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How a team meeting helped Michigan charge this week head-on

Business as usual.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 08 Michigan at Indiana Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s been a long week for the Michigan Football team. The word adversity comes to mind, but it’s hard to find the proper term to describe the last five days for the program.

There was a tunnel incident in the aftermath of the Michigan State game.

Later in the week, the Wolverines were snubbed in the initial College Football Playoff Rankings. Michigan is currently on the outside looking in at No. 5.

In the aftermath of what happened on Saturday, head coach Jim Harbaugh woke up in the middle of the night this week and a light bulb went off in his head.

Harbaugh knew his team must find a way to move forward fast after what Harbaugh called a traumatic experience for the team on Saturday.

There are games to be played and Michigan’s biggest goals are all still attainable. They can still win the Big Ten, they can still make the College Football Playoffs.

“He was up at 4 a.m. this morning (on Tuesday) and he had an epiphany,” center Olusegun Oluwatimi told the media. “That epiphany was to focus on Rutgers and not feel like a victim of the situation that happened, and become a victor out of it. We’re trying not to let what happened on Saturday be a distraction. We’re trying to move forward. That team meeting did a great job of helping us refocus and charge into this week head-on.”

Co-defensive coordinator Steve Clinkscale had a similar message.

“We’re gonna band together, we’re gonna work together, we’re gonna move past it right now and focus on the opponent at hand.”

The opponent at hand is Rutgers, a 4-4 team that was just shut out by Minnesota 31-0. It would be easy to assume Michigan rolls in this one, but Rutgers is also a team who gave Michigan a run for its money a season ago (Michigan won 20-13).

Michigan must be prepared and have the same level of focus as they would any given week.

“Being able to move on. Guys are hot, guys are angry. I know I am, and that’s the challenge. That is the challenge right now and the challenge is to go on the road and play a very good Rutgers team,” Harbaugh told WXYZ’s Brad Galli. “We’re just gonna have to do it as we do it here, this is unprecedented uncharted waters that we’re in right now, and we’ll do our very best.”

Michigan running back and Heisman candidate Blake Corum told the media “it’s business as usual” for the Wolverines. Safety Rod Moore said the same, the focus is on Rutgers and the last four weeks of the regular season schedule.

Michigan has all the reasons in the world to forge ahead with its chin up and a chip on its shoulder.

The fact Michigan is ranked No. 5 in the initial playoff rankings is something that has much of the college football world befuddled. Michigan can’t control where they’re currently ranked, what they can do is dominate opponents the next four weeks and show the committee they belong in the top four.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken said Clemson being ranked ahead of Michigan “makes zero sense”, Fox Sports RJ Young said the committee rankings “are especially drunk with Michigan ranked behind Clemson.”

Michigan has every reason to be motivated heading into Saturday night on the road in New Jersey. It’s time to make a statement about togetherness, and what kind of football team they are. It’s another day to show the committee they’re wrong for ranking them at No. 5.

Saturday night in Piscataway should be interesting.

Let’s play ball.