What Are Michigan's Current National Championship Odds?
The 2021 season was a pivotal one in the Jim Harbaugh era. It started with many calling for his ouster. The Michigan Wolverines responded with their first win over Ohio State since 2011, their first Big Ten title since 2004, and their first-ever College Football Playoff appearance.
vs. Colorado State
vs. Penn State
vs. Michigan State
2022 Record: 8-0
The Wolverines opened the season with three out-of-conference blowouts over Colorado State, Hawai’i, and UConn, by 166-17. Impressively dominant but unimpressive competition. The extended “preseason” allowed Harbaugh to pick his quarterback as sophomore J.J. McCarthy beat out incumbent Cade McNamara, despite last season’s success.
In Big Ten action, a potent Maryland offense and dominant Iowa defense were their toughest tests through six games before No. 10 Penn State came to Ann Arbor undefeated.
In their statement win, Michigan blew out the Nittany Lions 41-17, a score that made the game appear closer than it was. Donovan Edwards rushed for 173 yards, and Blake Corum continued his spectacular season with 166 yards, as the Wolverines rumbled for 418 rushing yards on the Nittany Lions, more than PSU allowed in the first five games combined!
With an extra week to prepare for Michigan State, the Wolverines ended their two-game losing streak over the rival Spartans in dominant fashion as they rushed for more yards than MSU put up in total. Corum had a season-high 177 yards to go over 1,000 for the season, as the defense held Sparty scoreless for the final three quarters.
In the Polls/CFP Rankings
AP Top 25
The Wolverines opened up at No. 5 in the initial College Football Playoff Rankings, as the Clemson Tigers edged them out of the coveted No. 4 spot. Michigan remains in a prime position to make the playoffs if they win out.
College Football National Championship Winner Odds (+1600)
At +1600 on the FanDuel Sportsbook, the Wolverines are tied with Clemson for the fifth-best odds to win the National Title. They trail Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee. The gap between the Maize & Blue and the next team, Oregon +4000, is wide. However, so is the distance between the Wolverines and the Big Three of OSU (+200), UGA (+200), and Bama (+300). Not quite a favorite but certainly no longshot.
Big Ten Conference Winner Odds (+390)
Last week, the Wolverines were +400, so they got a slight bump in their odds this week on FanDuel. It’s a two-horse race, as no other team in the East Division has better odds than +2500. Illinois is third (+1200) because someone has to represent the West Division in the Big Ten Championship Game.
The Remaining Schedule
at Ohio State
After what should be two easy victories against Rutgers and Nebraska to reach 10-0, the Wolverines end the season with Illinois in a potential Big Ten Championship Game preview before their season finale against hated rival Ohio State. Not only is that the most important game because it is “The Game,” but it’s Michigan’s ticket to the B1G Championship Game and a potential return trip to the College Football Playoffs.
This Week: @ Rutgers (-25.5)
Michigan heads to Piscataway to take on a 4-4 Rutgers team. The Scarlet Knights won their first-ever meeting in 2014 against Brady Hoke, but the Wolverines are a perfect 7-0 against New Jersey’s state school under Harbaugh. After five straight by at least 21 points, Rutgers has played the Wolverines tough the past two seasons.
Don’t expect a close contest this week, as the Wolverines have the superior unit on both sides of the ball. It will be a real struggle for RU to move the ball.
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