The College Football Playoff has but one more year left before the format changes from four teams in to twelve.
Michigan football has made two playoff semifinals, each in the last two years, but lost both — one was expected against eventual national champion Georgia, while the other was an upset loss to TCU after the Wolverines gave the game away with two pick-sixes.
Friend of the site, Sporting News’ Bill Bender, ranked the college football top teams in the College Football Playoff era, which began in 2014 — the year before Jim Harbaugh took over the Wolverines. The maize and blue came in ranked No. 7 — behind LSU (which won the championship in 2019) and ahead of Notre Dame, which similarly has gone to and lost two semifinals.
Total score: 48.5
Lowdown: Jim Harbaugh finally broke through in the last two seasons with a pair of Big Ten championships and CFP appearances. Michigan is 0-4 in the CFP or New Year’s Day Six – which is the next hurdle for the program. Keep in mind that Harbaugh inherited a program that went 5-7 under Brady Hoke in 2014 – a time when Michigan was nowhere near a top-10 program. Harbaugh has progressively increased the production of All-Americans (tied for third with nine) and NFL Draft picks (sixth with 56). Back-to-back victories against Ohio State have provided a psychological boost too, but now the Wolverines must take more steps toward breaking a national championship drought that extends back to 1997.
Ohio State, which won the playoff in 2014, was ranked third. Wisconsin and Penn State — neither of which have made the playoff, were ranked 10th and 12th, respectively. Iowa is 17th and Michigan State is tied for 19th. Frequent season opener opponent Western Michigan was ranked 35th.
Michigan football gets prediction for in-state 3-star ATH
Michigan football WR Roman Wilson has special ability that needs to be unlocked
Why Ron Bellamy believes J.J. McCarthy ‘is the best QB in America’
An offer for Wolverines fans
For the best local Detroit news, sports, entertainment and culture coverage, subscribe to the Detroit Free Press.