More than a half decade ago, before Michigan, before NFC Championship Games and a Super Bowl appearance, Jim Harbaugh was the coach of Stanford in 2010 needing help to get his team into a BCS Bowl game. In the last week of the regular season Stanford needed current Washington coach Chris Petersen’s team (Boise State) to lose. The same situation presents itself this year as Michigan needs Washington to lose against Colorado to propel them back into the top 4 and get into the College Football Playoff.
The Situation In 2010: It’s a Friday night in late November, No. 4 Boise State must lost to Nevada to keep No. 5 Stanford’s big game bowl hopes alive. Boise State jumps out to a 31-24 lead late in the fourth quarter, with Kellen Moore at quarterback and Doug Martin plowing defenders at running back. Nevada isn’t done yet, Colin Kaepernick leads a 70 yard drive and ties the game. The game goes to overtime, and with a clutch kick in the snow, Nevada wins the game 34-31. Stanford wins the next day against Oregon State 38-0, and goes to the Orange Bowl, where they annihilate Tyrod Taylor’s Virginia Tech 40-12.
The Situation NOW: The game Friday night (Washington vs. Colorado) will be pivotal if Michigan wants go get in the college playoff. There are other ways of them getting in, but a Washington loss would be as good as any of them. If no losses occur to the teams needing to do so, Michigan will likely be playing in the Orange Bowl. Colorado is a good team with a potent offense and a stingy defense. This game could bring back old memories for Harbaugh if Colorado can narrowly beat another Chris Petersen coached team.
Let’s see if history repeats itself, for Michigan’s sake.