is always fun to look for the next big thing and Michigan fits that bill. Just ask Robert Smith.