The Michigan Wolverines sit at 9-3 and have nothing left to do but wait for their bowl assignment, which is set to come on Sunday afternoon after the conference championship games wrap up on Saturday.
Most of the projections have seen the Wolverines heading to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl or potentially the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. There have been a few projections with the Citrus Bowl, but those are starting to grow.
After the release of the College Football Playoff rankings on Tuesday night, there seems to be a growing movement that believes Michigan could find itself in the Citrus Bowl, potentially against the likes of either Auburn or, wait for it, Alabama.
Alabama came in at No. 12 in the latest rankings after losing at Auburn over the weekend, which may have them on the outside looking in for a New Years Six bowl. Michigan came in at No. 15, so they are at least seen in the eyes of the committee as two teams in somewhat equal standing.
I would guess you'll see an Alabama-Michigan Citrus Bowl. They're not obligated to go by rankings, and that's too juicy to pass up.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) December 4, 2019
A Saban-Harbaugh Citrus Bowl is in play.— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) December 4, 2019
Now, in order for this matchup to become a reality, somebody from the Big Ten is likely going to get screwed. The Citrus Bowl has the first choice after the playoff/New Years Six stuff is sorted out and this would see them passing on either Wisconsin or Penn State. One of those teams is heading to the Rose Bowl with Ohio State likely to make the playoff.
Bowls are not obligated at all to go by rankings or pecking order. Remember, this is one big moneymaking scheme once you get out of the College Football Playoff. Michigan’s Citrus Bowl appearance in 2015 was one of its most attended games ever and if they could find a way to sneak two household brand names into their game, they can absolutely justify doing that.
Whether it is Alabama or not, it does seem like it would make sense if the Wolverines wound up in the Citrus Bowl given the criteria laid out above. It would not be a shock to see them get Auburn, either.
We will have to keep an eye on this one, but given that the bowl selection process can be an unpredictable one and the brand power that Michigan carries, one can assume that just about everything except for New Years Six is in play for them right now.
- If you want an in-depth and free look at how Michigan’s courtship of five-star guard Joshua Christopher is going, The Michigan Insider has a recent piece published with his father that goes extremely in depth. Of note: “I think Coach Howard and the staff know, ‘this kid is not going to be here this long… let’s build things around him. Let’s build things around our program that make sense for us.’ Josh obviously isn’t their only recruit, but they’re building a culture and a climate and a community around their basketball that feels (like it’s going to be) really, really successful.”
- The Big Ten announced its defensive and special teams awards on Tuesday. Cornerback Lavert Hill, linebacker Khaleke Hudson, defensive Kwity Paye, linebacker Josh Uche, defensive tackle Carlo Kemp, cornerback Ambry Thomas, defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, linebacker Cameron McGrone, safety Josh Metellus, punter Will Hart, wide receivers Giles Jackson and Donovan Peoples-Jones, linebacker Jordan Glasgow, safety Brad Hawkins and quarterback Shea Patterson were all among the honorees.
- It’s finally official and Rutgers has its new, well, old, head coach. Greg Schiano is back in Piscataway and was announced on Tuesday.
- Washington head coach Chris Petersen stepping down had to do with anxiety and stress, he says.