The Wolverine

January 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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JANUARY 2017 THE WOLVERINE 13   INSIDE MICHIGAN ATHLETICS "We know we're going to have a tremendous oppo- nent. Their defense is ranked extremely high … they're going to be great on defense, and they've had a great year. They've got great players, and we're going to have our hands full." — Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher on facing Michigan in the Orange Bowl Dec. 30 "[Florida State is] one of those great programs, one of those great traditions. Renegade the war horse. The spear. The tomahawk chant. I've never been to a game at Florida State. I always wanted to. I always wanted to go to their stadium and see what that atmosphere was like in person." — Harbaugh on the traditions of Michigan's Orange Bowl opponent "Yeah, it means a lot. You set goals to help push your- self and become a better player or a man or a student or really whatever in life. This was a goal of mine." — Senior Jake Butt on winning the Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end "I thought Michigan — the way they played on the road in Columbus — showed everybody they can play in front of a hostile environment and execute. I think they've proved that they are one of the top teams." — ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit on Michigan's chances for a playoff spot; Michigan finished No. 6 in the final CFP poll THEY SAID IT Head coach Jim Harbaugh at the 96th annual Michigan Football Bust on rumors that he is considering leaving for the NFL "I'll speak for me. I'm not leaving Michigan. I'm not even considering it. A lot of this talk is coming from our enemies. From coaches … you know the names. You probably know the top three that I'm referring to … we know them as jive turkeys." PHOTO BY LON HORWEDEL M i c h i g a n's n o n - co n fe re n ce schedule did not end up being as weak as many thought it would be heading into the 2016 season. The Wolverines opened the cam- paign with big wins over a trio of bowl-bound teams, including No. 10 Colorado, which made the Pac- 12 championship game. In Big Ten play, the Wolverines squared off with all three teams who joined Michigan in the Col- lege Football Playoff commit- tee's top eight and six teams that nabbed postseason berths. Only two schools nationally had a trio of victories over opponents who finished the year in the top 10 of the CFP rankings — Michigan (No. 5 Penn State, No. 8 Wiscon- sin and No. 10 Colorado) and Ohio State (No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 8 Wisconsin). However, U-M's margin of victory in those three contests was an impressive 63 points, while OSU outscored its top-10 foes by a total of 31 points and needed overtime in two to secure the win. Playoff-bound Alabama (No. 9 USC) and Washington (No. 10 Colorado) each posted one top-10 triumph, while Clemson did not have any. According to the Sagarin rankings, which provides a top to bottom listing of all Division I teams in America based on a computer formula, U-M played five top-18 squads. Nobody in the country had more than Michigan's three wins against the Sagarin rankings' top 10, although Ohio State also went 3-1 against such competition. Conference Final CFP Sagarin Team Result Record Finish (Record) Rank Rank* Hawai'i W, 63-3 6-7 2nd Mtn West Western (4-4) — 120 UCF W, 51-14 6-6 3rd American East (4-4) — 58 Colorado W, 45-28 10-3 1st Pac-12 South (8-1) 10 10 Penn State W, 49-10 11-2 t-1st Big Ten East (8-1) 5 6 Wisconsin W, 14-7 10-3 1st Big Ten West (7-2) 8 7 at Rutgers W, 78-0 2-10 7th Big Ten East (0-9) — 140 Illinois W, 41-8 3-9 6th Big Ten West (2-7) — 101 at MSU W, 32-23 3-9 6th Big Ten East (1-8) — 73 Maryland W, 59-3 6-6 5th Big Ten East (3-6) — 69 at Iowa L, 14-13 8-4 t-2nd Big Ten West (6-3) — 18 Indiana W, 20-10 6-6 4th Big Ten East (4-5) — 60 at OSU L, 30-27 (2OT) 11-1 t-1st Big Ten East (8-1) 3 2 Totals 492-150 82-66 (.554) * Through Dec. 3 Looking Back At Michigan's Football Schedule Sophomore running back Karan Higdon accounted for two of the Wolverines' six rushing touchdowns in a 49-10 romp of Penn State, which went on to win the Big Ten title game and finish No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings. PHOTO BY PER KJELDSEN

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