Depending on your general outlook, the turnaround at Michigan is either complete or nearly complete.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh has finally lived up to the massive hype that surrounded his hiring in 2015, beating Ohio State for the first time on Saturday, and now leading his Wolverines almost to the top of the college football mountain.
Tuesday night, the College Football Playoff (CFP) committee ranked Michigan as the No. 2 team in the country — right below No. 1 Georgia — putting the Wolverines in prime position for a College Football Playoff spot.
“The committee was not surprised at the way Michigan played; maybe a little surprised at the way the score ended up,” Gary Barta, the chair of the CFP’s selection body, said Tuesday night. “But really [they’re] just a complete team and that’s how the committee has felt about Michigan for quite a while. … This was certainly a playoff game and under that kind of environment, Michigan showed they were able to find a way to win and win convincingly.”
One more big game stands in Harbaugh’s way, a matchup on Saturday against No. 13 Iowa in the BIG 10 Championship Game.
Besides Michigan, the top-four remains the same, with Alabama coming in at No. 3 and Cincinnati remaining the last team in the field at No. 4.
Alabama is in an interesting position, with a matchup against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game Saturday afternoon. If Alabama finds a way to win the SEC, they’re in the CFP, while a loss may still not officially end their repeat championship hopes. The committee has shown that they value the difficult SEC schedule, and a close loss to Georgia could still persuade the committee to make Alabama the first two-loss playoff team in the history of the system.
Cincinnati plays No. 21 Houston in the AAC Championship Game with a chance to add another quality win and finish the regular season undefeated.
It gets very interesting outside the top-four, with Oklahoma State jumping Notre Dame to claim the No. 5 spot and the Irish remaining at No. 6.
Mike Gundy’s Cowboys beat a top-10 team in Oklahoma on Saturday, and have a chance at back-to-back top-10 wins in their Big 12 Championship Game matchup against No. 9 Baylor on Saturday.
“There was a lot of discussion, but it’s hard to say how it fell at three, four and five,” Barta said.
Notre Dame’s regular season is over, and would certainly need some help in order to get into the CFP.
“I think this team is really well-positioned,” Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said Tuesday. “I believe we’re one of the top four teams in the country. The cumulative results of our last four or five games, I think, are compelling. I think we can play with anybody in the country right now.”
The Irish just lost their head coach to LSU — Brian Kelly officially made the jump to the SEC on Tuesday — a factor that the committee is aware of.
“The committee was obviously aware of all the coaching changes,” Barta added. “For this week, though, it didn’t apply.”
Ohio State’s loss to Michigan drops them down to No. 7, with Ole Miss (8) and Oregon (10) rounding out the CFP top-10.
Take a look at the complete College Football Playoff selection committee rankings below.
- Oklahoma State
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- Ole Miss
- Michigan State
- Wake Forest
- NC State
- San Diego State
- Louisiana Lafayette
- Texas A&M
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected]
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.