The Associated Press believes this is the year Jim Harbaugh finally gets Michigan to the College Football Playoff.
AP picked the Wolverines to win the Big Ten East and then win the Big Ten title game over Wisconsin.
“Jim Harbaugh finally quiets his critics,” the article reads.
They have U-M as the No. 2 seed in the playoff against No. 3 Clemson in the Orange Bowl. It also lists Shea Patterson finishing fourth in the Heisman voting.
In the other playoff contest, it lists Alabama as the No. 1 seed taking on No. 4 Washington in the Cotton Bowl.
However, the Wolverines don’t quite get the icing on the cake, as they are predicted to lose to Clemson, the eventual national champion over Alabama. If that were to occur, it would be the fourth consecutive year the Crimson Tide and Tigers have met in the CFP.
Jim Harbaugh has yet to defeat a ranked team on the road in his three-year tenure. This season, he takes on three teams ranked in the AP top 12 (Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame) away from the Big House. Overall, he has five games against top 12 teams — the other two being at home against Penn State and Wisconsin.
If the Wolverines were to make the playoffs, they would more than likely have to be a one-loss or less team. This would be a huge jump from the Wolverines 8-5 finish last season.