Earlier this month, Athlon Sports released their early look at college football bowl season and they slated Michigan in the Rose Bowl against Utah. Depending on where you look, Michigan and Utah have been projected as early candidates for the College Football Playoff, but ESPN’s current matchup projections for bowl season also find Michigan and Utah in the Rose Bowl.
Both analysts on bowl projections, Mark Schlabach and Kyle Bonagura, mutually agreed the Wolverines would face the Utes in Pasadena. Both Schlabach and Bonagura admit to having Utah and Michigan as their final teams in consideration for the final CFP spot, but both agreed that Clemson’s track record with Dabo Swinney was too good to rule out.
Once again, Ohio State won as the early heavy favorite out of the Big Ten, especially with the return of C.J. Stroud. Despite Michigan’s performance last year against the Buckeyes, OSU has a lot to distinguish it above anyone else. That’s enough for it to scoop up a CFP projection selection almost every year.
There’s no denial Michigan will be vying for one of the coveted four CFP spots, and it seems mutually agreed upon the Wolverines will do well. But maybe not enough to make it back this season. Of course these selections are subject to change and will be regularly updated as the 2022 season progresses.
Once again, having the Wolverines in Pasadena in January isn’t an awful consolation prize. However, in the CFP era, that might not be enough for this team. Hopefully the Wolverines see current projections as an opportunity to show everyone they are capable of taking the top of the Big Ten once more.