I am a prisoner of the moment after witnessing in person Michigans brutal beatdown of #8 (at the time) Notre Dame. I am so high on Michigan right now that I know i’ll get my heart broken but I don’t care. They will get beatdown by Ohio State but Ohio State is also arguably the best football team in America. I mean they have two top 10, maybe top 5 players in the upcoming draft on defense, with Chase Young and Jeff Okudah. Their offense is equally as terrifying with Heisman candidate Justin Fields at QB and that wagon J.K. Dobbins at running back. They simply out talent Michigan, and the majority of the country. So when Michigan losses, it’s not gonna be a classic Harbaugh can’t win big games blah blah blah, it’s a game that Ohio State should win handedly on route to another playoff berth. So unfortunately, Michigans season is over when it comes to the Playoffs, but they can still get to a big Bowl Game.
This leads us to next year. Ideally Michigan will be better, it mostly depends on the receiving core coming back. It’s hard to expect DPJ, who was the highest rated WR in his stacked class (Juedy, CeeDee Lamb, Tee Higgins, ect) to comeback when the previously listed players are projected for the 1st round in the draft. I believe the smart move is coming back with Dylan McCaffery as the Qb and putting up some numbers and potentially becoming a 1st round pick. Same goes for Nico Collins, and Tarik Black. Best case scenario is they all comeback and with Ronnie Bell, live up to their potential. Worst case scenario only one comes back, I don’t believe all three will leave because all three would be extremely lucky to be even 2nd round draft picks. So with only one coming back that would still be a pretty good receiving core with Ronnie Bell. I’d be happy with that.
Now for the quarterback fiasco that still looms over during Harbaughs 5th year. My biggest issue with Harbaugh is his unwavering loyalty to Shae Patterson. I get that he was a big name transfer and benching him could negatively affect the programs chances at other transfers, but we know what Patterson is. We’ve seen him last year stink it up , and somehow get worse this year. At least next year we will be able to see Dylan McCaffery for a whole season, which honestly is a lose lose situation for Harbaugh. Say McCaffery is awful, the narrative will be how come Harbaugh can’t develop these top recruit QB’s that come to Michigan, which is true and a deserved criticism. On the flip side, say McCaffery is as good or better than expected, why the fuck was Patterson playing for 2 years when he had McCaffery rotting on the bench. I don’t understand why Patterson was brought in through the transfer portal, but it’s in the past.
Running backs for Michigan has also been less than perfect since like Mike Hart. This true freshman Zach Charbonnet looks promising, he’s not the next Johnathan Taylor or Saquan, but he’s for sure a step up from past Michigan Running backs. Him and Hassan Haskins in the back field next year will bolster the run game and open up the passing lanes for McCaffery.
Defensively Michigan is already good, but next year i’m predicting dominance. Dax hill is already a fucking stud as a true freshman. Aidan Hutchinson, who I have had the pleasure of talking to and consider a friend (not sure if that friendship goes both ways), is a fucking wagon wheel of a human. He might be the best in the nation at patting down passes. No joke. I don’t think i’ve seen a defensive lineman have such an eye for where the Qb is going with the ball and throwing hands up to knock it out of the air. He’s a future 1st round pick as well as Dax Hill.
All in all this may have been a less than expected year for Michigan, but with a final record of 9-3 all three loses coming to high ranked teams ill take that. Michigan isn’t Alabama or Clemson. Stop expecting them to be. Harbaugh is a great coach. He isn’t Urban Myer. Ohio State is in the middle of unprecedented success. Michigan will get there. Hell even a few weeks ago I was calling for Harbaughs job, but i realized he has brought Michigan back to relevancy. Something they have not had in 15 years before he arrived. Next year they will be leaps and bounds above what they are this year. My prediction for them is 11-1, only loss coming to Ohio State and Justin Fields.