Michigan Football: Contender or Pretender

Kade Cupp, Staff Writer

Michigan Photography
Michigan Football sprints onto the field against unranked Maryland

The 2018 Michigan football team is for real, they are a playoff contender, and as of right now, they most definitely deserve the final spot in the College Football Playoff, and here’s why.


Michigan has the best defense in the entire country, ranked #1 in total defense in the FBS, and as the saying goes, defense wins championships. Michigan finally has an above average quarterback, ranked 14th in passing efficiency, our highly proclaimed savior savior Shea Patterson is only behind 3 top ten FBS ranked quarterbacks, including Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. Michigan’s Karan Higdon ranks 12th in The FBS in rushing yards per game, there are no players on a top ten ranked team ahead of him.


If you combine all of these very relevant statistics, you can see why, if Michigan were to win out, which means beating 10th ranked Ohio State, then beating Northwestern in The Big Ten Championship, which they should be able to handle considering they are unranked. 


Michigan is currently ranked 4th, behind (1) Alabama, (2) Clemson, and (3) Notre Dame. The first teams out are (5) Georgia and (6) Oklahoma. Georgia is going to have to play Alabama in the SEC championship inevitably if they win out, which means if they lose it would be very stupid to put them in the 4 spot, forcing them to play Alabama twice in a row would be ludacris, giving them two chances to beat the best team in football rather than giving Michigan or Oklahoma the chance to get a shot at the #1 team assuming they both win out. That leaves us with two options assuming everyone wins out which is the likely scenario, with Oklahoma and Michigan. Oklahoma is ranked 80th in total defense compared to Michigan’s 1st ranked defense, Oklahoma’s defense couldn’t stop a small three legged dog running at them, let alone Alabama’s offense. Michigan’s on the other hand would give them great trouble. Another aspect to look at is Shea Patterson, 4th ranked in passing efficiency among top ten quarterbacks Shea Patterson, who hasn’t even been asked to do much yet and still is doing that well combined with the #1 rusher among top ten running backs, all put on one team? That’s a recipe to disrupt Alabama’s flow, who’s only top twenty opponent they have beaten this year, let alone even played, is who then was (7) LSU. Alabama has never seen a defense anything like Michigan’s, nowhere near it due to Alabama’s weak SOS (strength of schedule.)

For all of these reasons, you can see why Michigan should be included into the college football playoff contingent on all top 5 teams winning out, which means facing off against Alabama on December 29th, in the  2018 Cotton Bowl.