There’s no question about it: Michigan football has lagged behind its expectations in recent years.
The Wolverines have had some of the better recruiting classes in the country for the past decade, but since the College Football Playoff was launched in 2014 and the Big Ten Championship game in 2011, Corn and Blue haven’t made any of these – though Sub had head coach Jim Harbaugh she had exactly two chances in 2016 and 2018.
30 years ago, ESPN ranked the teams that underperformed the most ($) in all of college football. While fans and many in the national media might suggest Michigan should be at or near the top, that designation goes to Georgia, the only Tier 1 team listed. The Wolverines come in fourth, however, along with other fighting historical powerhouses like Miami, USC, Nebraska, and Tennessee.
Although Michigan didn’t compete nationally as often as Miami did in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Wolverines recorded eight AP top-eight finishes between 1983 and 1992, and between 1982 and 1992 they won or shared seven Big Ten finishes. Title. Michigan won a national title in 1997 and had five top 10 finishes between 1997 and 2006. But the program has become less and less competitive at the national level and even in the Big Ten, where it hasn’t won a championship since 2004. The Wolverines have lost eight straight games to Ohio State and have beaten the Buckeyes only once since 2003. Michigan still prints money, has a national badge, and plays in the nation’s largest stadium. Although the divide between Michigan and national elites like the state of Ohio has widened over the past two decades, the Wolverines should fare at a higher level.
Of course, for a team that is expected to win the conference every 3-4 years, it’s not close enough to compete in the past two years. If Michigan is to get out of the kennel it has to win some big games, not just the ones that are expected to win annually.