We heard this team was "special" since the start of the season, just like we heard in 2016 and 2018.
Those teams fell short.
But not this time.
The Michigan Wolverines are Big Ten Champions once again.
It wasn't pretty, and quite honestly, it never is!
I'm not just talking about Saturday night's ugly display of football in Indianapolis. No, Michigan's road to this game started in 2014 when Jim Harbaugh was hired.
Michigan at the time, was perennially dominated by both of their rivals, had trouble selling tickets, and Adidas provided the uniforms.
All of a sudden, Jim Harbaugh was on campus making music videos, sleeping over at a recruit's house, and the Jordan logo was plastered across campus.
All of that excitement, but Michigan still couldn't win the big games. Could not beat a historically great Ohio State program, and couldn't make it to Indianapolis.
With many Wolverines fans calling for Harbaugh's job this year, Harbaugh took a pay cut and bet on himself.
That bet payed off, because of these players.
"Best Group of Guys"
It needs to be said that these players are most responsible for this championship. I remember back in 2019 seeing a defeated Jim Harbaugh on the sidelines.
It's like getting massacred in Columbus the year prior, sucked the fire out from him. Where was the Jim that threw clipboards and headsets after a questionable call?
The emotion was gone.
This year, we finally saw that fire come back. Not just when they played in big games, but in the non-conference games too.
Everyone talked about this team being different, and I think their biggest impact was reviving Harbaugh's enthusiasm after a horrific covid season.
Playoff vs Georgia
You know what's great about this match-up?
It's the battle of "_________ can't win the big game!"
Every year, Kirby Smart can't beat Alabama.
I was at a bar in Indy before the game Saturday, watching the SEC Championship and I can't believe they got handled by an Alabama team that went to OT with Auburn!
It was such an easy decision laid out for the playoff committee: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Notre Dame.
But no, Nick Saban does what he always does and handled their business at the end of the season and instilled fear into the rest of the Country.
So now, Michigan fans are upset because they wanted either the top spot or at least a match-up against Cincinnati.
Sure, that'd be the easy route, but who cares?
You're in the Playoff. Nobody feels sympathy for Michigan, nor should they.
Nobody wants to see a re-match of Alabama and Georgia, especially the ESPN executives.
I doubted Michigan in every big game this year until this past weekend. I'm done doubting them moving forward. They can beat Georgia, Nick Saban just laid the foundation for that.
Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo off the edges are going to be monumental tests for Georgia's offensive line. Can Stetson Bennett stay cool in the pocket and not make mistakes with that pressure?
He couldn't this past weekend, and I don't think he can against this pass rush.
Michigan hasn't abandoned their game plan all season. They've stuck to it and it has gotten progressively better throughout the season.
Hassan Haskins will run between the tackles. Blake Corum gets some much needed rest for his ankle and will take meaningful reps as their speed back. Oh, and true Freshman Donovan Edwards can make catches out of the backfield, AND HE CAN PASS!
Cade McNamara played a terrible first half this past weekend and came back firing on all cylinders in the second half. The dude doesn't get down on himself. That's the guy you want in big games.
The Wolverines have answered the bell all season by playing an aggressive style of football that punches you in the mouth at the line of scrimmage. Will Georgia answer the bell?
They might, but It's going to be a close game. And the TV executives are salivating.
Brace yourselves Michigan fans, you're one win away from a shot at a National title.