The Wolverine

November 2015

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 191 of 193

F ollowing its 38‑0 win over then‑ No. 13 Northwestern Oct. 10, U‑M was the lead story on al‑ most every media website covering col‑ lege football —,, USA‑,, and on and on. Columnists from coast to coast pondered aloud the same ques‑ tion: why not Michi‑ gan? "In just six games, Jim Harbaugh has turned Michigan not only into a team that will be competitive against the two teams that have owned the Big Ten the past few years [MSU and OSU], he's turned the Wolverines into a legitimate confer‑ ence contender with perhaps the 'best' loss in college football, at Utah," USA‑'s Nicole Auerbach wrote. "By that measure, if Michigan keeps this up, they'd have to enter the Col‑ lege Football Playoff conversation." The first official rankings are re‑ leased Nov. 3, and it's probably too early, with too many undefeated teams (14), for the Maize and Blue to actu‑ ally consider a potential playoff berth. Regardless of whether the Wolverines compete for a Big Ten title and a spot in the Rose Bowl, they are ahead of schedule. "At the beginning of the year I was trying to keep expectations un‑ der control," said for‑ mer U‑M All‑America linebacker and current T h e Wo l v e r i n e . c o m analyst Ron Simpkins (1974‑77). "I thought this would be a three‑ or four‑year plan, but shoot, they're a legiti‑ mate Big Ten title con‑ tender, and nationally I think Harbaugh and Michigan are such a great story that people would love to see that them make the playoff [if they deserve to be there]." Over the past 15 years, nine different coaches have led their teams to na‑ tional titles, and only four had a better seven‑game start to their tenures than Harbaugh has experienced in leading Michigan to a 5‑2 mark (see chart). "Why not Michigan and Florida?"'s Jon Solomon asked about the Wolverines and Gators (6‑1). "In a chaotic year with no great teams, why can't two recovering brand names who made the best coaching hires in the offseason win big far earlier than MAIZE N' VIEW   MICHAEL SPATH Michigan Is Ahead Of Schedule Head coach Jim Harbaugh has not wasted any time transform- ing the Wolverines into a cham- pionship contender. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - November 2015