In this installment of our bye week games for Michigan fans to keep an eye on is UCLA at Oregon. My reasoning behind this might be a little pessimistic, but that’s for you to comment on and for our beloved Wolverines to assuage in Columbus later this year.
If chalk holds and Michigan finishes the season 11-1 or 10-2, the Rose Bowl is the most likely destination for Team 143. I have a hard time believing that Clemson will lose to an ACC (or a wannabe, like Notre Dame) opponent this year, and the SEC is almost a lock for two teams to make it to the playoff. In this scenario where Ohio State beats Michigan, there is simply no room for the Wolverines in the playoff. So, the Rose Bowl is the next obvious choice.
The race for the Pac-12 Championship will, in all likelihood, cannibalize the conference and prevent a west coast team from reaching the final four. UCLA and Oregon have emerged as serious contenders for the Pac-12 crown, and the winner of this game could very well be playing Michigan in Pasadena come January 2nd. The Rose Bowl being on the 2nd and the thought of losing to Ohio State churns my stomach, but the game could give us an early glimpse of a future postseason opponent.
In addition to the impact this game might have on Michigan, Chip Kelly’s return to Oregon – a program he built into what it is today – provides the prevailing storyline. That in and of itself is bound to make this West Coast tilt an intriguing one.
Teams: No. 9 UCLA vs. No. 10 Oregon Ducks
Date: Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022
Location: Autzen Stadium in Eugene, OR
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.
Spread: Oregon -6; O/U: 70.5
Today’s question: Is Dorian Thompson-Robinson a legitimate Heisman contender?
Coming in at +2,500 odds to win the Heisman, Thompson-Robinson has entered discussions surrounding the most prestigious award in college football as a dark horse contestant. Against AP top-25 competition, DTR has an impressive college passer rating above 200 and a 75 percent completion rate. However, the senior from Las Vegas has yet to face a quality opponent on the road in 2022. Autzen is a completely different environment from what he’s accustomed to succeeding in and will prove to be a pressure point in his hopes to travel to New York in December.